Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
4.22 X 7.16 X 0.36 inches | 0.22 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Pinsky, who served as Poet Laureate of the United States, 1997-2000, is the author of many books, including: Jersey Rain, Americans' Favorite Poems, Poems to Read, The Sounds of Poetry, The Handbook of Heartbreak, The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation, among others, and three works published by Princeton: An Explanation of America; The Situation of Poetry; and Sadness and Happiness. He is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University. This book emerged from the Tanner Lectures that he delivered at Princeton's University Center for Human Values in 2001.


Robert Pinsky, Winner of PEN/Voelcker Career-Achievement Award for Poetry
Pinsky argues forcefully that poetry has not been rendered obsolete by globalization, commercialization, and technological advance; instead, poetry is more necessary than ever, as it gives voice to the individual.-- "Library Journal"
One is never in any doubt about the tendency of Pinsky's argument. He urges appreciation not of what the poet does in writing a poem, but of what the poet does in reading it. The poet mainly counts as one more reader. So, too, Pinsky's idea of the place of poetry in democratic culture comes from an image of someone reading a poem to an audience.---David Bromwich, The New Republic
Pinsky . . . champions the importance of each individual whose breath creates or carries a poem, without which society would be nonexistent.---Alexandra Yurovsky, San Francisco Chronicle
Pinsky is, by turns, whimsical and profound.---Carol Muske-Dukes, Los Angeles Times Book Review
An engaging analysis of the way the intimate rhythms of American poetry invoke a social presence. Pinsky, a former poet laureate, passionately argues that American poetry is driven by the anxiety of being forgotten; the solitary poet makes us aware of the presence of others as he yearns for their approval while striving to preserve his uniqueness. . . . He concludes that only through the individual reader does a poem reach full bloom.---Natalya Sukhonos, New York Times Book Review