Authors & Events
Mar 29, 2022
| ISBN 9781598537260
Mar 29, 2022 | ISBN 9781598537260
An acclaimed poet and our greatest champion for poetry offers an inspiring and insightful new reading of the American traditionWe live in time of searching. What is America and who are we as a people? How do we understand the dreams and betrayals that have shaped the American experience from the beginning? For poet and critic Edward Hirsch, poetry opens up new ways of answering these questions, of reconnecting with one another and with what’s best in us. Now, in celebration of Library of America’s 40th anniversary, Hirsch offers deeply personal readings of forty essential American poems, ranging from Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” and Phillis Wheatley’s “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” to Garrett Hongo’s “Ancestral Graves, Kahuku” and Joy Harjo’s “Rabbit Is Up to Tricks” to explore how these poems have shaped his own life and how they might uplift our life as the diverse nation we have become. “This is a personal book about American poetry,” writes Hirsch, “but I hope it is more than a personal selection. I have chosen forty poems from our extensive archive and songbook that have been meaningful to me, part of my affective life, my critical consideration, but I have also tried to be cognizant of the changing playbook in American poetry, which is not fixed but fluctuating, ever in flow, and paid attention to the wider consideration, the appreciable reach of our literature. This is a book of encounters and realizations.”
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