This volume brings together sixteen essays on British, Irish and American poets from the late nineteenth century to the present day. It offers a series of entertaining and compelling readings of the lives and works of Gerard Manley Hopkins, W.B. Yeats, Edward Thomas, T.S. Eliot, Hart Crane, Elizabeth Bishop, James Schuyler, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon among others.
Arranged chronologically, the essays present a wide-ranging and sophisticated narrative that takes the reader from the first stirrings of modernism through to the dynamic experiments of the present day. A number of essays attend to particular artistic alignments. One explores the relationship between Wallace Stevens and the unjustly neglected English poet Nicholas Moore, another the close friendship between James Schuyler and the painter Fairfield Porter, while a third contends that the lyrics, music and career of Bob Dylan unwittingly illustrate many of the key tenets of the great nineteenth-century essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson.