The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

By Ian Hamilton | Go to book overview

H

HACKER, Marilyn ( 1942- ), was born in New York City and educated at the Bronx High School of Science, Washington Square College of New York University, and the Art Students League. The author of five books of poems and winner of the National Book Award ( 1974), Hacker has taught at several universities, including the State University of New York at Binghamton. She divides her time between New York City and Paris.

Hacker fluent command technique, fully evident in her first book, Presentation Piece ( New York, 1974), has been maintained in subsequent collections. Her sonnet-sequences, villanelles, and various stanzaic poems share a restless, dynamic quality and a conversational tone: this is a poetry largely addressed to friends and lovers which usually transcends the merely intimate exchange. Meditations on love and grief arise from sketched city-scapes, notes on meals, weather, travels, furnished interiors.

Hacker lesbianism is increasingly explicit in her recent Love, Death, and the Changing of the Season ( New York, 1986) and Going Back to the River ( New York, 1989). These alert and sensuous accounts of urban love affairs have an urgent yet casual rapidity and wit. Yet the later books are perhaps less ambitious than Hacker earlier work, notable Separations ( New York, 1976) and Taking Notice ( New York, 1980). Technical expertise was there from the first, but the subject-matter now seems somewhat more limited to rapid, detailed notations of a busy life.

[ RHa

HADAS, Rachel ( 1948- ), spent her childhood in New York City. She was educated at Radcliffe College, Johns Hopkins University, and Princeton, and now association professor of English at Rutgers University. She has published two books of literary essays. During the early Seventies she spent four years in Greece, and was trained as a classicist, so the real and imagined landscape of Greece looms large in her poetry, especially in the book Slow Transparency ( 1983). These earlier poems bear traces of Seferis's metaphysical re-imagining of sea and island, the accidents ofhistory, and the essence of time; and James ★Merril's word-play, textual abridgements, borrowings, and bridgings.

Her later poetry, however, has become all her own, Playful diction is controlled by a sober consciousness oflimit, the scope of the Aegean spiralled back into glints on a Manhattan windown-pane. In Pass It On ( Princeton, NJ, 1989), her themes are friendship, marriage, and (most centrally) the connections that persist between parent and child. Her poems on bearing and nursing a child, reading to him, and watching him begin to speak, are touching but unsentimental, inventive and yet steeped in literary and family tradition. To pass on what we know and love, she says, we have 'no way but words'.

[ EG

HAINES, John(Meade) ( 1924- ). was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He served in the US Navy, 1943-6, and homesteaded in Alaska, supporting himselfby hunting and trapping, 1946-69. Since 1972, he has held position as poet-in-residence at several universities.

Well known for his deft renderings of Alaskan frontier life, his range of subjects has broadened steadily since the publication of his

-206-

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The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Selection of Anthologies xi
  • Key to Contributors xiv
  • Alphabetical List of Contributors xvii
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 80
  • D 113
  • E 143
  • F 156
  • G 179
  • H 206
  • I 247
  • J 251
  • K 266
  • L 284
  • M 318
  • N 375
  • O 393
  • P 407
  • Q 436
  • R 437
  • S 468
  • T 533
  • U 555
  • V 557
  • W 562
  • Y 593
  • Z 599
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