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  • Written by John Hollander
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  • Written by John Hollander
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And Other Poems

Written by John HollanderAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by John Hollander


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On Sale: May 06, 2009
Pages: 96 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55611-0
Published by : Knopf Knopf
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In a major review in The New Republic of John Hollander's two earlier books, Tesserae and Selected Poetry (both 1993), Vernon Shetley said, "John Hollander's poetry has shown a visionary power just often enough to secure him a place as one of the major figures of our moment."

Figurehead, a lively, varied, and technically dazzling book, confirms the statement made by Henry Taylor in the Washington Times: "John Hollander revels in technical challenges of unusual severity and complexity, yet most of his poems also have the emotional heft of something worth pausing over and remembering."

One of the most gifted of W. H. Auden's choices for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, Hollander has pursued the wide range and metrical brilliance of Auden's own poetry, so that this new book exhibits both a large compass of subject matter (from philosophical matters to personal narrative) and, as usual, some astonishing meditations on paintings--here, by Charles Sheeler, Rene Magritte, and Edward Hopper. By turns witty, touching, profound, mocking, ingenious, and always clever, Hollander's poems are a joy for the reader.

He is a modern master.


"So Red"

Blossoms in the late
October light, of such a
saturated red:

what can flower now?
only the now awakened
dark and dull maroon--

like the unburnished
metal of copper beeches
shadowing itself--

of midsummer and
spring burning the japanese
maple's dying leaves

have fired the bursting
into astonished color
of the very self

of lateness, lastness
which itself can never last
longer than the few

moments--in this case
October days--it takes to make
itself intense in,

to put forth something
of light that had either been
waiting all along

to reveal itself
or more likely, escaping
its dead body of

leaf. It hits the road
with a visual halloo
as of a bright scarf

or a letting of
arterial blood in a
high ceremony--

annual, but so
loud this year--of impatience
and acknowledgement.
John Hollander

About John Hollander

John Hollander - Figurehead

Photo © Jerry Bauer

John Hollander is the author of seventeen previous books of poetry. His first, A Crackling of Thorns, was chosen by W. H. Auden as the 1958 volume in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has written eight books of criticism, including the award-winning Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse and The Work of Poetry, and edited or coedited twenty-two collections, among them The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, and (with Anthony Hecht, with whom he shared the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1983) Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls.

Mr. Hollander attended Columbia and Indiana Universities and was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows of Harvard University. He has taught at Connecticut College and Yale, and was a professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is currently Sterling Professor emeritus of English at Yale. In 1990 he received a MacArthur Fellowship .


WINNER 2007 Frost Medal

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