Re Verse

Trade Paper – $18.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2647-3
Page Count
224 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Re Verse

Essays on Poetry and Poets
David R. Slavitt will tell you that he does not believe in literary criticism so much as in "remarks," which are more portable and, often, more enlightening. In this witty and unusual work, he remarks upon the life of a poet in the second half of the twentieth century, how it was--and how it is--to be an American writer.

Combining personal reminiscence with deft literary analysis, incisive biographical sketches, and, sometimes, literary gossip, these essays give new perspectives on the famous--such as Harold Bloom, Robert Penn Warren, Robert Frost, and Stephen Spender--and recover the charms of the near-forgotten--such as Dudley Fitts, Winfield Townley Scott, Merrill Moore and John Hall Wheelock. Slavitt writes with self-deprecating humor of his own literary education, and uses his impressive experience and erudition to illuminate the whims of poetic influence, passion, and reputation. With a refreshing honesty and considerable poise, he gives readers an enlightening view of the vast and ever-changing literary universe.
About the Author

David R. Slavitt is a poet, novelist, critic, and translator, and has written more than eighty books. His most recent novel is Aspects of the Novel (Catbird Press, 2003) and his new collection of poems is forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press. He is also the translator of The Regrets by Joachim du Bellay (2004) and Sonnets of Love and Death by Jean de Sponde (2001), both published by Northwestern University Press.
"In Re Verse, David Slavitt offers a warmly personal and sharp-witted record of his engagement with poetry and other poets. Blessedly free of jargon, critical obfuscation or self-inflating theories, his essays expand one's vista well beyond the current myths and heroes of po biz and its Fame Game. We receive the poem, then, in its individual and human setting of family, friends, and the wider society of work and play." -W. D. Snodgrass
"These essays that cover David Slavitt's entire career as a published poet alternate between reverence and rage. There are moving tributes to neglected poets, Dudley Fitts and Winfield Townley Scott, alongside savage attacks on Harold Bloom, Jacques Derrida, and other critics. Much of this collection is table-talk, banter, witty off-the-cuff sallies that all reflect the poet's passionate involvement in the literary world he knows well and is eager to tell us about. It should win him many readers." -William Jay Smith
"Only an author with great gifts of understanding--both of the art of poetry and of the people who produce it--could have written such essays. David Slavitt has known some of the finest poets and teachers of the twentieth century, and writes about them with delightful humor and enthusiasm. His tone is a unique blend of fireside storytelling, literary analysis, and heart-felt personal reflection. The result is a book of irresistible charm."
-Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Travelers Calendar