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by Stephen Dunn
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393034887, Hardcover)Like his poetry, Stephen Dunn's essays on poetry (and creativity) are grounded and funny and accessible without ceding intelligence or audacity. There's no unnecessary loftiness in Walking Light. One essay addresses poetry's similarities to basketball--"Perhaps basketball and poetry have just a few things in common, but the most important is the possibility of transcendence.... What you want to be is in some kind of flow"--while another compares the knowledge and daring of poets to that of gamblers. And yet another likens poets to ice travelers: "The farther we go in a poem or on the ice the fewer and fewer choices we have, and we would want it no other way." Throughout the essays Dunn returns again and again to the need for surprise and discovery in a poem: "Your poem effectively begins," he writes, "at the first moment you've surprised or startled yourself. Throw away everything that preceded that moment." Dunn illustrates his points with a terrific selection of poems by Goethe, Randall Jarrell, Ellen Bryant Voight, Paul Celan, and others.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:16 -0400)
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