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Poetry has often been considered an irrational genre, more expressive than logical, more meditative than given to coherent argument. And yet, in each of the four very different poets she considers here, Helen Vendler reveals a style of thinking in operation. With customary lucidity and spirit, she traces through these poets' lines to find evidence of thought in lyric, the silent stylistic measures representing changes of mind, the condensed power of poetic thinking.
Helen Vendler is A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University.