Any case, this comes highly recommended, especially if you're tired of all the medicinal work on these wacky writers--this is a smart, and balanced, game of he-said-she-said, and it's a truly enjoyable read. View 1 comment. Mostly an interesting read, but somewhat galling as one realizes what extraordinary privilege and opportunity most of these writers had in comparison to the rest of us. Jul 23, Jon added it Shelves: reviewed. Peter Davison combines memoir and criticism in this nostalgic, unsentimental look at a variety of poets who lived and worked in the Boston area during the s and 60s. Favorite anecdote: W.
Merwin follows Robert Lowell around at a party asking him what he thinks of his work until Lowell finally tells Merwin he's "a first-rate second-rate poet. Davison himself is hard on writers who he thinks failed to live up to their potential, such as Adrienne Rich,or who Peter Davison combines memoir and criticism in this nostalgic, unsentimental look at a variety of poets who lived and worked in the Boston area during the s and 60s.
Davison himself is hard on writers who he thinks failed to live up to their potential, such as Adrienne Rich,or who exploited their private demons to create less-than-great work, such as Anne Sexton. I agree with him in both cases. Davison is particularly good on Lowell, portraying him as a man who lived for literature--largely at the expense of life itself--and Sylvia Plath, whose tortured, conflicted personality comes through with awful clarity in Davison's rendering.
Davison also includes poems by the poets he discusses and one of his own. Jan 11, Nicolas Shump rated it it was amazing. A poignant, lyrical, and revealing memoir on Boston area poets like Lowell, Plath, Anne Sexton, and others. Davison seems to have known or met everyone.
He dated Plath briefly, attended Harvard with many of these writers, and as the poetry editor of The Atlantic Monthly and a publisher and editor, published many of these writers. I like his decision to organize this book around the Boston literary scene. Though it usually only devotes a chapter to a particular poet, I think his portraits are oft A poignant, lyrical, and revealing memoir on Boston area poets like Lowell, Plath, Anne Sexton, and others. Though it usually only devotes a chapter to a particular poet, I think his portraits are often superior to book-length treatments of these writers.
An admirable combination of literary analysis and literary memoir. To me this shows why poets are often the best critics and readers of other poets. I actually met Davison once when he came to read his own poetry at Reed College. A very intelligent, friendly, and gracious man. Mar 16, max rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Bostonians.
- The fading smile : poets in Boston, 1955-1960 from Robert Frost to Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath;
- The Fifth Victim - Mary Kelly was murdered by Jack the Ripper now her Great-Great-Grandaughter reveals the true story of what really happened.
- The Fading Smile: Poets in Boston, from Robert Frost to Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath,;
Shelves: library. Required reading for those purporting to take an interest in literary Boston. You will be amazed at the vast nuclear fission device that was the Hub in the 60s and bringing together and splitting apart the greatest minds of American verse, and ultimately melting down into personal tragedy and "confessional" poetry.
Peter Davison | Poetry Foundation
Peter Davison is the perfect guide, looking out over the landscape from his office at the Atlantic Monthly, where he worked from his late 20s till his death last year. May 15, Brian rated it liked it. Some interesting anecdotes about poets in and around Boston in late 40s, early 50s. Sep 04, AnnMarie rated it liked it. I read this book because I wanted to feel smart, and I think it accomplished this goal. Melissa rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Scott rated it it was amazing Apr 30, Jennifer rated it really liked it May 04, On the first trip we found ourselves, one grey afternoon, in the bar at the Ritz Carlton opposite Boston Common, having drinks.
It had the atmosphere of something Wouldn't you have loved to have been a fly on the wall for those times.
The Fading Smile: Poets in Boston, from Robert Frost to Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath,
Although the Ritz has now been bought and re-modelled, re-named, The Taj in , one can still feel a bit of the old ghosts of the place. This book is a fascinating recounting of those times and the many poets in Boston and Cambridge and their various relationships by one who was of that circle. Not a "tell-all", just human. People on their life journey.
Interesting formative people. It can guide you on an alternative tour of the city and with a little imagination you can 'see' and feel what went on behind those walls from the time and the people who led one writer, I forget which, to say 'America did not enter the twentieth century until the s. You will see Boston differently after. And isn't that what makes any read worthwhile. March 4, - Published on Amazon. An accessible, well-written account of a major period in US poetry, centered on the poets from Boston and environs.
The author, poetry editor of the "Atlantic Monthly," knew them all personally. Open and "intimate" but not lurid. Like his mentor Robert Frost , Davison employs a natural voice in his poems and speaks of common concerns. Washington Post Book World reviewer Vernon Young explains that Davison writes "a poetry of reminiscence and conservation" on such timeless subjects as youth, aging, and women.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other people named Peter Davison, see Peter Davison disambiguation. The New York Times. Atlantic Monthly.
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