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The ocean, the bird and the scholar : essays on poets and poetry .

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A Times Higher Education Book of the WeekOne of our foremost commentators on poetry examines the work of a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar gathers two decades’ worth of Helen Vendler’s essays, book reviews, and occasional prose—including the 2004 Jefferson Lecture—in a single volume. “It’s one of [Vendler’s] finest books, an impressive summation of a long, distinguished career in which she revisits many of the poets she has venerated over a lifetime and written about previously. Reading it, one can feel her happiness in doing what she loves best. There is scarcely a page in the book where there isn’t a fresh insight about a poet or poetry.”—Charles Simic, New York Review of Books“Vendler has done perhaps more than any other living critic to shape—I might almost say ‘create’—our understanding of poetry in English.”—Joel Brouwer, New York Times Book Review“Poems are artifacts and [Vendler] shows us, often thrillingly, how those poems she considers the best specimens are made…A reader feels that she has thoroughly absorbed her subjects and conveys her understanding with candor, clarity, wit.”—John Greening, Times Literary Supplement

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