The Four Seasons
Publication Date: June 3, 2008
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For the poet, even the most minute details of the natural world are starting points for flights of the imagination, and the pages of this collection celebrating the four seasons are brimming with an extraordinary range of observation and imagery.
Here are poets past and present, from Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth to Whitman, Dickinson, and Thoreau, from Keats, Blake, and Hopkins to Elizabeth Bishop, Ted Hughes, Amy Clampitt, Mary Oliver, and W. S. Merwin. Here are poems that speak of the seasons as measures of earthly time or as states of mind or as the physical expressions of the ineffable. From Robert Frost’s tribute to the evanescence of spring in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” to Langston Hughes’s moody “Summer Night” in Harlem, from the “stopped woods” in Marie Ponsot’s “End of October” to the chilling “mind of winter” in Wallace Stevens’s “The Snow Man,” the poems in this volume engage vividly with the seasons and, through them, with the ways in which we understand and engage the world outside ourselves.