Bob Dylan's ways with words are a wonder, matched as they are with his music and verified by those voices of his. In response to the whole range of Dylan early and late (his songs of social conscience, of earthly love, of divine love, and of contemplation), this critical appreciation listens to Dylan's attentive genius, alive in the very words and their rewards.
"Fools they made a mock of sin." Dylan's is an art in which sins are laid bare (and resisted), virtues are valued (and manifested), and the graces brought home. The seven deadly sins, the four cardinal virtues (harder to remember?), and the three heavenly graces: these make up everybody's world -- but Dylan's in particular. Or rather, his worlds, since human dealings of every kind are his for the artistic seizing. Pride is anatomized in "Like a Rolling Stone," Envy in "Positively 4th Street," Anger in "Only a Pawn in Their Game" ... But, hearteningly, Justice reclaims "Hattie Carroll," Fortitude "Blowin' in the Wind," Faith "Precious Angel," Hope "Forever Young," and Charity "Watered-Down Love."
In The "New Yorker, Alex Ross wrote that "Ricks's writing on Dylan is the best there is. Unlike most rock critics -- 'forty-year-olds talking to ten-year-olds, ' Dylan has called them -- he writes for adults." In the "Times (London), Bryan Appleyard maintained that "Ricks, one of the most distinguished literary critics of our time, is almost the only writer to have applied serious literary intelligence to Dylan ..."
Dylan's countless listeners (and even the artist himself, who knows?) may agree with W.H. Auden that Ricks "is exactly the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding."
The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun brings poetry
out of the classroom and into the homes of everyday readers.
Robert Bly is the author of many books, including Jumping Out of Bed, The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and Iron John: A Book About Men. He has translated Neruda, Vallejo, and Lorca and received the National Book Award for his collection The Light Around the Body. His most recent book is The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine, with Marion Woodman.
The writings of William Blake were not really understood by his contemporaries or the Victorians, and it was only in 1910, with the publication of Joseph Wicksteed's Blake's Vision of the Book of Job, that the long process of comprehending Blake's works seriously began. Part I of this work consists of twelve chapters that are primarily intended to instruct the reader who has little or no acquaintance with Blake's more difficult works.
These classic Kerouac meditations, zen koans and prose poems express the poet's beatific quest for peace and joy through oneness with the universe.
"The Scripture of the Golden Eternity is fueled by Kerouac's discerning meditation on the nature of impermanence & consciousness, subtle like the dharma it invokes. We're here to disappear, therefore let's be as vivid & generous as we can. The intelligence & compassion behind this text is still alive."--Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
Scripture of the Golden Eternity is Jack Kerouac's statement of confidence in his oneness with the universe of energy and form, a confidence to which his whole being swelled. His was not the search for the ecstasy of the mystic or psychedelic or the Artaud-mad. He sought a recognition in philosophy of his early sense that his body participated in the universal forms of energy with a quality of exuberance--that 'serious exuberance' which he so accurately called jazz."--Eric Mottram, Introduction
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes (City Lights), Scattered Poems (City Lights) and The Scripture of the Golden Eternity (City Lights).
"The history of poetry and of Poetry in America are almost interchangeable, certainly inseparable," wrote A. R. Ammons. Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine established its reputation immediately by printing T. S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," Carl Sandburg's "Chicago Poems," Wallace Stevens's "Sunday Morning," and the first important poems of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and many other then unknown, now classic authors. Publishing monthly without interruption, Poetry has become America's most distinguished magazine of verse, presenting, often for the very first time, virtually every notable poet of the last nine decades--an unprecedented record. Decade by decade, this bountiful ninetieth-anniversary anthology from Poetry includes the poems of the major talents--along with several lesser known--in all their variety: William Butler Yeats, Edgar Lee Masters, Sara Teasdale, D. H. Lawrence, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Vachel Lindsay, Robert Graves, May Sarton, Langston Hughes, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Hart Crane, Robert Penn Warren, Dylan Thomas, e. e. cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Merrill, John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Robinson Jeffers, Theodore Roethke, Karl Shapiro, Anne Sexton, Thom Gunn, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Maxine Kumin, Ted Hughes, Adrienne Rich, and Galway Kinnell. In recent decades, Poetry has presented Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kay Ryan, Eavan Boland, Stephen Dunn, Mary Oliver, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jane Kenyon, James Tate, Sharon Olds, Louise Gl ck, Marilyn Hacker, and many, many others. T. S. Eliot called Poetry "an American institution." The Poetry Anthology is sure to be an American keepsake.
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."
Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets--aspiring or practicing--can use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. Using examples from his own rich literary oeuvre and from the work of a number of successful contemporary poets, the author schools us in the critical relationship between poet and reader, which is fundamental to what Kooser believes is poetry's ultimate purpose: to reach other people and touch their hearts. Much more than a guidebook to writing and revising poems, this manual has all the comforts and merits of a long and enlightening conversation with a wise and patient old friend--a friend who is willing to share everything he's learned about the art he's spent a lifetime learning to execute so well.
In seven elegant essays that range across centuries and literatures, Paz offers his thoughts on how modern poetry came to be, what makes it modern, and what it may become. Translated by Helen Lane
This collection is the first comprehensive treatment of the song lyric (tz'u) in China from its origins through the nineteenth century. Engaging issues of form, language, voice, and transmission, these essays explore the changing and frequently problematic situation of the tz'u over centuries of literary production. They articulate the common ground of critical discourse, focusing on concerns of gender and genre, that took shape in essays, anthologies, and the poems themselves.