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Lives of the Poets download ebook

by Michael Schmidt

Lives of the Poets download ebook
ISBN:
0375706046
ISBN13:
978-0375706042
Author:
Michael Schmidt
Publisher:
Vintage; Reprint edition (October 1, 2000)
Language:
Pages:
992 pages
ePUB:
1265 kb
Fb2:
1250 kb
Other formats:
rtf txt docx mobi
Category:
History & Criticism
Subcategory:
Rating:
4.4

Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL (born 2 March 1947) is a Mexican-British poet, author, scholar and publisher. Born in Mexico City, Mexico.

Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL (born 2 March 1947) is a Mexican-British poet, author, scholar and publisher. Schmidt was educated at The Hill School from 1959-1965 and earned an English Speaking Union Scholarship to attend Christ's Hospital School from 1965-6. Schmidt studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford University

In this bounding survey of poetry in English, Schmidt (a poet, translator, publisher, and director of the writing school at Manchester Metropolitan University) enthuses about more than 250 poets whose.

Lives of the Poets book.

LIVES OF THE POETS traverses the landscapes of biography, form, cultural pressures and important historical moments to. .

Astonishing' New York Times. A masterly exercise of cogency and compression' Times Literary Supplement. Poetry & Drama Poetry.

When Michael Schmidt’s last book, Lives of the Poets.

Now Schmidt brings the same erudition, insight, and élan to The First Poets-the story of the ancient Greeks whose work continues to influence poetry in our own time.

A masterly exercise of cogency and compression' Times Literary Supplement.

A dazzling literary exploration by acclaimed poet and critic Michael Schmidt, The First Poets brings to life for the general reader the great Greek poets who gave our poetic tradition its first bearings and whose works have had a.

A dazzling literary exploration by acclaimed poet and critic Michael Schmidt, The First Poets brings to life for the general reader the great Greek poets who gave our poetic tradition its first bearings and whose works have had an enduring influence on our literature and our imagination. Starting with the legendary and possibly mythical Orpheus and with Homer, Schmidt conjures a host of our literary forebears.

SIGNS OF LIFE is actor/poet Michael Madsen’s (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, et al) first book of photography that chronicles his eye for the .

SIGNS OF LIFE is actor/poet Michael Madsen’s (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, et al) first book of photography that chronicles his eye for the unusual: from the hotels, diners, and hip lounges to the vanishing small shops and businesses that have become an endangered species in today’s sea of corporate logos. This book also captures the rusted, abandoned symbols of where life once was, hence the other signs of life. American Badass follows the success of The Complete Poetic Works of Michael Madsen, Vol I: 1995-2005 (c. 2005 13 Hands Publications) and Signs of Life ( c. 2006 13 Hands Publications).

Book DescriptionWhen Michael Schmidt’s last book, Lives of the Poets, was published, Mark Strand called it a tour de force, an.In The First Poets, Schmidt rescues the lives of these poets from their relative obscurity

Book DescriptionWhen Michael Schmidt’s last book, Lives of the Poets, was published, Mark Strand called it a tour de force, an astonishing view of the whole of poetry in English, a superb read. Now Schmidt brings the same erudition, insight, and elan to The First Poets -the story of the ancient Greeks whose work continues to influence poetry in our own time. In The First Poets, Schmidt rescues the lives of these poets from their relative obscurity. Here is Orpheus, the first of the first poets, healer, mystic, and magical fixer;and Homer, about whom almost nothing is known for certain except the magnificence of his two great epic poems.

National Book Critics Circle Award FinalistIn this stunning volume of epic breadth, Michael Schmidt connects the lives and works of more than 300 poets over the last 700 years--spanning distant shores from Scotland to Australia to the Caribbean, all sharing the English language. Schmidt reveals how each poet has transformed "a common language of poetry" into the rustic rhythms and elegiac ballads, love sonnets, and experimental postmodern verse that make up our lyrical canon.A comprehensive guided tour that is lively and always accessible, Lives of the Poets illuminates our most transcendent literary tradition.
Reviews:
  • Netlandinhabitant
This book is a whopping 975 pages, and is recommended for the die-hard poetry enthusiast, especially those who are interested in the history of English poetry. It covers the history of the English poets and poetry from the 14th century to the present.

There is much to savor in this book, though readers familiar with the works of some of the poets covered in here may not always agree with the opinions of the author about said poet and work. Schmidt can be condescending and overly opinionated at times. Nevertheless, I found the book highly readable. The author has an engaging style of writing, and what could very well be a tedious read turns out to be interesting and illuminating.

I like the way the book is arranged with unique chapter titles that entice the reader to explore the contents. I kept this for bedtime reading, choosing chapters based on my interest in a particular period. For example, the chapter titled "Winter Is Good" appealed to me because I happen to like the poets covered ( the Bronte sisters, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti). I discovered little nuggets that helped me understand some of these amazing writers/ poets. For example, Charlotte Bronte declares that she was once poetical, "when I was sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and nineteen years old - but I am now twenty-four approaching twenty-five - and the intermediate years are those which begin to rob life of its "superfluous colouring." Imagine being jaded by twenty-five! This book will probably be enjoyed by those who have a true love for English poetry and also for readers who have a curiosity about the background to these works.
  • Rose Of Winds
An OK book. Basically a reference book to consult rather than to read straight through.
  • Dellevar
Schmidt's history opens with an occasion on which he chaired a debate between Heaney, Walcott and Brodsky, contemporary giants - hence a portrait of himself in situ with the Gods - but its true opening scene is a typically more casual one mentioned in aside - where he tells us that his father disclaimed any further interest in his prospects when he announced his intention to publish poetry; he had put himself beyond the pale, made himself "a gambler" at best, and it is this chatty comfortableness along with self aggrandizement which holds the charm of this survey. Schmidt's paternal conference has the air of "Brideshead Revisited" as the painter Charles's father wonders aloud what became of a cousin who had run through his allowance early, gone off to Australia perhaps? Wherever possible in his account of the poets from Langland and Gower to his own stable of Khalvatis and Cissons Schmidt tries to give the impression that he was there, in spirit if not in person, and it is his identification of publishers' base motives not less than poets' fleeting visions which conspire to make this not so much a critical sourcebook as a story of how English poetry wound its roots into a tree.

Of the eighteenth century Tory publisher and clubman Tonson, whose Kit Kat club saw writers gathering with him to eat superb pies, he remarks that it was clever of him to gather writers round him so that he could pick off their completed works like berries ripened off the bush. It is just possible, he allows, that writers and publisher actually enjoyed each other's company socially. Of the printer who bought out Milton's copyright from his widow for an additional eight pounds after a total payment of fifteen, he observes that this was a good buy. The fathers of poets are viewed by Schmidt companionably as "men of substance", if they have wealth, and the sorry ends of poets who do not have such means or a career besides come to seem regular as passing calendar leaves. Spenser's work went up in flames, he ended very poor. Charlotte Mayhew, a favourite of Hardy's, consigned to a friend the copy of her poem taken in that great man's hand, and drank bleach. These, as well as the publishers' copyists, scribes and outgoings for paper are the cost of eloquence: a life in foolscap.

What emerges from the trawl of centuries is a generalism not common in this age of political axe grinders for critics: Schmidt sees that the ageing rebel turned conservative Wordsworth ("the silent muser had become the comfortable talker") echoes across centuries the radical turned arch-conservative Eliot, both critics in their age who turned their backs on ground broken. A half page on the dogs at poets' sides and what they tell us of their owners - Pope, Byron, Elizabeth Barret - is a gem. The readings of the poets are quirky but often fair: Browning left nine tenths of his work not worth re-reading, but that leaves a tenth that stands, a huge amount. Donne gets a quick seeing to - too clever and abstruse - Raleigh, with his deathbed nerves of steel, is "a man of flesh and blood". More often than not it is a chain of well chosen adjectives that makes Schmidt's prosecution or defense briefly and irrefutably - Johnson, despite his sloth, had "put so many projects into motion" that he achieved them, Dryden was happy to be top of his heap and did not "struggle with himself" to get higher. He quotes the great critics and sources so regularly - Aubrey, Wharton, Hazlitt, Eliot - that the intrusion of an occasional croney of his own - Cissons, Donald Davies - draws you up short. We had come to believe Schmidt was ensconced there in the Mermaid Tavern, what does this latter day vaingloriousness here? In these bowings to others' views he sometimes loses his tone - at his best he either lifts great critical cases outright or makes his own gruff motions to the jury, often digging up a soul long lost to view in the dungeons of posterity's Old Bailey.
It is a vast book. I have still not reached the twentieth century, though those I've browsed of the contemporary listings do not retain his scabrous touch. Pity. He leaves to other publisher-writers the honour of regaling us with tales of chicanery in his own poets' contracts. Or he reveres too much his comfortable perch with them to risk scaring his own poets from his own pie shop. Still. It's not possible to skip while reading through his earlier centuries. His greatest achievement is to make English poetry live like a story you do not wish to miss parts of - you never know when Burns will echo Piers Ploughman, you do not know when Schmidt's map, like a three dimensional model, will let you see the Pearl poet peeping up at the bottom of the sea beneath a fishing trip by some contemporary craft.
  • Pedora
I can't believe I read the whole thing. You may find yourself saying the same thing too I you should so choose to tackle Schmidt's lengthy analysis on the history of English poetry. With that statement I suppose is the warning. Reading this book from cover to cover is probably not for the average reader. You have to really love poetry and not just the language but what goes into it, what resides behind the words in the fabric of each poet's life. The book is not without merit though for the casual poetry semi-enthusiast. It is also a pretty enjoyable read for quick bite analysis. Pick it up, turn to an era, poet, or genre, and away you go for a quick 10-15 minute before going to sleep read. I was reluctant to give this book 4 stars tending towards a lower rating due to the weightiness, but the fact that I made it through speaks to the entertaining value of Schmidt's writing. To make literary analysis readable is no small feat.
Michael Schmidt is not without opinions. You may find yourself vehemently in disagreeance or enthusiastically joining the choir and singing along. For instance, Schmidt pretty much holds low opinion of the likes of Alan Ginsburg and his use of mind altering drugs to create poetry with little form. "Ginsburg dropped on American poetry like a bomb; his generation outgrew him and American poetry has outgrown him." It's not so much that Schmidt has an opinion. Of literary criticism, that is to be expected. But instead, it is that Schmidt offers up his opinions as imperatives, absolutes not to be countered.
Reading Schmidt's book it's as if all of English poetry revolves around Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. He is downright ebullient in his praises of the two. "After Pound we read poetry differently." and "In The Waste Land he demanded to be read differently from other poets. He alters our way of reading for good, if we read him properly." And so it goes in Schmidt's world poetic view of the ushering in of modernism. Elsewhere, Schmidt decries the loss of formal verse or at least verse that respects formalism. It is here that he finds the true poet's art. Again an opinion presented as an imperative.
Schmidt is in need of conciseness. He is self-critical is his choosing of format biting off too much swallowing too little. He spends precious pages to launch campaigns for regional poets, virtual unknowns, and underappreciates. These are pages, he could be spending making a case for his St. Eliot and St. Pound sainthood. If a poet caters to a specific culture with a specific language virtually unintelligible to the rest of the English speaking world, why be inclusive? Toss 'em out and save 'em for the regional anthologies. Sorry about the preceding colloquial language, friends.
With all this criticism, Schmidt's massive book is a treasure for poetry lovers. It is high brow in places, but when you finish reading the whole thing or just bits and pieces you will know more about poetry, appreciate more in depth poetry, and be indebted to the history and love of language that precedes us and will succeed us. Literary infinitum by good friends. Read on.