The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

By Ian Hamilton | Go to book overview

S

SACKS, Peter ( 1950- ), was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and grew up in Durban. He now teaches English and writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Sacks writes a strong, clear-sighted poetry that is deeply rooted in place. But if the poems begin in particular locales, the poet's meditative intelligence soon brings the moral topography into view. In his first collection, In These Mountains ( New York and London, 1986), Sacks manifested his characteristic concerns--with romantic love, memory, political accountability, and the spiritual impulse--but managed to sustain a subdued lyricism throughout. The title- poem, an imaginative re-creation of the lives of the Bushmen of the Kalahari, summons up the void left behind after their all-but total eradication, but does so in an elegiac manner. The poet hears: 'no bird cry, | no river sound, no spirits travelling quickly | with their quivers under the cold drift of stars, | their bone-chip rattles and their voices | streaming in the darkness and the wind.'

Promised Lands ( New York and London, 1990), Sacks's second collection, reveals a perceptibly more stringent vision. While the majority of the poems are bound to locale-- notably the sequence 'States' which surveys the American terrain--Sacks is more inclined than before to historical, mythic, and religious speculation. The result is that the sensuous particulars encountered in the first book recede to make place for more emblematic treatment of subject. Place is not so much seen for itself as seen through. A starkly beautiful natural world is also a place for moral and spiritual self-reckoning. In his powerful long poem 'Alaska', Sacks concludes: 'Between destruction and redemption | we who know nothing of purity except the word, | move through the waters, | move into the fire no breath can name, | the fire that will not say it is enough | until we breathe again.'

Sacks is also the author of The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats ( 1985).

[ SPB

SACKVILLE-WEST, V. (Victoria Mary) ( 1892- 1962), was born into a wealthy and aristocratic family and brought up at Knole, the ancestral home of the Sackville family. She became a prolific novelist and biographer, but never shook off the air of a dilettante and is best remembered for her literary friendships (notably with Virginia Woolf), her well- documented marriage to writer and diplomat Harold Nicolson, and her expertise as a creative gardener. The garden she made with Nicolson at their home, Sissinghurst Castle, became the subject for many gardening books in the later years of her life. Her reputation as a poet rests on The Land, a popular success ever since its publication in 1926, which relates at length (2,500 lines) and in the first-person the cycle of a farming year in Kent. The poem was deliberately anti-modernist and provincial, using regular iambic lines and archaic diction, but was not deliberately modelled on Virgil's Georgics, of which the author was ignorant. A better poem, started soon after publication of The Land but not finished until 1946, is The Garden, also a long poem, but by no means so artificial. It was in effect a treatise on gardening, and also a meditation, written in time of war and expressive of an inner landscape as well as a realized, physical

-468-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 606

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.