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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Helen Vendler quote on middle-age poets

There's more at the New York Review of Books HERE , but here is a healthy quote from the critic herself:

Helen Vendler reviewed Seamus Heaney’s The Haw Lantern in 1988. It is an essay of great subtlety and complexity that turned on her insight into the challenges poets often face in middle age, when the values that informed their earlier style (“abundance” and “mass and gravity” in Heaney’s case) are falling away: “In their new style they cannot abandon their former selves. The struggle to be one’s old self and one’s new self together is the struggle of poetry itself, which must accumulate new layers rather than discard old ones.”

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