New PDF release: American Writers: Supplement VIII

By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0684312301

ISBN-13: 9780684312309

This complement provides 18 acclaimed writers, together with Jim Harrison, Alfred Kazin, Bobbi Ann Mason, Thomas Merton, Gary Snyder and others.

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She takes Brodsky beyond history to the arctic of his soul and of the universe. In "Lithuanian Nocturne" (1974), Brodsky celebrates his friendship with poet and Lithuanian exile Thomas Venclova. He is aware that Lithuania was invaded and absorbed by Poland, Russia, and the Soviet Union and, as such, is a place that has struggled to maintain its islandlike independence in the far north of Central Europe; its native language is also non-Slavic in a Slavic region. The apotheosis of the poem is not Lithuania nor any homeland but the rare air of space addressed to Urania: "Muse of dots lost in space!

He became a professor of literature and was Five College Professor at Mount Holyoke (Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts), and he taught courses on both Russian poetry and American and contemporary world poetry. Brodsky was an extraordinarily gifted, inspiring, and demanding teacher: he provided his students with long lists of books they needed to read, insisted that they memorize poems, and focused class discussion on the details of a given poet's works.

Does it matter whether you hate your . . self? At least Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan. The poems in So Forth explore the notion of self-effacement—how one is to handle one's own demise with neither heroic grandeur nor pity. Brodsky's aim, then, is highly moral, even if his presentation of life and hope is decidedly grim. "An Admonition" (1986), a meditative poem reminiscent of Robert Frost's "Directive," presents the figure of the man halting in the wilderness; his "job" is to bear witness to the frightening emptiness: When you stand on an empty stony plateau alone under the fathomless dome of Asia in whose blueness an airplane or an angel sometimes whips up its starch or star— when you shudder at how infinitesimally small you are, remember: space that appears to need nothing does crave, as a matter of fact, an outside gaze, a criterion of emptiness—of its depth and scope.

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American Writers: Supplement VIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

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