Dreamers of Dreams: Essays on Poets and Poetry

  • Publish Date: 2001-09-26
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: John Simon

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In this stimulating collection of new and previously published writings, the celebrated theatre and film critic returns to his first love, poetry. In his criticism over the years, Mr. Simon has consistently paid attention to the books of poets, and has in addition written occasional verse and translated foreign poetry. The poet James Dickey, in his book Sorties, recalls a good afternoon of human time he spent with Mr. Simon, talking about poets. Do you know whom I really like, Mr. Simon asked. Dickey expected the name of a new French poet he hadn't heard of, but Mr. Simon pulled out The Collected Poems of Andrew Young, a rather mild English ecclesiastical poet. Dickey never forgot the avant-garde critic with the surprising taste in poetry. Dreamers of Dreams is less about mild poets, though, and more about great pathfinders and innovators: Rimbaud, Mallarm, Rilke, Eliot, Anna Akhmatova, Paul Celan, and, yes, Oscar Wilde. But it is also about poets nearer to us: Robert Graves, Joseph Brodsky, John Ashbery, and Philip Larkinnot always in admiration. Dreamers of Dreams also includes essays on the best English poem about physical love, on translating poetry, and on some forgotten minor poets whose only sin was accessibility, and who cry out for rediscovery.

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