This Art: Poems about Poetry

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Michael Wiegers
Copper Canyon Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 165 pages

The centuries have changed little in this art,
The subjects are still the same.--Kenneth Rexroth

Why poetry? What is poetry and why do people write it and read it? Why, as Dana Levin has written, "this urge to making a scrapbook of stars"?

Every poet, by accident or design, has responded to "Why poetry" by writing a poem about poetry (an ars poetica). Whether these poems focus on the personal, political, or philosophical, each recognizes that our world is more complicated than a direct statement.

As Marvin Bell has written, "Writing is all and everything." This anthology of poems about the art and life of poetry--which draws widely from Copper Canyon's 30-year backlist of poetry books--proves him right.

Poets write out of love and longing:

Lord, let me live / long enough to dare /a love poem --Cyrus Cassells

Poets confront suffering:

since we will always have a suffering world, we must also always have a song.--David Budbill

And poets write in order to live fully:

We all stumble into ourselves /like this, fitting our fingers to the shape of letters,/ while the page gallops out of our reach--Rebecca Seiferle

Only poetry lasts.--Ho Xuan Huong

Michael Wiegers is the Managing Editor at Copper Canyon Press.

CONTRIBUTORS Included: [box]
Kay Boyle,
Olga Broumas,
Hayden Carruth,
Norman Dubie,
Han Shan,
Jim Harrison,
Carolyn Kizer,
W.S. Merwin,
Jane Miller,
Kenneth Rexroth,
Ruth Stone,
Anna Swir

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This Art : A Copper Canyon Ares Poetica Anthology (Copper Canyon Press Anthology)

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What a splendid idea: poems about the fine art of writing poems. Some anthologies can feel lumpy or strained, but this one moves seamlessly from Cesar Pavese to Ruth Stone to Erin Belieu, each poem ... Read full review


Introduction Xlll
Georgi Borisov in Paris John Balaban
Why do poets write? Richard Jones

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Wiegers is Managing Editor of Copper Canyon Press.

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