Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms: 65 Leading Contemporary Poets Select and Comment on Their Poems

David Lehman, Other MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (256p) ISBN 978-0-02-570241-7
American poets tend to distrust received forms, yet Lehman, a book critic for Newsweek, notes a resurgence of formalism in American poetry. This anthology contains almost as many different forms as it does poems. John Updike's metrical light verse, Maxine Chernoff's prose poem about phantom pain after the loss of a leg, Dave Morice's six-word drinking song, Mona Van Duyn's ballad of the Maine countryside, along with sonnets, villanelles and exotic structures like fugues and pantoums (a Malayan form) attest to the formal concerns of contemporary poets. Several of the selections are of slight interest apart from the poets' commentaries on them. These glosses reveal that many poets are highly conscious of what they are doing. Among the contributors are Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Pinsky, Richard Wilbur, Amy Clampitt and Robert Creeley. (June 1)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 266 pages - 978-0-472-09633-6
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-02-069840-1
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