Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
Seamus Heaney

Two Ways Out of Whitman: American Essays

Donald Davie

Cover Picture of Two Ways Out of Whitman: American Essays
RRP: GBP 14.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 1.50

Price: GBP 13.45
Available Add to basket
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857544 60 2
Categories: American
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: June 2000
216 x 136 x 19 mm
280 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Spend GBP 15 or more and receive a free Carcanet tote bag. Available internationally while stocks last.
Find out more.
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Thew and sinew, as well as head and shoulders above anybody else from the post-Eliot and post-Empson generation, Davie is the best of our poet-critics. The scale and range of Davie's accomplishments as critic, as poet (Marvell's profound fluency, Pasternak's limpidity, Pound's audacity, Tennyson's epistolary ease, all bearing fruit, honestly grafted), and as poet-critic or (proud humility) 'practitioner': he has not had a rival.

    Christopher Ricks

     This new collection of essays on American poetry by Donald Davie (1922-1995) displays again 'the scale and range' of one of the great 'understanders' of poetry of our century, here fulfilling his chosen role as bridge-builder between poets, poetries and cultures.

    Something distinctively American begins with Whitman, and Davie takes his bearings from the nineteenth-century writer whose long shadow fell so decisively on the Modernists and their successors. It is the radical difference of Whitman's approach, his copiousness, his opened forms, that any reader of modern American poetry must come to terms with. The earliest essay in this book was published in 1954, the latest in 1991: four decades' engagement with American poetry, with changes in perspective which illuminate his subjects and the developing concerns of the critic.

    Readers come to share his enthusiasms, engage with his critical strictures, take pleasure and learn from the dialogue he invites. Whether he is studying in depth a poem by Wallace Stevens, Lorine Niedecker, Robert Lowell or Robert Pinsky, or evoking the world of Yvor Winters, or exploring the work of those 'Black Mountain' poets (Ed Dorn and Charles Olson) whom he unfashionably commended to English readers, or raising fundamental questions about the place of William Carlos Williams in the American canon, he is invariably alert, independent-minded and plain spoken, an incomparable guide, a sharer of learning and - here is his bias - moral wisdom.

    The photographer DOREEN DAVIE, the poet's widow, includes many celebrated essays along with uncollected material, including work held at the Beinecke Library at Yale, where the largest collection of Donald Davie's manuscripts is held.
    Born in Barnsley in 1922, Donald Davie served in the Navy and studied at Cambridge, becoming Professor of English at Essex, and later at Stanford and Vanderbilt. In 1988 he returned to England where he died in 1995. Carcanet's uniform Collected Works of Donald Davie includes Collected Poems (1990), Under Briggflatts ... read more
    Praise for Donald Davie 'He has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language. The mapmaker, in this case,is a notable locus on the map.'
    Helen Vendler
    `These poems thrive on the restless energy that drives their author on from form to form and place to place. Few poets are more likely than Davie to persuade new readers that poetry can still be a matter of concern and pleasure.'
    Martin Dodsworth, The Guardian
    'In his criticism, he has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language.'
    Helen Vendler
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Small Poems: Laura Scott read more Entering the Silence: John Greening on Sibelius read more 'Ladywell': Roger Garfitt read more Seamus Heaney Prize Winner: Ned Denny! read more Carcanet Celebrate 50 Years! read more In Her Feminine Sign: Dunya Mikhail on Language read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2019 Carcanet Press Ltd