The Catbird's Song is a selection of prose pieces, on a variety of topics, by one of the most distinguished poets and translators of our times, Richard Wilbur. These lectures, letters, reviews, addresses, prefaces, and interviews-what Wilbur calls the "prose by-products of a poet's life"-not only reveal the ideas and concerns that inform his remarkable oeuvre but also offer fresh takes on the works and lives of poets we thought we knew, poets we ought to know, and much more. Here, then, are his appreciations of Poe, Milton, Tennyson, and Longfellow; paeans to his contemporaries Elizabeth Bishop, Mae Swenson, and John Ciardi; an introduction to the work of the neglected poet Witter Bynner; his comments on some of his own poems; and thoughts on the art of translation. Throughout all, Wilbur's voice resonates with clarity, reason, and authority.
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Published March 15, 1997
Literature & Fiction.