Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems


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William Meredith has character. In a time when what passes for poems are often slickly-packaged, trumped-up ads for the self -- for the poet's various victimhoods and petty grievances -- Meredith's poetry returns us to poetry's sustaining, self-dissolving source: praise. Meredith's poems are tenderly and accurately rendered love-letters to a world he loves. Yet he is too humble, too respectful of people and nature, to lay claim to his subjects. Instead, he affords everything and everyone a sense of privacy, easing gently toward his subjects, admiring all their dimensions, recording the small beauties along the way -- all the while both praising and maintaining their mysteries. Meredith offers us a world unencumbered by the transient, self-serving designs of the ego. He is like the friend who, by his modest and affirming presence, makes you feel smarter and more attractive than you are. ''The cheer, reader my friend, is in the words here, somewhere,'' he writes. As with all his lines, it's a beautiful understatement.

An Eighth Day View:

Winner, 1997 National Book Award for Poetry

A contemporary of Berryman, Bishop, and Lowell, William Meredith shared neither the bohemian excesses of the Beats nor the exhibitionist excesses of the "confessional" poets. Rather, he was known as a poet whose unadorned, formal verse marked him as a singular voice. Effort at Speech, the definitive collection of Meredith's life work, contains poems chosen by the author from throughout his career, as well as several new works and an essay by Michael Collier placing Meredith in his times.

Title:: Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems


Categories: Poetry,

Publisher: Triquarterly: April 1997

ISBN Number:: 0810150719

ISBN Number: 13: 9780810150713

Binding:: Paper Back

Book Condition:: New

Seller ID:: 20070607106845