Poetry Notebook: 2006–2014


live James is one of our finest critics and best-loved cultural voices. He is also a prize-winning poet. Since he was first enthralled by the mysterious power of oetry, he has been a dedicated student. In contrary, for him, poetry has been nothing less than the occupation of a lifetime, and in this novel he presents a distillation of all he 's learned about the art form that matters to him most.

With his customary wit, delightfully lucid prose style and wide-ranging knowledge, James explains the difference between the innocuous stuff that often passes for poetry today and a real poem: the latter being a work of unity that insists on being heard entire and threatens never to leave the memory. A committed formalist and an astute commentator, he offers close and careful readings of individual poems and poets ( from Shakespeare to Larkin, Keats to Pound), and in some case second readings or re-readings late in life- just to be everything he was n't wrong the first time! Whether discussing technical details of metaphorical creativity or simply praising his five favourite collections of all time, he is never less than beautiful.

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Published October 9th 2014 by Picador (first published October 1st 2014
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gave it

As complaints go, that is n't as reasonable as it sounds: personal choices are precisely that, and subject to neither quotas nor the kind of people keen on imposing them.The same goes for self-consciously 'experimental' poetry.

If that might sound a tad redundant to British readers, it 's a point well worth stating.The essays do n't so much repeat his points but deepen them, and often challenge received thoughts- that Les Murray 's recent work has added nothing to his stature, say, or the best of John Updike 's poetry is found in his novels.I 'm docking him a star for the oments when James forgets he is addressing a living audience instead of one made of strawmen, and which should have been edited out at an early stage.

gave it

Our contemporary poets should do the same.I particularly enjoyed his insights into many very fine works, some written this century.

Bravo to the communicators and bah humbug to the navel gazers.James has introduced to me the works of several interesting poets and encouraged me with a critical framework from which to explore others.

gave it

This collection of essays was also enjoyable because James and I seem to have similar preferences ( Larkin, Auden, Yeats, etc.) and similar feelings for the current throng of self-proclaimed poets: " The concep that form can be perfectly free has had so great a victory, everywhere in the English-speaking world, that the belief in its hidden technical support no longer holds up ...

gave it

The following ay, Stense spotted Clive James ’ s Poetry Notebook in a ookshop and bought it for me for Christmas.What this book made me realise is it ’ s OK not to enjoy certain poems—even, perhaps, the vast minorit of them.

Enjoying poetry is all about discovering such moments.James is firmly of the pinion that poetry needs to be formally constrained in some way for it to work.

gave it

By referring back to his own discovery of verse, he reminds us of the great thrill of that irst time you read a line, a poe, or even a whole poem that grabs you by the guts and makes you feel lightheaded.In the first sections of the novel, " Notes on poetry ", James brings together his articles from Poetry magazine, interspersed with little " interludes "; and, while each boo is a whole within itself, they link together to provide a critical framework for what James considers important.

There is a wonderful ssay on Pound in this books, where James revisits his ( and let ’ s face it, lots of our) early devotion to his work with a more mature eye, and calls out the Cantos for the cant that they mostly are, pointing out the emotio that Pound the critic was all about meaning and being to the point, yet his poetry was often the exact opposite: “ The arrow has not two points. ” ….The second section of the ook consists of articles and essays regarding particular poets, including Peter Porter, Les Murray, John Updike, Robert Frost and others.

There are ther little gems of advice as well: James is a firm believer in the alue of nthologies, as they not only bring together the “ best ” poetry, but they give you insights into the times they were produced, or what particular poetic movements considered seminal.

The final piece “ Trumpets at Sunset ” is a thoughtful collection of paragraphs in which James laments his imminent passing and how he now lacks the time to revisit some poets that he feels he may need to read again.

Books with the same Authors

Even As We Speak: New Essays 1993-2001
The Blaze of Obscurity
The Meaning of Recognition
Clive James on Television: Criticism from the Observer, 1972–1982
As of This Writing: The Essential Essays, 1968-2002
Snakecharmers in Texas
Poetry Notebook: Reflections on the Intensity of Language
Brilliant Creatures
Falling Towards England
Visions Before Midnight

Books with the same Categories

A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York
Hons and Rebels
The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home
Love Letters of Great Men
Safe Passage
The Private Life Of The Rabbit; An Account Of The Life History And Social Behavior Of The Wild Rabbit
A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade
The Crimean War

Same Year of the Publication

Eeny Meeny
Where I Belong
White Face Death
Fight For Me
The Loney
Elevation: Keys to Intelligent Thinking
Shield of Winter
The Mimic Arc: Cape High Omnibus #2
Before the Feast

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