The Hatred of Poetry

Book by Ben Lerner

  • Published: Sep 22, 2020

No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It's even bemoaned by poets "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is.I, too, dislike... read more

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Details of The Hatred of Poetry

Exact title of the book
The Hatred of Poetry
Book author
Ben Lerner
ISBN
9780865478206
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Jun 07, 2016
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
864 kB

Some brief overview of book

No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It's even bemoaned by poets "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is.

I, too, dislike it and have largely organized my life around it and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are inextricable in ways it is my purpose to explore." In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. He examines poetry's greatest haters (beginning with Plato's famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence.

In The Hatred of Poetry, Lerner has crafted an entertaining, personal, and entirely original examination of a vocation no less essential for being impossible.

About author

Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, and is the author of two internationally acclaimed novels, Leaving the Atocha Stationand 1004. He has published three poetry collections The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path.

Lerner is a professor of English at Brooklyn College.

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