The poetry of Anthony Hecht has been praised by Harold Bloom and Ted Hughes, among others, for its sure control of difficult material and its unique music and visual precision. This new volume is the fruit of a mellowing maturity that carries with it a smoky bitterness, a flavor of ancient and experienced wisdom, as in this stanza from “Sarabande on Attaining the Age of Seventy-seven”:
What better way to learn colors than with eye-catching works of art? With art from across Latin America and beyond, children will become armchair world travelers and art connoisseurs. This bilingual edition introduces early readers, and earlier listeners, to colors in both English and Spanish.
A turn, a glide, a quarter-turn and bow, The stately dance advances; these are airs Bone-deep and numbing as I should know by now, Diminishing the cast, like musical chairs.
Hecht’s verse—by turns lyric and narrative, formal and free—is grounded in the compassion that comes from a deep understanding of every kind of human depredation, yet is tempered by flashes of wry comedy, and still more by innocent pleasure in the gifts of the natural world. Followers of his poetry will recognize an evolution of style in many of these poems—a quiet and understated voice, passing through darkness toward realms of delight.
From the Hardcover edition.
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