Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Great Regulars: The central figure of Ten White Geese

is Agnes, but she often calls herself Emilie, in homage to the American poet Emily Dickinson. Agnes/Emilie has left her job in the Netherlands for a rented cottage in Wales. She tries to translate the beautifully simple Dickinson poem "A Country Burial":

from John Timpane: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Be patient with thoughtful look at life


In 1971, this student of Poe [Daniel Hoffman] published Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, still regarded as among the best treatments of Poe's work. In 1973, he was appointed consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a position now called poet laureate. In the early 1970s, in the midst of what he called "the imperial presidency and the arrogance of Watergate," he began a huge project: an epic poem on the life of William Penn. The resulting work, Brotherly Love, 61 poems on Penn and his achievements, appeared in 1981. Essentially a poet of humane optimism, Mr. Hoffman found in Penn a man whose "ideas conditioned the best features of American life."

A Philadelphian beginning in 1948, Mr. Hoffman became one of the drivers of the local poetry scene, teaching or befriending dozens of the country's best poets.

from John Timpane: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Daniel G. Hoffman, 89, former poet laureate


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