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Melodies Unheard

Essays on the Mysteries of Poetry

Anthony Hecht

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Originally published in 2003. The fruit of a lifetime's reading and thinking about literature, its delights and its responsibilities, this book by acclaimed poet and critic Anthony Hecht explores the mysteries of poetry, offering profound insight into poetic form, meter, rhyme, and meaning. Ranging from Renaissance to contemporary poets, Hecht considers the work of Shakespeare, Sidney, and Noel; Housman, Hopkins, Eliot, and Auden; Frost, Bishop, and Wilbur; Amichai, Simic, and Heaney. Stepping back from individual poets, Hecht muses on rhyme and on meter, and also discusses St. Paul's Epistle…

Originally published in 2003. The fruit of a lifetime's reading and thinking about literature, its delights and its responsibilities, this book by acclaimed poet and critic Anthony Hecht explores the mysteries of poetry, offering profound insight into poetic form, meter, rhyme, and meaning. Ranging from Renaissance to contemporary poets, Hecht considers the work of Shakespeare, Sidney, and Noel; Housman, Hopkins, Eliot, and Auden; Frost, Bishop, and Wilbur; Amichai, Simic, and Heaney. Stepping back from individual poets, Hecht muses on rhyme and on meter, and also discusses St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians and Melville's Moby-Dick. Uniting these diverse subjects is Hecht's preoccupation with the careful deployment of words, the richness and versatility of language and of those who use it well.

Elegantly written, deeply informed, and intellectually playful, Melodies Unheard confirms Anthony Hecht's reputation as one of our most original and imaginative thinkers on the literary arts.

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Melodies Unheard

Anthony Hecht

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Reviews

Reviews

This book is full of small, enjoyable revelations.

[Hecht] not only illuminates overlooked gems such as Henry Noel's 'Gaze Not on Swans,' praising its combined sensuality of sound and image, but also pries into standards such as Eliot's The Waste Land and Frost's 'The Wood-Pile' to unearth startling interpretations... Hecht's insights are too numerous to mention, for he touches on every aspect of poetry while exhausting none... This wonderful, instructive volume will engage all lovers of fine poetry.

In the role of critic, Hecht scrutinizes the work of others closely, revealing wonders that might easily be missed even by a reasonably diligent interpretation... the book is mined with stimulating theories and fresh observations.

It is an inspiring and humbling object lesson for any serious reader to behold the thoroughness with which Mr. Hecht opens his powers of perception to the variety of texts he encountered in the course of writing these pieces... Throughout, the style and manner are those of a deeply knowledgeable and polished conversationalist, grateful to be in the presence of the works he understands so well. Care for poetry and its traditions has seldom been so memorably exemplified.

What Hecht pays attention to in Melodies Unheard shows him to be a teacher and a close reader, in addition to the poet we already know him to be.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
318
ISBN
9781421437361
Illustration Description
3 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I.
Shakespeare and the Sonnet
The Sonnet: Ruminations on Form, Sex, and History
Sidney and the Sestina
On Henry Noel's "Gaze Not on Swans"
Part II.
Technique in Housman
On Hopkins' "The

Introduction
Part I.
Shakespeare and the Sonnet
The Sonnet: Ruminations on Form, Sex, and History
Sidney and the Sestina
On Henry Noel's "Gaze Not on Swans"
Part II.
Technique in Housman
On Hopkins' "The Wreck of the Deutschland"
Uncle Tom's Shantih
Paralipomena to The Hidden Law
On Robert Frost's "The Wood-Pile"
Two Poems by Elisabeth Bishop
Richard Wilbur: An Introduction
Yehuda Amichai
Charles Simic
Seamus Heaney's Prose
Part III.
Moby-Dick
St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians
On Rhyme
The Music of Forms

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Anthony Hecht

Anthony Hecht (1923-2004) was the author of seven poetry collections and several works of criticism. He was awarded the Pullizter Prize in 1968 for The Hard Hours and his other honors include the Bollingen Prize, the Eugenio Montale Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Dorothea Tanning Award, and the Robert Frost Medal.