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The One in the Many: A Poet’s Memoirs - Hardcover

 
9780819552112: The One in the Many: A Poet’s Memoirs
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The author looks back on his childhood, friendships, career as a poet, and the influences on his poetry

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From Publishers Weekly:
These 27 essays, many published previously in literary magazines, range from autobiographical to literary reflection, from reminiscences of childhood rebellions to a thoughtful reappraisal of free verse. Their combined force puts Ignatow's sensibility within reach of the general reader. And in someespecially the essays on William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman and Wallace StevensIgnatow illuminates modern masters with a personal wisdom useful to readers of poetry. The poet's bent as a critic is to examine poetry as it is "concretely manifested in my own life," not as a matter of academic interest; his down-to-earth sincerity goes refreshingly against the common critical grain. There are drawbacks: Ignatow's prose can plod, particularly when he ventures into abstract discussion, and storytelling is not his strong pointplot seems to inhibit his freedom to be poetically insightful. At times, when discussing his peers (James Wright, for example), Ignatow lets affection get the better of him, and waxes sentimental. But his presence of mind offers more than mind usually does: the daring and dedication of "a wise old man dancing on his creaky shanks" for poetry's sake.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal:
Instead of merely collecting previous work, Ignatow has gone over 40 years of his writings, keeping a larger book in mind as he revised, expanded, and cut repetitions and dated material. Focusing on the "awareness of the human factor that lay beneath the surface of an aesthetic practice," essay after essay recalls the poet's isolation as a member of the working class, still doing manual labor in his father's bindery 20 years after gaining recognition as a writer. This sense of struggle has shaped not just the poems but the essays, which reveal less about others' works than they do about Ignatow's experience of these works. It is this honesty that impresses. Essential for all contemporary literature collections. Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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  • PublisherWesleyan University Press
  • Publication date1988
  • ISBN 10 0819552119
  • ISBN 13 9780819552112
  • BindingHardcover
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages207

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