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The Redress of Poetry

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The Nobel laureate shares his thoughts on poetry's special ability to rectify spiritual balance as a counterweight to hostile and oppressive forces, in a collection of ten lectures on the work of such diverse poets as Christopher Marlowe, John Clare, Oscar Wilde, and Elizabeth Bishop.
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published October 16th 1995)
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Feb 19, 2016 Sobia rated it liked it
"The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth." ❤
Ryan Williams
Oct 17, 2015 Ryan Williams rated it it was amazing
This might seem an odd choice: a collection of lectures about poetry, some of them to an Oxford audience. Sounds stuffy as can be - but it isn't. Wherever they were first heard, each lecture was written to be understood by anyone, and send them back to the works they cover.

The best piece, and perhaps the book's moral quaystone, is titled 'Joy or Night', comparing and contrasting Yeats and Larkin, their views on death and its influence on their poetry (and far more than that). Other joys include
Gautam Bhatia
May 03, 2016 Gautam Bhatia rated it really liked it
In Seamus Heaney’s Casualty, a poem about a pub-going Ulsterman who ignores a curfew during the peak of the Troubles, and is killed for it, the last three lines (the poet speaking to the dead man, the “casualty”), are a study in ambivalence:

“Dawn-sniffing revenant,

Plodder through midnight rain,

Question me again.”

The ambivalence is one that runs through Heaney’s poetry, perhaps best exemplified by the section in Station Island, where (in a fictional meeting), James Joyce tells the poet to “let
Jun 21, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of lectures that Heaney gave while professor of poetry at Oxford. The theme, redress as a potential function of poetry, is handled with depth and breadth, including working in the relationship, political and cultural, between Ireland and England. Several definitions of "redress" are pursued, which results in a sense of poetry that unites the imaginative with social conscience.
Dec 18, 2010 Omri rated it it was amazing
I've bought this amazing book on my trip to Poland, on 2009. I found it in the most amazing bookstore I've ever been to in my entire life, called Massolit Books & Cafe, fell in love with the place immediately. This book is a collection of lectures regarding Irish Poets and Poetry, and it is so in depth and interesting that there were chapters I couldn't stop reading. Simply fascinating.
Apr 05, 2016 Abby rated it really liked it
Poetry "is the imagination pressing back against the pressure of reality."

Most enjoyed the titular essay and the pieces on Yeats and Larkin, Bishop (her "flicker of impudence"), and "Frontiers of Writing." I feel like I do not connect as naturally with Heaney as I do with other modern greats, and so I always feel that I must try harder.
Dec 31, 2008 Liz is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to dip in and out the analysis aspects as not so overly-academic as to make you switch off...I am reading the lecture on 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' and it really zones in on aspects of Oscar Wilde that give a different type of insight and makes for really addictive reading.
Mar 13, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reads possibly ever. Can't be read lightly. Had to sit with chapters/essays in doses because there was so much to take in. I will reread this book many times, and suspect I'll be learning something new from it with every read. Cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Sep 02, 2013 Monique rated it liked it
"The felicity of cadence, the chain reaction of a rhyme, the auto-eroticism of an etymology, such things can proceed happily and, as it were, autistically in an area of operations cordoned-off by and from the critical sense." p. 6
Feb 13, 2014 Susannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I have a feeling I will be re-reading this book frequently in the coming years. It felt like meeting an old friend for the first time, and walking away with the knowledge that further acquaintance will only serve to deepen my regard.
John Ward
Nov 02, 2012 John Ward rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of insightful essays. You're always grateful when a book expands your horizons and introduces you to new writers that you enjoy, as Heaney did for me here with his fine piece on Elizabeth Bishop 'Counting to a Hundred'.
Jun 15, 2010 Christopher rated it really liked it
An excellent set of essays on the nature and demands of poetry, as well as its responsibilities. His defense of the need for poetry as a means of understanding our world was excellent.
Sherry Chandler
I thoroughly enjoyed these lectures on the redress of poetry. Heaney writes a charming prose and his thinking on the way poets try to right the balance is still fresh.
Jan 29, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poet, wordsmith, folklorist, philologist
Shelves: three-foot-shelf
Graceful, elegant, vigorous apology.
Why poetry? Here is an answer.
Sure-footed homecomings, indeed!
Sarah Harwell
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Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet, writer and lecturer from County Derry, Ireland. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."

Heaney on Wikipedia.
More about Seamus Heaney...

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