Lives of the Poets by Michael Schmidt

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National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

In this stunning volume of epic breadth, Michael Schmidt connects the lives and works of more than 300 poets over the last 700 years--spanning distant shores from Scotland to Australia to the Caribbean, all sharing the English language.

Schmidt reveals how each poet has transformed "a common language of poetry" into the rustic rhythms and elegiac ballads, love sonnets, and experimental postmodern verse that make up our lyrical canon.

A comprehensive guided tour that is lively and always accessible, Lives of the Poets illuminates our most transcendent literary tradition.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Michael Schmidt

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Michael Schmidt is the founder and editor of PN Review, and the founder and editorial director of Carcanet Press. He is the director of the writing school at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published April 7, 2010 by Vintage. 994 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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From the book’s outset, he makes a case for the act of reading poetry, too: “I prefer to be unlicensed, to read a poem, not a text.” As a critic, he is incisive and deadly honest, describing early English writer Richard Rolle as “such a bad poet” and offering candid assessments of great unread cl...

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Publishers Weekly

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Using Samuel Johnson's 18th-century Lives of the Poets as a blueprint, this exhaustive survey treks through 600 years of mostly British poetry in English, from Wycliffe and Wyatt to Andrew Motion and

Oct 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Lives of the Poets

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