Cover image for Ecstatic occasions, expedient forms : 85 leading contemporary poets select and comment on their poems
Title:
Ecstatic occasions, expedient forms : 85 leading contemporary poets select and comment on their poems
Author:
Lehman, David, 1948-
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1996.
Physical Description:
xiii, 266 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780472096336

9780472066339
Format :
Book

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PS615 .E374 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

This unique anthology focuses on the notion of form in contemporary poetry. Contemporary poets have each selected one poem, commenting on the occasion of its creation and on the form the poem eventually took. The range of contributors is wide, and includes John Ashbery, John Cage, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Marilyn Hacker, Yusef Komunyakaa, James Merrill, Thylias Moss, Robert Pinsky, Charles Simic, and Richard Wilbur. Among the new contributions is Wyn Cooper's poem Fun, which was the basis for Sheryl Crow's Grammy-award winning song All I Wanna Do.


Summary

This unique anthology has as its focus the notion of form in contemporary poetry. No subject has attracted more vigorous discussion within the community of poets and critics in the past ten years. If we are to understand what form is and how it shapes poetic expression, we must turn to the poems themselves for clues. And if we are very lucky, we can listen to the voice of the poets who wrote them.
In Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms, contemporary poets have selected one poem, commenting on the occasion of its creation and on the form the poem eventually took. Originally published in 1987 with a selection of 65 poets, this revised and expanded edition adds selections by twenty additional poets. Other revisions include an enlarged glossary of terms, and more expanded biographies of individual poets. The range of contributors is wide, and includes John Ashbery, John Cage, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Marilyn Hacker, Yusef Komunyakaa, James Merrill, Thylias Moss, Robert Pinsky, Charles Simic, and Richard Wilbur. Among the new contributions is Wyn Cooper's poem "Fun," which was the basis for Sheryl Crow's Grammy-award winning song "All I Wanna Do."


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This enjoyable romp through the thoughts of 85 poets is a lark masquerading as a colossus. When writers from John Ashbery to Charles Wright talk about their work, you might expect Deep Thoughts, but it is surprising (and fun) to read how even the most erudite poet can be as uncertain as the next person. Lehman, editor of this second edition (the first was published by Macmillan in 1987), observed in the original preface that the work is intended to be "perfectly emblematic of the poetic process itself"; but a new preface sees the volume merely as "a chance to eavesdrop on poets talking shop." It's a treat to listen to, among others, Frank Bidart ("Forms are the language of desire before desire has found its object"), Maria Flook ("In `Discreet,' I seem to be talking about poetry itself, how I failed in it or how it was lost from me") and John Cage ("Using MESOMAKE, a program made at my request... I chose to have it triggered with the first three words of the text"). With 20 poems‘and accompanying commentary‘added to those of the first edition, this revised anthology offers a rewarding glimpse of the passion and restraint, the control and the chaos, the artifice and the chance at work in those who practice poetry. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved