Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Vain empires: poems by William Logan

Vain empires: poems (1998)

by William Logan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
20None515,329 (3.38)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

No reviews
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.

Paradise Lost
For Richard Howard and David Milch
lux et veritas

To summer's grate, the firefly's brief glow
add its dying ember's caveat.
Emptor, warn our ancestors, who know
that death, like love, is sometimes dearly bought.
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140588949, Paperback)

William Logan is one of the most recognizable (and controversial) poetry critics of the 20th century. As a critic, Logan passionately adores (or abhors, depending on the poet) poetic language; as a poet, his extensive historical knowledge, unsentimental voice, and polished writing glisten like crystal. Vain Empires, his fourth collection of poetry, is reminiscent of some of his earlier books (Difficulty and Sullen Weedy Lakes), as he again tackles historical anecdote through detached, disillusioned eyes. But any poetry reader will appreciate Logan's talent of bending and twisting words into unique, astute sculptures: "Praise the narrow waters of religion / closed as a dolphin's mouth, or dauphin's skull." Much of this book contains the kind of verses worth savoring both for their sharp commentary as well as their refined lyrical forms. Note this line from "Tristes Tropiques": "Learning how to die / is finally just an art, / says the shopping mall / to the shopping cart." At times playful, at times pastoral, Logan's poems are always colored by his deep well of scholarly intellect, as especially visible in "The Secession of Science from Christian Europe," "Keats in India," and "The Death of Pliny the Elder." Though some readers may find him a bit too unwilling to share emotions beyond grouchy resignation, poems such as the humorous "Florida Pest Control" and the sweeter "A Version of Pastoral" strike a nice balance. --Karen Karleski

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:05 -0400)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.38)
3 3
4.5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 125,429,987 books! | Top bar: Always visible