What Light Can Do by Robert Hass
Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World

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Synopsis

Universally lauded poet Robert Hass offers a stunning, wide-ranging collection of essays on art, imagination, and the natural world—with accompanying photos throughout.

What Light Can Do is a magnificent companion piece to the former U.S. Poet Laureate’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poetry collection, Time and Materials, as well as his earlier book of essays, the NBCC Award-winner Twentieth Century Pleasures. Haas brilliantly discourses on many of his favorite topics—on writers ranging from Jack London to Wallace Stevens to Allen Ginsberg to Cormac McCarthy; on California; and on the art of photography in several memorable pieces—in What Light Can Do, a remarkable literary treasure that might best be described as “luminous.”

 

About Robert Hass

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Robert Hass was born in San Francisco. His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco, 2010), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and Materials (Ecco, 2008), Sun Under Wood (Ecco, 1996), Human Wishes (1989), Praise (1979), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer's Selected Poems (2012) and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994). His essay collection Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.
 
Published August 14, 2012 by Ecco. 501 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for What Light Can Do

Kirkus Reviews

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Hass also introduces Western readers to the Korean poet Ko Un and to Slovene and Chinese poets.

Jul 01 2012 | Read Full Review of What Light Can Do: Essays on ...

Publishers Weekly

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These meditations, such as “Robert Adams and Los Angeles,” which reflects on the photographer’s vision of California, and “An Oak Grove,” a requiem for the felled trees of the Berkeley campus, fuse the poet’s love of language with the scholar’s interest in context, demonstrating the...

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of What Light Can Do: Essays on ...

City Book Review

With more than thirty essays dedicated to such renowned authors as Wallace Stevens and Chekhov, Hass illustrates his gifted use of the written word while educating his readers with the patience and dedication of a teacher who loves their work.

Sep 10 2012 | Read Full Review of What Light Can Do: Essays on ...

North Jersey

The generous and gentle Robert Hass has titled his retrospective collection of essays and talks with a reference to a theme that always sets his work apart: the act of attention.

Aug 19 2012 | Read Full Review of What Light Can Do: Essays on ...

The Paris Review

I’ve been nosing around in Robert Hass’s recent collection of essays, What Light Can Do, which itself noses around in such subjects as writing from California, Korean poetry, landscape photography, and Immanuel Kant.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of What Light Can Do: Essays on ...

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