Ambition and Survival Becoming a Poet

ISBN-10: 1556592604

ISBN-13: 9781556592607

Edition: 2007

Authors: Christian Wiman

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"Blazing high style" is how The New York Times describes the prose of Christian Wiman, the young editor transforming Poetry, the country's oldest literary magazine. Ambition and Survival is a collection of stirring personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: reading Milton in Guatemala, recalling violent episodes of his youth, and traveling in Africa with his eccentric father, as well as a series of penetrating essays on writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy and Janet Lewis. The book concludes with a portrait of Wiman's diagnosis of a rare form of incurable and lethal cancer, and how mortality reignited his religious passions. When I was twenty years old I set out to be a poet. That sounds like I was a sort of frigate raising anchor, and in a way I guess I was, though susceptible to the lightest of winds. . . . When I read Samuel Johnson's comment that any young man could compensate for his poor education by reading five hours a day for five years, that's exactly what I tried to do, practically setting a timer every afternoon to let me know when the little egg of my brain was boiled. It's a small miracle that I didn't take to wearing a cape.
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 9/1/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880

C. K. Williams is the author of eight books of poems, the most recent of which, "Repair", won the Pulitzer Prize & the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize. He teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University & lives part of the year in Paris.

On being nowhere
Milton in Guatemala
Filthy lucre
A mile from hell
The limit
A piece of prose
Finishes : on ambition and survival
An idea of order
Fourteen fragments in lieu of a review
Poetry in a visual culture
In praise of rareness
In the flux that abolishes me
Fugitive pieces (I)
Fugitive pieces (II)
Notes on poetry and religion
The druid stone : Thomas Hardy
A new mode of damnation? : Hart Crane
Pure honey, pure gall : Edna St. Vincent Millay
Eight takes
So fierce and sweet the song : George Mackay Brown
The created and the made : Janet Lewis and the uses of convention
Free of our humbug : basil bunting
Love bade me welcome
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