Lives of the Poets On Recent Novels About Poets Andrew Mulvania Jerome Charyn, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, W. W. Norton and Company, 2010, 348 pp., $24.95 Ron Hansen, Exiles, Picador, 2009, 240 pp. (paper) reviews Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze, Penguin, 2010, 272 pp., $15 (paper) Brian Hall, Fall of Frost, Penguin, 2009, 352 pp., $15 (paper) Michael Sledge, The More I Owe You, Counterpoint, 2010, 320 pp., $15.95 (paper) In a letter to his friend Richard Woodhouse dated October 27, 1818, the poet John Keats remarks, "A Poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence." Keats goes on to suggest that poets have no inherent interest as subjects because they are always imaginatively or sympathetically projecting themselves into the minds or bodies of others to create poetry. Keats would be surprised to discover, then, that by my count no fewer than five novels have appeared in the past two years about the lives of poets. It is also surprising to find this increased interest in poets occurring at a point when popular interest in poetry is purportedly at its lowest ebb. Like the fiery heart of Shelley, said to have been snatched intact from
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Jan 21, 2010
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