Poetry Criticism
Featured Items
Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
Paperback      ISBN: 0140247734
The Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy of a salesman's deferred American dream, presented here with enlightening commentary and criticism

Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, has spent his life following the American way, living out his belief in salesmanship as a way to reinvent himself. But somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. At age 63, he searches for the moment his life took a wrong turn, the moment of betrayal that undermined his relationship with his wife and destroyed his relationship with Biff, the son in whom he invested his faith. Willy lives in a fragile world of elaborate excuses and daydreams, conflating past and present in a desperate attempt to make sense of himself and of a world that once promised so much.

Since it was first performed in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the tragic shortcomings of an American dreamer has been recognized as a milestone of the theater. This Viking Critical Library edition of Death of a Salesman contains the complete text of the play, typescript facsimiles, and extensive critical and contextual material including:
  • Conflicting reviews about its opening night by Robert Garland, Harold Clurman, Eleanor Clark, and others
  • Five articles by Miller on his play, including "Tragedy and the Common Man" and his "Introduction to Collected Plays"
  • Critical essays by John Gassner, Ivor Brown, Joseph A. Hynes, and others
  • General essays on Miller by William Weigand, Allan Seager, and others
  • Analogous works by Eudora Welty, Walter D. Moody, Tennessee Williams, and Irwin Shaw
  • The stage designer's account, presented in selections from Designing for the Theatre by Jo Mielziner
  • An in-depth introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers, and a bibliography
The Meridian: Final Version--Drafts--Materials
The Meridian
Final Version--Drafts--Materials
German    Paperback      ISBN: 0804739528

Originally presented as a speech to the German Academy for Language and Poetry on the occasion of Celan's acceptance of the Georg B chner Prize for literature, The Meridian is one of, if not the most important poetological statement of the second half of the twentieth century. Much more than a personal statement or occasional piece, it is a meditation on the state of poetry and art in general and a rigorous attempt to account for what poetry is, can, and must be after the Holocaust. This definitive historico-critical edition, available for the first time in English, presents not only the first drafts, but also a vast array of notes and preparatory work and a brief essay on Osip Mandelstam, all of which work to expand the field of reference of Celan's manifesto and reveal its true scope. Rich commentaries clarify Celan's notes to authors as diverse as Leibniz, Scheler, Kafka, Hofmannsthal, Husserl, Pascal, Val ry, Heidegger, and others.

Listen to an interview about Celan's Meridian with translator Pierre Joris on the radio program Cross Cultural Poetics, hosted by poet and professor Leonard Schwartz. The shows airs on KAOS 89.3FM Olympia, Washington and is archived online by The University of Pennsylvania's Pennsound.

Light upon Light: Inspirations from Rumi
Light upon Light
Inspirations from Rumi
Hardcover      ISBN: 1556432062

A collection of more than three hundred poems and brief prose passages by the thirteenth-century Sufi mystical poet, Rumi, introduced and interpreted by the editor and complemented by black-and-white photographs, offer themes for reflection and inspiration. IP.

Trembling Air: Poems
Trembling Air
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 155728752x
In these poems, Michelle Boisseau troubles sound into music and light into color. She renders the physics of absence and the deceptions of presence: a garage full of haunted tools, the ordinary and odd lives embodied in medieval paintings, the voice of a father traveling on radio waves. The poems’ contemplative, rigorous intelligence affirms pleasure in the fallen world, picking out the golden thread in a dark tapestry. Moving through us in waves of light and sound, the words and trappings of the material world brim here with spiritual force and resonate with the power of things poised on the brink of revelation: trembling the air.
Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms: 85 Leading Contemporary Poets Select and Comment on Their Poems
Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms
85 Leading Contemporary Poets Select and Comment on Their Poems
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0472066331

This unique anthology has as its focus the notion of form in contemporary poetry. No subject has attracted more vigorous discussion within the community of poets and critics in the past ten years. If we are to understand what form is and how it shapes poetic expression, we must turn to the poems themselves for clues. And if we are very lucky, we can listen to the voice of the poets who wrote them.
In Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms, contemporary poets have selected one poem, commenting on the occasion of its creation and on the form the poem eventually took. Originally published in 1987 with a selection of 65 poets, this revised and expanded edition adds selections by twenty additional poets. Other revisions include an enlarged glossary of terms, and more expanded biographies of individual poets. The range of contributors is wide, and includes John Ashbery, John Cage, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Marilyn Hacker, Yusef Komunyakaa, James Merrill, Thylias Moss, Robert Pinsky, Charles Simic, and Richard Wilbur. Among the new contributions is Wyn Cooper's poem "Fun," which was the basis for Sheryl Crow's Grammy-award winning song "All I Wanna Do."

Haiku in English
Haiku in English
Paperback      ISBN: 0804802289

Provides guidelines for the writing and teaching of the popular Japanese poem form

Break, Blow, Burn
Break, Blow, Burn
Hardcover      ISBN: 0375420843

"Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems" is destined to become a landmark. In it, America's premier intellectual provocateur explores and celebrates a series of great poems of the Western tradition, including some surprising discoveries of her own. She brings new energy and insight to our understanding of poems we already know, such as masterpieces by Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley, Dickinson, Lowell, and Plath. She leads us to appreciate the artistry of writers with whom we may not be familiar, such as Chuck Wachtel and Wanda Coleman. And she hails the songwriter Joni Mitchell as a major contemporary poet.
Daring, erudite, entertaining, and infused throughout with Paglia's inimitable style and passion, this beautifully written book--and the dazzling mind behind it--will entice readers to begin or renew a passionate engagement with poetry.

How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry
How to Read a Poem
And Fall in Love with Poetry
Paperback      ISBN: 0156005662

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.

Bridge: A Poem (Revised)
Bridge
A Poem (Revised)
Paperback      ISBN: 0871402254

Begun in 1923 and published 1930, The Bridge is Crane's major work. "Very roughly," he wrote a friend, "it concerns a mystical synthesis of 'America' . . . The initial impulses of 'our people' will have to be gathered up toward the climax of the bridge, symbol of our constructive future, our unique identity."

The Founding of English Metre
The Founding of English Metre
Paperback      ISBN: 0231067550