The poems that are written about, in the essays found in this book, all stake a definitive claim for the modernist style and its intent to capture an audience beyond the present moment. Bromwich's essays offer readings of individual poets, as well as comparisons between poets and their style. Bromwich looks at the link between author and reader that gives language its subtlety and depth and makes the written word adequate to the reality that poetry captures. He also explores the moral and aesthetic considerations of poems, and argues that the excitement that poems draw on is at once primitive and irriducible. There is a look at the relationship between T.S. Eliot and Hart Crane and their work. Another essay takes a revealing look at W.H. Auden and traces the process by which the voice of a generation changed from prophet to domestic ironist. The essays attempt to make the reader think about what poetry is, and why it is still important.
David Bromwich is the Housum Professor of English at Yale University. He is the author of" Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth's Poetry of the 1790s," published by the University of Chicago Press, and "A Choice of Inheritance: Self and Community from Edmund Burke to Robert Frost."