Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric

Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric

Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric

Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric


"What a delight it is to read these astute essays by poets one admires about poets one has treasured for years! The critical intelligence and lively writing on every page should appeal to a wide audience. Students of the Early Modern Lyric will find much to refresh their understanding; the general reader will be seduced -- and rewarded."--Chana Bloch, author of "Mrs. Dumpty and co-translator of "The Song of Songs

"This is a splendid collection, shrewdly conceived and brilliantly executed, which should be read by anyone who loves poetry. As some of our most accomplished contemporary poets ruminate on the poetry of the seventeenth century, they also illuminate the practices and possibilities of twenty-first century poetry."--Michael Schoenfeldt, author of "Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England

"All poetry in English reaches back one way or another for its pith and sweetness to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There is always, in every true poem, some seed or element of that period, honey of lute song or devotional bite. I think that goes for Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg, for Elizabeth Bishop and Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Lowell, for Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore, for Mark Strand and Frank Bidart and Louise Gluck, for C. D. Wright and Michael Palmer, and for the young poets in college and high school. You can hear it and feel it, through infinite variations--and that is why this book is a great idea."--Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States

"I am delighted by Jonathan Post's collection. There is no other collection or anthology of this sort, or even remotely similar, available to students of poetry of the past, or toreaders of contemporary poets. "Green Thoughts, Green Shades "is the liveliest collection of criticism I have read in a long time."--Richard Howard, author of "Trappings: New Poems"


The poet's instinct is to shun or shed more knowledge than he can swing or sing.

Robert frost New Poets of England and America

green thoughts, green shades is a book of original essays about lyric poetry written in English during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What differentiates it from other recent collections concerned with the early modern period—to adopt momentarily the period nomenclature currently in use among historicist scholars—is the simple fact that all the essays printed here are written by practicing poets, by people who spend much of their lives thinking in verse and about verse. All the contributors are or have been distinguished teachers of poetry, often in workshop settings, sometimes in lecture halls at their schools and around the country; and almost all have written important criticism, some over the course of four decades, although only a few have concentrated their interpretive energies in print on poetry of the early modern period. Underlying the invitation issued to contemporary poets to write about lyrics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was, therefore, the potential novelty of the encounter itself. What might some of today's poets find of special interest in their forebears and worth retrieving for fellow readers of poetry? and of equal interest, what do their emphases tell us about their own poetry and, more broadly, about how the past continues to form the present?

To be more specific still: given that theoretical and political considerations have dominated the last two decades of “literary” criticism (even . . .

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