By Helen Vendler
One among our best commentators on poetry examines the paintings of a large variety of 19th- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. the sea, the poultry, and the coed gathers decades’ worthy of Helen Vendler’s essays, e-book experiences, and low prose—including the 2004 Jefferson Lecture—in a unmarried quantity. Taken jointly, they function a reminder that if the humanities and the patina of tradition they forged over the realm have been deleted, we might, in Wallace Stevens’s memorable formula, inhabit “a geography of the dead.” those essays additionally remind us that with no the keenness, opinions, and books of every century’s students, there will be imperfect perpetuation and transmission of culture.
All of the trendy poets who've lengthy preoccupied Vendler—Wallace Stevens, Seamus Heaney, John Ashbery, and Jorie Graham—are totally represented, in addition to others, together with Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Amy Clampitt, James Merrill, A. R. Ammons, and Mark Ford. And Vendler reaches again into the poetic culture, tracing the impression of Keats, Yeats, Whitman, T. S. Eliot, and others within the paintings of today’s poets. As ever, her readings support to explain the imaginitive novelty of poems, giving us a wealthy experience not just in their formal features but in addition of the passions underlying their linguistic and structural invention. the sea, the fowl, and the student is an eloquent plea for the centrality, either in humanistic research and smooth tradition, of poetry’s appealing, subversive, maintaining, and significant legacy.
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Additional resources for The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar: Essays on Poets and Poetry
Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works, ed. Catherine Phillips (Oxford, 2002), 339. will not be chancell’d, when they read Common-Prayer to the whole Congregation, they must be censur’d’ (OED2)), it doesn’t record the verb form to chancel, from which that adjective derives, and under which Hopkins’s word would be instanced. The proposition that unchancelled itself demands a separate lemma—that the lexicographers should work up a definition, carefully explaining the visionary strangeness of a coinage that embraces the counteracting of a German chancellor together with an ambiguous sense of no longer being located in a particular part of a church—offers an extreme vision of the poetics of lexicography.
In shifting through variant forms to arrive at the English one—‘ruyter, ritterkind, | rutterkin’—the poem acts out some philological work of its own. The word ruyter is Middle Dutch, and in the late fourteenth cen tury it became rutter, before German rutter and the variant ritter emerged in the fifteenth century, all of them ultimately deriving from the Germanic base which gives us the verb to ride (OED3). The careful work in historical lexicology which Hill’s ‘ruyter, ritterkind, | rutterkin’ performs is recognized by the change made to the usage tag for the dictionary’s third edition: since there is now a late-twentieth-century instance of the word, the tag is updated from the second edition’s ‘obs[olete] ’ to ‘now hist[orical] rare’.
Auden, and even Dylan Thomas and James Joyce (except for most of Finnegans Wake). 54 53 Taylor, Hardy’s Literary Language, 6. See also John Considine, ‘Literary Classics in OED Quotation Evidence’, Review of English Studies, 60 (2009), 620–38; and Brewer, ‘The Use of Literary Quotations in the Oxford English Dictionary’, Review of English Studies, 61 (2010), 93–125. 54 Robert W. Burchfield and Hans Aarsleff, The Oxford English Dictionary and the State of the Language (Washington, DC, 1988), 24, 27.
The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar: Essays on Poets and Poetry by Helen Vendler