By Ian Hamilton
Ian Hamilton's final publication, released posthumously in 2002, is a ordinarily tremendous revisiting of the idea that of Samuel Johnson's vintage Lives of the English Poets, in which Hamilton considers forty five deceased poets of the 20th century, delivering his own estimation of what claims they are going to have on posterity and 'against oblivion.' Examples of every poet's verse accompany Hamilton's textual content, making the e-book either a provocative primer and a type of serious anthology.
'The affective strength of this book... lies in its understatement and its knowing of what we would care approximately. From a century of Manifestoes and hobbies, Hamilton works as a corrective for the neighborhood and particular... his concept of poetry, of what made greatness in poetry, emerges intact from every one measured sentence. His feedback constantly pointed you in the direction of all that he may perhaps locate that was once actual in a bit of writing.' - Tim Adams, Observer
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Additional info for Against Oblivion: Some Lives of the Twentieth-century Poets
Auden. These early poems combine a formal rigidity (many are written in traditional, albeit playfully contrived, modes likes the pantoum, calzone, and sestina) with a surrealist obliqueness. They also display a clear debt to Stevens and Auden. Initially, Ashbery’s and O’Hara’s entries were rejected by screeners at Yale University Press, but Auden requested to see both after he was unsatisfied with the rest of the field and ultimately awarded Ashbery the prize, though not without some misgivings.
Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College and the current Poet Laureate of New York. His latest work, Chinese Whispers, was published in 2002. 32 C R I T I C A L A N A LY S I S O F “Soonest Mended” For several reasons, above and beyond the obvious merit of “Soonest Mended,” introducing John Ashbery in medias res, with a poem from his fourth major collection, makes perfect sense. Ashbery himself begins almost all his works mid-thought, with one eye winking back at art and literary history, the other eye blinking rapidly in sync with the ever-accelerating pace of postmodern life, and a third, inner eye scanning the surreal landscape of the dream world.
These early poems combine a formal rigidity (many are written in traditional, albeit playfully contrived, modes likes the pantoum, calzone, and sestina) with a surrealist obliqueness. They also display a clear debt to Stevens and Auden. Initially, Ashbery’s and O’Hara’s entries were rejected by screeners at Yale University Press, but Auden requested to see both after he was unsatisfied with the rest of the field and ultimately awarded Ashbery the prize, though not without some misgivings. Some Trees was published in 1956.