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Anthony Hecht, now in his eightieth year, has earned a place alongside such poets as W. H. Auden, Robert Frost, and Elizabeth Bishop. Here under one cover are his three most recent collections–The Transparent Man, Flight Among the Tombs, and The Darkness and the Light. The perfect companion to his Collected Earlier Poems (continuously in print since 1990), this book brings the eloquent sound of Hecht’s music to bear on a wide variety of human dramas: from a young woman dying of leukemia to the tangled love affairs of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; from Death as the director of Hollywood films to the unexpected image of Marcel Proust as a figure skater.
He glides with a gaining confidence, inscribes
Tentative passages, thinks again, backtracks,
Comes to a minute point,
Then wheels about in widening sweeps and lobes,
Large Palmer cursives and smooth entrelacs,
On a subtle, long-drawn style and pliant script
Incised with twin steel blades and qualified
Perfectly to express,
With arms flung wide or gloved hands firmly gripped
Behind his back, attentively, clear-eyed,
A glancing happiness.