This critical study examines in-depth the poetry of recently deceased masters of the craft, including Richard Wilbur, W. S. Merwin, Derek Walcott, and the phenomenally gifted but underrated Stanley Plumly. Other formidable poets born in the 1930s and 1940s include Charles Wright, Pattiann Rogers, and Eavan Boland. R. T. Smith, Michael Waters, Carolyn Forche, Elizabeth Spires, David Baker, and Eric Pankey are representative poets writing at the height of their powers. Younger artists include Natasha Trethewey, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Esperanza Snyder. This book contends that poetry is essentially a language artifact, and engages in an accessible manner such elements as figurative language, prosody, phonetics, and etymology. However, it avoids the jargon of theorists such as Derrida, Foucault, and Barthes. This text is meant to be accessible to engaged readers of all ages, especially teachers and students of contemporary poetry.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press