On Whitman (Writers on Writers)

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9780691144726: On Whitman (Writers on Writers)

In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around Walt Whitman and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it--to explore why Whitman's epic "continues to inspire and sometimes daunt" him. The result is a personal reassessment and appreciation of one master poet by another, as well as an unconventional and brilliant introduction to Whitman. Beautifully written and rich with insight, this is a book that refreshes our ability to see Whitman in all his power.

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From the Back Cover:

"This is the exuberant, true book of a poet, of two poets: a personal, illuminating, and beautiful demonstration of the truest reading."--Robert Pinsky

"C. K. Williams captures Whitman with the impassioned erudition and discernment that only a master poet can deploy. Yet what's perhaps most remarkable is how it feels as if Williams has somehow captured our 'private' Whitman as well, the Whitman who has vivified every American writer and reader after him. Through Williams's electric, intimate encounter with the work and life of the 'lovely old man,' we feel that we are poetically partaking of Whitman's genius and soul in this inspiring, enlivening, and unexpectedly moving volume."--Chang-rae Lee, author of Native Speaker

"Respondez! Respondez! is what Walt Whitman demands of his readers, and C. K. Williams has responded indeed. With a poet's own astonishment and delight, imagining what it must have been like for Whitman to experience out of the blue the 'stupendous, relentless surge of poetic music' that made Leaves of Grass possible, Williams deals happily with Whitman's hugeness and his intimacy, his sexuality and his metaphysics, his equal celebrations of life and death, and his gigantic role in our literary history--but above all with 'the sheer, ever amazing power of the poems themselves.' On Whitman is a book written with infectious joy, and will bring joy to its readers."--Alicia Ostriker, author of Dancing at the Devil's Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic

"C. K. Williams is widely regarded as one of our most Whitmanesque poets. Now he offers his reflections on a lifetime of reading his great predecessor. On Whitman is elegant, witty, and unfailingly illuminating. It seems certain to become one of the handful of essential books about Whitman."--Michael Robertson, author of Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples

About the Author:

C. K. Williams's has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. His most recent book of poetry is "Wait" from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His other books include an essay collection, "Poetry and Consciousness", and a memoir, "Misgivings" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He teaches creative writing and translation at Princeton University, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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C. K. Williams
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0691144729 ISBN 13: 9780691144726
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman s epic continues to inspire and sometimes daunt him. The result is a personal reassessment and appreciation of one master poet by another, as well as an unconventional and brilliant introduction--or reintroduction--to Whitman. In brief, thematic chapters with many quotations from Leaves of Grass, Williams explores the innovations, originality, and sheer genius of the poetry that has become, as he puts it, the unconscious of much of the poetry of America and the world. Williams pays particular attention to the music of Whitman s poetry, its blazing perception and enormous human sympathy, its affecting anecdotes, and its vast cast of characters, as well as to the radical nature of Whitman s first-person speaker, his liberating attitude toward sex, and his unconventional ideas about death. While conveying the singularities of Whitman s work, Williams also shows what Whitman had in common with other great poets of his time, such as Baudelaire, and the powerful influence Whitman had on later poets such as Eliot and Pound. Beautifully written and rich with insight, this is a book that refreshes our ability to see Whitman in all his power. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691144726

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C. K. Williams
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0691144729 ISBN 13: 9780691144726
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman s epic continues to inspire and sometimes daunt him. The result is a personal reassessment and appreciation of one master poet by another, as well as an unconventional and brilliant introduction--or reintroduction--to Whitman. In brief, thematic chapters with many quotations from Leaves of Grass, Williams explores the innovations, originality, and sheer genius of the poetry that has become, as he puts it, the unconscious of much of the poetry of America and the world. Williams pays particular attention to the music of Whitman s poetry, its blazing perception and enormous human sympathy, its affecting anecdotes, and its vast cast of characters, as well as to the radical nature of Whitman s first-person speaker, his liberating attitude toward sex, and his unconventional ideas about death. While conveying the singularities of Whitman s work, Williams also shows what Whitman had in common with other great poets of his time, such as Baudelaire, and the powerful influence Whitman had on later poets such as Eliot and Pound. Beautifully written and rich with insight, this is a book that refreshes our ability to see Whitman in all his power. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691144726

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