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John Hollander (1929-2013) was an American poet and literary critic.
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- Poetry may be written on paper, but it’s an oral art.A good poem satisfies the ear .It creates a story or picture that grabs you.
- Quoted in 'Venerable Poets :Words to Pop Music beat 'by Cynthia Wolfe Boyton.
- Rhythm and repetition of sounds, words and phrases make spoken poetry sound different to ordinary discourse.
- Reading a poem aloud by someone who understands it, can be a crucial experience, but better yet is reading it aloud oneself.
- Reciting a poem aloud, you are not like an actor, rather you come to understand, then to be, the voice of the poem itself.
- The more you understand a poem and its complexities and depth, the more you will be able to do when reading it aloud.
- Central also to reading verse aloud is the handling of enjambment, ..the interplay of line-end and sentence-flow.
- Contrastive stress is very important in English, as poems are full of invisible italicised contrasts of this kind.
- introduction-John Hollander ed.'Committed to Memory' Riverhead Books New York 1996 ISBN 1573226467
- Not being a philosopher I've had to work through my feelings and puzzlements in poems.
- A teacher (of poetry) has to know and feel what poetry is , and be able - and this is crucial- to read it aloud effectively.
- 'A Conversation with John Hollander' (by email) by Paul Devlin vol 1 St. John's University Humanities Review April 2003
- I revise very little. I always write in long hand and revise when I type. I test them out when I read them aloud.
- Inspiration comes within a framework. A poem that gets out of hand is not a poem.
- I usually seem to finish a poem when I write it down. I may have been carrying the notion around in my head.
- I find free verse very, very difficult to write.
- Great poems are all fables about life.
- Ultimately poetic thought is interpretive.
- You can teach the writing of verse..like prose..an instrument..and the recognition of true poetry. The rest, writers must teach them selves.
- Interview with J D McCarthy 'The Art of Poetry' no 35 Fall 1985
- Metre is to rhythm as eye is to ear.
- 'Vision and Resonance:Two senses of Poetic Form' OUP London 1975
- English Prosody has tended to be a subject for cranks.
- Derek Attridge 'Review of 'Vision and Resources' MLR vol.72 no 3 July 1977
- The warfare between poetry and philosophy certainly started with Plato, who was both poet and philosopher.
- Major poetry not only 'employs' metaphor, irony and other tropes (and is of them) but always and explicitly or implicitly considers the nature of the trope itself.
- For the poet, the biblical sense of 'know' is as much part of nature as the heat of fire, and in the cognative sense as much a given phenomonen as the brightness itself.
- The large (in English) unphilosophical, 'poetic' or 'religious' questions are elicited from their precise and technical microcosms.
- One crosses the brink of literalness into poetry by desiring , noticing, fixing on something and wondering what to make of it.
- Review of 'Stanley Cavell and the Claim to Reason' Critical Inquiry, vol 6, no 4 Summer 1980 U of C P
- 'Poetic form' is a very deep matter that covers much more than phonological or typological pattern.
- Poetic form is an abstraction from. or residue of musical form. The ghost of oral poetry never vanishes therefrom.All poetry was originally oral.
- The study of rhetoric distiguishes between tropes, or figuresvof meaning such as metaphor and metonymy, and schemes, or surface patterns of words. Poetry is a matter of trope; and verse, of scheme or design.
- The blueprints of verse can be used to build things made of literal, or nonpoetic material, which is why most verse is not poetry.
- The building blocks of poetry itself are elements if fiction -fable, 'image', metaphor-all the material if the nonliteral.
- 'Rhymes's Reason':a guide to English Verse Yale University Press, 1981
- Very few writers of verse can read their work to keep their listeners aware of the beauty of sense, that sense of beauty from the powerful , delicate ways in which sense is made by poetry.
- 'Poetry' September 1995
- We and the trees and the way
Back from the fields of play
Lasted as long as we could
No more walks in the wood
- Extract-last verse from 'An Old Fashioned Song' in 'Tesserae and other poems' (1993)
- Winter wields only the spades, Summer brandishes
Hot, black clubs, Spring shower hearts about and Autumn shows
A fall of diamonds in our climate of extremes
- Extract from 'Powers of Thirteen'(1983)
Quotes about Hollander
- Hollander's poems span the full range of human emotions and must be counted among the most sophisticated productions of the human mind.
- 'A Conversation with John Hollander' Interview(by email) Paul Devlin vol 1, St. John's University Humanities Review April 2003
- Since he (Hollander) is a poet himself..he conveyed a passion for that knowledge as a source of current inspiration.
- Karl Kirchway,' At Yale, lessons in writing and life' NY Times October 15 ,2010