How to Read a Poem is an unprecedented exploration of poetry and feeling. In language at once acute and emotional, distinguished poet and critic Edward Hirsch describes why poetry matters and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message can make a difference. In a marvelous reading of verse from around the world, including work by Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and Sylvia Plath, among many others, Hirsch discovers the true meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives.
Ovid's sensuous and witty poetry brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation--often as a result of love or lust--where men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings. Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best-known myths and legends of Ancient Greece and Rome, including Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy. Erudite but lighthearted, dramatic yet playful, the Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes. This edition includes David Raeburn's modern verse translation, an introduction by Denis Feeney, and other features to help readers fully appreciate Ovid's epic. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A New York Review Books OriginalTranscending divisions of creed, challenging social distinctions of all sorts, and celebrating individual unity with the divine, the poetry of Kabir is one of passion and paradox, of mind-bending riddles and exultant riffs. These new translations by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, one of India's finest contemporary poets, bring out the richness, wit, and power of a literary and spiritual master.
Sappho's thrilling lyric verse has been unremittingly popular for more than 2,600 years--certainly a record for poetry of any kind--and love for her art only increases as time goes on. Though her extant work consists only of a collection of fragments and a handful of complete poems, her mystique endures to be discovered anew by each generation, and to inspire new efforts at bringing the spirit of her Greek words faithfully into English.In the past, translators have taken two basic approaches to Sappho: either very literally translating only the words in the fragments, or taking the liberty of reconstructing the missing parts. Willis Barnstone has taken a middle course, in which he remains faithful to the words of the fragments, only very judiciously filling in a word or phrase in cases where the meaning is obvious. This edition includes extensive notes and a special section of "Testimonia" appreciations of Sappho in the words of ancient writers from Plato to Plutarch. Also included are a glossary of all the figures mentioned in the poems, and suggestions for further reading.
Rumi's poems are beloved for their touching perceptions of humanity and the Divine. Here is a rich introduction to the work of the great mystical poet, featuring leading literary translations of his verse. Translators include Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Andrew Harvey, Kabir Helminski, Camille Helminski, Daniel Liebert, and Peter Lamborn Wilson. To display the major themes of Rumi's work, each of the eighteen chapters in this anthology are arranged topically, such as "The Inner Work," "The Ego Animal," "Passion for God," "Praise," and "Purity." Also contained here is a biography of Rumi by Andrew Harvey, as well as an introductory essay by Kabir Helminski on the art of translating Rumi's work into English.
In The Art of Recklessness, Dean Young's sprawling and subversive first book of prose on poetry, imagination swerves into primitivism and surrealism and finally toward empathy. How can recklessness guide the poet, the artist, and the reader into art, and how can it excite in us a sort of wild receptivity, beyond craft? "Poetry is not a discipline," Young writes. "It is a hunger, a revolt, a drive, a mash note, a fright, a tantrum, a grief, a hoax, a debacle, an application, an affect . . ."
Gilbert Highet was a legendary teacher at Columbia University, admired both for his scholarship and his charisma as a lecturer. Poets in a Landscape is his delightful exploration of Latin literature and the Italian landscape. As Highet writes in his introduction, "I have endeavored to recall some of the greatest Roman poets by describing the places were they lived, recreating their characters and evoking the essence of their work." The poets are Catullus, Vergil, Propertius, Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and Juvenal. Highet brings them life, setting them in their historical context and locating them in the physical world, while also offering crisp modern translations of the poets' finest work. The result is an entirely sui generis amalgam of travel writing, biography, criticism, and pure poetry--altogether an unexcelled introduction to the world of the classics.