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Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Helen Vendler's essay on Yeats reveals the depth of her study of his work over many years and is particularly superb. She combines a keen ear for the structure of the poetry with insight into how the poet's use of imagery reveals the poet's patterns of thought about lived emotional experience. Her discussion of all four poets illuminates not only how the unique minds of four great poets think but also how we all may think in our dream thoughts both in conscious reveries and in our unconscious dream thoughts.

Helen Vendler does magic in her close reading of these poets.

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One person found this helpful. Vendler is very entertaining--she truly holds her reader and gets us right inside the poems themselves. That's rare among today's literary critics, an almost forgotten way of thinking about poetry. Yet in most accounts of the internal substance of poetry, critics continue to emphasize the imaginative or irrational or psychological or 'expressive' base of poetry; it is thought to be an art of which there can be no science.

Vendler's treatment of Emily Dickinson is especially interesting. The great crisis in Dickinson's poetry happens when her instinctive practice of serially filled in chromatic advance encounters unavoidable fissure, fracture, rupture and abyss. And what an opening this provides Dickinson!

Vendler guides us through the opened up strategies Dickinson employs in "After great pain, a formal feeling comes" ; ; "Before I got my eye put out-" ; and many other great poems. She is at her best, I think, in her treatment of "Renunciation - is a piercing Virtue" ; Poets have what they refer to as "moves," or ways of handling particular situations that come up in the writing of poetry.

William Stafford has "moves" and he talks about them frequently in his writings on poetry. Some of the very best "moves" are the ones Dickinson makes--and certainly Yeats as well. Vendler as a critic is very sensitive to this. She is always on the trail and looking for the "moves" a poet is making. Vendler's looks are convincing, even though she may not be the last word on everything and she may not always get everything exactly right. With a good deal of literary criticism today you as a reader want to scream: Read the poem you nitwit!

I can't believe this book hasn't been reviewed yet. I found it a very thought-provoking insight into the techniques of these four poets. I particularly enjoyed the analyses of Whitman and Yeats, with the Pope and Dickinson running close second. This is not popularized dumbed-down literary criticism, but a rigorous examination of substantive issues.

You will get out of it what you put into it. His caricature devices include synecdoche, diminutive nicknames, scientific reduction gold is yellow dirt , classical allusion, anticlimax wisest, brightest, meanest , and word substitution damned to everlasting [condemnation] fame.

One of his devices is to state things reportorially, and then to restate them from a position of extreme empathetic identification with the things described, shifting from an emphasis on verbs to an emphasis on nouns; narrative incident turns to lyric description. She gives the semblance of control by dividing a process into a series of arbitrary slots which she fills with detail, e. Vendler labels this "chromatic linear advance. Also, things went from being ordered chronologically to being ordered in an emotional hierarchy.

Overlayed images to present a vertical harmony of choral unison. Here's a typical Vendler sentence: That's about pages of densely overwritten Helen Vendler in a nutshell. See all 7 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. No, it's Helen from Vendler. Published on December 24, Published on January 23, Published on July 3, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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