The Character of the Poet

Louis Simpson, Author University of Michigan Press $14.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-472-06369-7
In this collection of recent reviews, articles and essays, Simpson, author of The Best Hour of the Night, argues that American poetry has evolved into two extreme positionsone in which language is a reality in itself, after the mannered style of Wallace Stevens, and one that is based in experience, after the plain style of William Carlos Williams. Simpson, a Williams adherent, also contends that the personal lyric has been emphasized at the expense of the narrative mode. Describing himself as ""a failed novelist'' and referring to his poems as ``stories,'' he states: ``I write about feelings people share, in language that can be understood.'' Although Simpson's brave new world of poetry would deprive us of some of the best poetry written in the latter half of our century, he makes a provocative case. (April)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
Hardcover - 216 pages - 978-0-472-09369-4
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