Sonnets

From Dante to the Present

By John Hollander (Editor)
(Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780375411779, 256pp.)

Publication Date: March 27, 2001

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Description

"A sonnet is a moment's monument," said Dante Gabriel Rossetti in a sonnet about sonnets.

The sonnets in this collection—whether they capture moments of perception, recognition, despair, or celebration—reveal how great an amount of feeling, insight, and experience can be concentrated into a mere fourteen lines.

Here are classics such as Milton's "On His Blindness," Yeats's "Leda and the Swan," and Frost's "The Oven Bird," juxtaposed with the mischievous wit of Rupert Brooke's "Sonnet Reversed," the lyric defiance of Mona Van Duyn's "Caring for Surfaces," and the comic poignancy of Philip Larkin's "To Failure." From the lovelorn laments of Dante and Petrarch to the artful heights of Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare, from the masterpieces of Wordsworth and Keats to the innovations of Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and James Merrill, the sonnet has proved both versatile and enduring.

This delightful anthology displays the incredible range and power of the verse form that has inspired poets across the centuries.




About the Author
John Hollander is the author of eighteen previous books of poetry. His first, "A Crackling of Thorns," was chosen by W. H. Auden as the 1958 volume in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has written eight books of criticism and edited "The Laurel Ben Jonson; "an anthology of contemporary poetry, "Poems of Our Moment;" and, with Harold Bloom, "The Wind and the Rain," an anthology of verse for young people. He was a coeditor of "The Oxford Anthology of English Literature" and is the editor (with Anthony Hecht, with whom he shared the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1983) of "Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls," Mr. Hollander attended Columbia and Indiana universities, was a junior fellow at the Society of Fellows of Harvard University, and in 1990 was made a fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. He taught at Connecticut College and Yale, and was professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is currently Sterling Professor Emeritus of English at Yale.
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