How Poets See the World: The Art of Description in Contemporary Poetry

Paperback | July 6, 2007

byWillard Spielgelman

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Although readers of prose fiction sometimes find descriptive passages superfluous or boring, description itself is often the most important aspect of a poem. This book examines how a variety of contemporary poets use description in their work. Description has been the great burden of poetry.How do poets see the world? How do they look at it? What do they look for? Is description an end in itself, or a means of expressing desire? Ezra Pound demanded that a poem should represent the external world as objectively and directly as possible, and William Butler Yeats, in his introduction toThe Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936), said that he and his generation were rebelling against, inter alia, "irrelevant descriptions of nature" in the work of their predecessors. The poets in this book, however, who are distinct in many ways from one another, all observe the external world of natureor the reflected world of art and make relevant poems out of their observations.

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From the Publisher

Although readers of prose fiction sometimes find descriptive passages superfluous or boring, description itself is often the most important aspect of a poem. This book examines how a variety of contemporary poets use description in their work. Description has been the great burden of poetry.How do poets see the world? How do they look ...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 6.18 × 9.25 × 1.5 inPublished:July 6, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019533292X

ISBN - 13:9780195332926

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Table of Contents

1. "The Way Things Look Each Day": Poetry, Description, Nature2. "Just Looking": Charles Tomlinson and the "Labour of Observation"3. What to Make of an Augmented Thing: Amy Clampitt's Syntactic Dramas4. Charles Wright and the "Metaphysics of the Quotidian"5. "A Space for Boundless Revery": Varieties of Ekphrastic Experience6. John Ashbery's Haunted Landscapes7. Jorie Graham's "New Way of Looking"