Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill

Product Details
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.5 X 0.8 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Helen Vendler (1933-2024) was the A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University. Her many books include Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashbery (Princeton), as well as studies of Shakespeare, Keats, Yeats, Stevens, and Heaney. She was a frequent reviewer for the New Republic, the New York Review of Books, and other publications.
"One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2011"
"Close reading of poems, especially for nonacademic audiences, is hard to find. This makes Helen Vendler's Last Looks, Last Books an attractive proposition. Vendler, long a tastemaker equally respected inside and outside the academy, wants to find out how her subjects 'do justice to both the looming presence of death and the unabated vitality of spirit.'"---Daisy Fried, New York Times Book Review
"[A] book that needs to be read and heeded."---Peter Brooks, New York Review of Books
"Helen Vendler is our great biographer of the poem. . . . Her lucid, plain-spoken narratives make the poem seem as engrossing as a 'life of the poet' tale."---David Gewanter, Times Higher Education
"Vendler convincingly demonstrates how this liminal moment demanded that each poet render a new style in his or her verse. By illuminating the varied and fluid poetic equilibrium between life and death in her precise, nuanced readings, Vendler shapes the reader's own last look at a major vein of American poetry."-- "Choice"
"[A] sumptuous banquet."---John Cunningham, Rain Taxi Review of Books
"Vendler's insightful critical study is essential for lovers of these American poets. . . . Vendler makes an especially important case for Lowell . . . and thus provides readers a new means of appreciating these late poems."---Stephan Delbos, Prague Post
"Last Looks, Last Books is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the five poets' aesthetics and can thus be useful for both scholars and students as a source of new insights on these oeuvres, as well as for those interested in the interaction of death and artistic creation."---Boglárka Kiss, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies