Why Poetry Matters

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Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 0.7 X 7.6 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

Jay Parini, a poet, novelist, and biographer, is D. E. Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College. Among his many books are five volumes of poetry, most recently The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems. His poems, articles, and reviews appear regularly in such journals as the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Harper's, Poetry, the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, and the Times Literary Supplement. He lives in Weybridge, VT.


"With gentle insistence, Parini's book makes the case that poetry is worth reading--indeed, that it must be read--especially in a dark time like our own."--Christopher Benfey, author of Degas in New Orleans and The Great Wave
"Jay Parini celebrates not simply poetry but glorious life itself. He shows that poetry can quicken the mind, purge damp melancholy from the cold heart, and spread goldenrod across fallen days."--Samuel Pickering, author of Autumn Spring and Letters to a Teacher
"Concise, cogent, and convincing, Jay Parini clarifies a complex subject with common sense and uncommon insight. This is a book for both the newcomer and the old hand--a rousing and eloquent survey of an art that goes to the very center of our lives."--J. D. McClatchy
"With the light touch and intelligent eye of a great teacher, Jay Parini makes this concise little book a marvel, plumbing the depths of the reasons for poetry and the underpinnings of the art from metaphor to vision, from nature to politics . Beginning with that notorious anti-poet Plato and stopping off for brief conversations with Shelley, Wordsworth, Stevens, Eliot and even Louise Glück, Parini gives us a generous, knowledgeable tour of why poetry matters to us now. Parini is a scintillating guide to the unfathomable, and he will be welcomed both by poets and by anyone intrigued--or baffled--by poetry. This is the perfect hip-pocket compendium of signposts to Poetryland."--Molly Peacock, poet and creative nonfiction writer, author of Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems.