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Poets Reading

The FIELD Symposia

Almost every year since 1979, FIELD magazine has celebrated the work of a major modern poet in a unique symposium: a number of current poets are invited to choose favorite poems by the featured poet and explore them in short essays. The results have become one of the most popular features of the magazine: passionate, insightful and often provocative, the FIELD symposia reassert poetry as a living art, charged with immediacy and excitement.

628 pages | 6 x 9 1/4


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Table of Contents

Preface • EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886) • Nancy Willard: Questioning the Pilgrim • Charles Simic: Ambiguity’s Wedding • David Walker: Stinging Work • Stanley Plumly: Doors Ajar • Martha Collins: The Outer from the Inner • David Young: Electric Moccasins • GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (1844-1889) • Charles Wright: Improvisations: With Father Hopkins on Lake Como • Gerald Stern: Some Thoughts • David Young: Surprised by Grief • Lee Upton: “Disremembering, Dismembering” • Dennis Schmitz: On “Carrion Comfort” • Stanley Plumply: “Hear What I Do” • Marianne Boruch: Becoming “Epithalamion” • WALLACE STEVENS (1879-1955) • Dennis Schmitz: On “Peter Quince at the Clavier” • Philip Booth: On “Domination of Black” • Alberta Turner: Astonished • Laura Jensen: Why I like “The Snow Man” • Maxine Kumin: On “A Postcard from the Volcano” • David Young: Gaiety of Language • Shirley Kaufman: On “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts” • William Stafford: On “Poetry Is a Destructive Force” • Albert Goldbarth: On “The Glass of Water” • Stanley Plumly: “ The Class of Water”: A Footnote • Pamela Stewart: On Stevens’ “Yellow Afternoon” • Marvin Bell: On “Arrival at the Waldorf” • David Walker: On “Puella Parvula” • WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (1883-1963) • Donald Justice: On Purity of Style • Marvin Bell: Williams and “Dedication...” • Marcia Southwick: On “Dedication for a Plot of Ground” • Donald Hall: William Carlos Williams and the Visual • David Walker: On “The Polar Bear” • Miroslav Holub: W.C. Williams on Death • Charles Simic: Streets Strewn with Garbage • Gerald Stern: On “Canthara” • Stanley Plumly: Reading Williams • Paul Mariani: An April of Small Waves • EZRA POUND (1885-1972) • Donald Hall: Pound’s Sounds • William MAtthews: Young Ezra • Stanley Plumly: Pound’s Garden • James Laughlin: Rambling Around Pound’s Propertius • Norman Dubie: Some Notes: Into the Sere and Yellow • Carol Muske: Alba LXXIX • Charles Wright: Improvisations on Pound • MARIANNE MOORE (1887-1972) • Lynne McMahon: On “The Steeple-Jack” • David Walker: Imperial Happiness • Barbara Molloy-Olund: Man—Sea—Silence • Stanley Plumly: Absent Things • Lee Upton: An Invitation to Wonder • David Young: Clipped Wings • ANNA AKHMATOVA (1889-1966) • Lenore Mayhew: Images from a Life • Alberta Turner: Translating the Translations • Marcia Southwick: A Slab of Clay, a Handful of Dust • Judith Hemschemeyer: A Poet and Her Country • Deborah Digges: Translation and the Egg • David Young: Mending What Can’t Be Mended • Marilyn Krysl • The Leper’s Battle • OSIP MANDELSTAM (1892-1941) • Franz Wright: Persephone’s Bees: Thoughts on Mandelstam • Agha Shahid Ali: The Blessed Word • David young: Stars Versus Salt • Silvia Fischerová: The Time vs. the Age • Martha Collins: the Speech of Silence Laboring • Robert Bly: The Beauty of Sound • EUGENIO MONTALE (1896-1981) • Sandra McPherson: On “In the Greenhouse” • Jerome Mazzaro: “The Custom-House” and “Lemons” • David St. John: Eugenio Montale’s “Two in Twilight” • Dana Gioia: From Pastoral to Apocalypse in Mid-Sentence • James Merrill: On “Mottetti VII” • Sonia Raiziss: Montale’s “Dream” Poem • David Young: The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain • Reg Saner: Montale and the Outsider • Charles Wright: Improvisations on Montale • ROBERT FRANCIS (1901-1987) • David Young: Robert Francis and the Bluejay • Donald Hall: On “His Running My Running” • Robert Wallace: The Excellence of “Excellence” • Alberta Turner: Permitting Craft • Richard Wilbur: On Robert Francis’ “Sheep” • David Walker: Francis Reading and Reading Francis • PABLO NERUDA (1904-1973) • Marianne Boruch: The Shape of His Melancholy • David Young: The Wave That Does Not Die • David St. John: Pablo Neruda’s “Walking Around” • Robert Bly: Walking Around with Pablo Neruda • William O’Daly: To the Earth and Its Winter • THEODORE ROETHKE (1908-1963) • Marianne Boruch: Three Spirits • Thomas Lux: The Secret Joinery of Song • Alberta Turner: A Second Reading • Martha Collins: Word-Work • Gerald Stern: More Major • Beckian Fritz Goldberg: The Case of “The Tree, the Bird” • ELIZABETH BISHOP (1911-1979) • Sandra McPherson: “The Armadillo”: A Commentary • David Walker: Elizabeth Bishop and the Ordinary • Elizabeth Spires: Questions of Knowledge • Marianne Boruch: Original Shell • Sherod Santos: A Connoisseur of Loneliness • J. D. McClatchy: Some Notes on “One Art” • Alberta Turner: On “First Death in Nova Scotia” • Jean Valentine: On “Sonnet” • ROBERT HAYDEN (1913-1980) • Alberta Turner: On “Those Winter Sundays” • Niccolò N. Donzella: Elegy for an American • W. D. Snodgrass: Robert Hayden: The Man in the Middle • Calvin Hernton: Shining • Anthony Walton: The Eye of Faith • Yusef Komunyakaa: Journey into “(American Journal)” • RANDALL JARRELL (1914-1965) • Laura Jensen: Potential for Whole Totem • Bruce Weigl: An Autobiography of Nightmare • C. D. Wright: Mission of the Surviving Gunner • Fred Chappell: The Longing to Belong • David St. John: Randall Jarrell’s “Seele im Raum” • Ralph Burns: The Plain Truth in “The Truth” • David Young: Day for Night • Nancy Willard: Radiant Facts • Marianne Boruch: Rhetoric and Mystery • David Walker: The Shape on the Bed • WILLIAM STAFFORD (1914-1993) • Charles Simic: On “At the Bomb Testing Site” • Henry Taylor: Millions of Intricate Moves • Jonathan Holden: On “With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach” • Margaret Atwood: On “Waking at 3 A.M.” • Linda Pastan: “On “Ask Me” • Tom Andrews: Glimpses into Something Ever Larger • Alberta Turner: On “Things I Learned Last Week” • David Young: Shivers of Summer Wind • MIROSLAV HOLUB (1923-1998) • Edward Hirsch: Surveyor of Worlds • Larry Levis: So That: On Holub’s “Meeting Ezra Pound” • Dennis Schmitz: Distancing • Sylva Fischerová: A Game with Faces • Tom Andrews: Lives of a Cell • W. S. MERWIN (b. 1927) • Bruce Beasley: The Anti-Catechism of W. S. Merwin • David Walker: W. S. Merwin as Dramatist • C. D. Wright: Echo Rising • James Baker Hall: If There Is a Place Where Is the Language • David Young: Caught Breath• Christopher Merrill: In Search of the Genuine • William Matthews: Layered Vision • Carol Muske: The Transparent Mask • Notes on Contributors • Acknowledgments • Index

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