Collected Later Poems

Publisher: Knopf
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,
Preoccupied, intent

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

PRAISE FOR

“Hecht’s highly formal poems sound majestic, orderly, and intense. He is one of the contemporary masters . . . of the high traditional English style . . . whatever poetry is supposed to do, it seldom gets more precise and articulate.”
–Peter Davison, Boston Globe

“Formal and exacting . . . [Hecht’s] elegant, insistent humanity, surfacing persistently like springs among the severe crags of his dark morality, will give his poetry life and interest long after the smoother pebbles of today’s more popular voices are washed to silence by the sea.”
–Cynthia Haven, Washington Post Book World

“Hecht is . . . one of the great synthesizers of the modern moment, a vistionary poet capable of conveying private experience in public forms . . . No other poet in English has fashioned such disillusioned beauty.”
–David Mason, The Weekly Standard

“This book is a magnificent addition to the library of any reader who still values verse.”
–John Mark Eberhart, Kansas City Star



From the Hardcover edition.