We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress -- Craig Morgan Teicher

Staff Pick

Teicher is a poet, and much of what he says in these elegant essays about poetic development has poetry’s unmistakable depth charge: poetry is a “reader’s art,” one whose future depends on the work that has preceded it.  Revising a predecessor himself, he sees poetry as a “means of knowledge, a way,” not of happening, but “of understanding the self” and the world.  It is also an essential connection between people, a tool “to bring the inner out, to give my blue to you.” Finally, a poem is “something that can’t otherwise be said addressed to someone who can’t otherwise hear it.” Teicher grounds these beautiful abstractions in the lives and work of a handful of twentieth-century and contemporary poets, such as John Ashbery (“his style is the sound of Zeitgeist itself”), James Wright, W.S. Merwin, Louise Glück (whose poems “shun excitement but court surprise”), D.A. Powell (a poet of saturation, writing mash-ups of the Bible and 1980s club music), francine j. harris, and Lucille Clifton. He traces these poets’ evolution from early to late, identifying the moments they found their true voices, and showing what they, and later poets, made of them. Writing with authority and passion, Teicher brilliantly evokes the twists and turns of an art that stems from “an awareness of the unsayable” and reads poems as necessary and vital outgrowths of the lives and culture they came from.

We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978211
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - November 6th, 2018

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