John Hollander

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John Hollander
John Hollander.jpg
Born (1929-10-28)October 28, 1929
Manhattan
Died August 17, 2013(2013-08-17) (aged 83)
Branford, Connecticut
Alma mater Columbia College of Columbia University, Indiana University
Genre Poetry
Spouse Anne Loesser;
Natalie Charkow
Children Martha Hollander, Elizabeth Hollander

John Hollander (October 28, 1929 – August 17, 2013) was an American poet and literary critic.[1] At the time of his death, he was Sterling Professor Emeritus of English at Yale University, having previously taught at Connecticut College, Hunter College, and the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Life[edit]

Hollander was born in Manhattan, to Muriel (Kornfeld) and Franklin Hollander,[2] Jewish immigrant parents. He attended Columbia College of Columbia University, where he studied under Mark Van Doren and Lionel Trilling, and overlapped with Allen Ginsberg(Hollander's poetic mentor)[3]), Jason Epstein, Richard Howard, Robert Gottlieb, Roone Arledge, Max Frankel, Louis Simpson and Steven Marcus. After graduating, he supported himself for a while writing liner notes for classical music albums before returning to obtain a Ph.D. in literature.[4]

Hollander resided in Woodbridge, Connecticut, where he served as a judge for several high school recitation contests, and said he enjoyed working with students on their poetry and teaching it. With his ex-wife, Anne Loesser (daughter of pianist Arthur Loesser;[5] married 1953 to 1977), he was the father of writer Martha Hollander and uncle of the song writer Sam Hollander. He married Natalie Charkow in 1981.

Hollander died at Branford, Connecticut, on August 17, 2013 at the age of 83.[6]

Poetic career[edit]

Hollander stressed the importance of hearing poems out loud: 'A good poem satisfies the ear. It creates a story or picture that grabs you, informs you and entertains you.[7]The poet needing to be aware of the 'sound of sense;the music of speech'.[8]To Hollander, verse was a kind of music in words , and he spoke eloquently about their connection with the human voice.[9]

Also known for his translations from Yiddish. Hollander usually wrote his poems on a computer, but if inspiration struck him, he offered that, "I've been known to start poems on napkins and scraps of paper, too."[7]

Hollander was also considered to have technical poetic powers without equal -[10] as exampled by his 'Powers of Thirteen ' poem , an extended sequence of 169(13x13) unrhymed thirteen line stanzas with 13 syllables in each line.[11]These constraints liberated rather than inhibited Hollander's imagination, giving a fusion of metaphors that enabled Hollander to conceive this work as 'a perpetual calendar'.[12]Hollander also composed poems as 'graphematic' emblems (Type of Shapes 1969) and epistolary poems exampled in (Reflections on Espionage 1976)[13] and, as a critic (in Vision and Resonance: Two senses of Poetic Form ,1975), offered telling insights into the relationship between words and music and sound in poetry, and in metrical expermentation, [14]and 'the lack of a theory of graphic prosody'.[15]

Hollander influenced poet Karl Kirchwey, who studied under Hollander at Yale. Hollander taught him that it was possible to build a life around the task of writing poetry.[16] Kirchwey recalled Hollander's passion:[16] 'Since he is a poet himself ... he conveyed a passion for that knowledge as a source of current inspiration.'

Hollander also served in the following positions, among others: member of the board, Wesleyan University Press (1959–62); editorial assistant for poetry, Partisan Review (1959–65) and a contributing editor, of Harper's Magazine (1969–71).[17] and also commenced his other role as a poetry critic.[18]

Hollander's poetry has been set to music by Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter and others[19] and also in 2007 he collaborated with the Eagles to use his poem 'An Old Fashioned Song ' to create a hit record no 1 ,in America entitled 'No more walks in the wood'.[20]

Awards and honors[edit]

Works[edit]

  • A Crackling of Thorns (1958) poems
  • The Untuning of the Sky (1961)
  • The Wind and the Rain (1961) editor with Harold Bloom
  • Movie-Going (1962) poems
  • Philomel (1964) "cantata text" for the composition of the same name by American composer Milton Babbitt
  • Visions from the Ramble (1965) poems
  • Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls (1967) with Anthony Hecht
  • Types of Shape (1969, 1991) poems
  • Images of Voice (1970) criticism
  • The Night Mirror (1971) poems
  • Town and Country Matters (1972) poems
  • The Head of the Bed (1974) poems
  • Tales Told of the Fathers (1975) poems
  • Vision and Resonance (1975) criticism
  • Reflections on Espionage (1976) poems
  • Spectral Emanations: New and Selected Poems (1978)
  • Blue Wine (1979) poems
  • The Figure of Echo (1981) criticism
  • Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse (1981, 1989, 2001) manual of prosody
  • Powers of Thirteen (1983) poems
  • In Time and Place (1986) poems
  • Harp Lake (1988) poems
  • Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language (1988)
  • Some Fugitives Take Cover (1988) poems
  • Tesserae and Other Poems (1993)
  • Selected Poetry (1993)
  • Animal Poems (1994) poems
  • The Gazer's Spirit: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art (1995) criticism
  • The Work of Poetry (1997) criticism
  • Figurehead and Other Poems (1999) poems
  • Picture Window (2003)
  • American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse (2003), editor
  • The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, editor
  • Poems Bewitched and Haunted (2005) editor
  • A Draft of Light (2008), poems
  • Sonnets. From Dante to the present, Everyman's library pocket poets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Hollander at NNdb
  2. ^ http://www.enotes.com/john-hollander-salem/john-hollander-9810003253
  3. ^ Yezzi, David, The New Criterion vol 32, October 2013
  4. ^ Keillor, Garrison. Writer's Almanac. October 28, 2006.
  5. ^ http://forward.com/articles/15078/praising-sacred-places-richard-howard-s-jewish-/
  6. ^ Grimes, William (August 18, 2013). "John Hollander, Poet at Ease With Intellectualism and Wit, Dies at 83". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ a b c Boynton, Cynthia Wolfe, "Venerable Poet's Words To a Pop Music Beat", article, The New York Times, Connecticut and the Region section, February 10, 2008, p. 6
  8. ^ 'Essay:'The Poem in the Ear'-Vision and Reasonance:Two senses of Poetic Form (1975)
  9. ^ Yezzi, David 'The New Criterion' vol 32 October 2013
  10. ^ Howard Richard, 'Alone in America :Essays on the art of poetry in U.S.since 1950' 1969.
  11. ^ Breslin, Paul, Review of 'Powers of Thirteen' Poetry vol 145 no 3 December 1984
  12. ^ Lehman, David - Article in 'Newsweek' January 23rd 1984
  13. ^ Hollander, John - interview by email with Paul Devlin March/April 2003
  14. ^ Attridge, Dennis ' Review of 'Vision and Resonance:Two senses of Poetic Form' MLR vol 72. no 3 July 1973
  15. ^ Rothman, David 'Verse, Prose speech, Counting and the Problem of Graphic Order', Versification, vol 1, no 1, March 21 1997
  16. ^ a b JOHN SWANSBURG (April 29, 2001). "At Yale, Lessons in Writing and in Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-15. Karl Kirchwey, who graduated from Yale in 1979, recently became the director of creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, after having run the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y for over a decade. He remembers his first two years at Yale as unfocused and unproductive. 
  17. ^ http://www.bookrags.com/tandf/hollander-john-tf/
  18. ^ Hollander ,John, Review 'Stanley Cavell and the claim of Reason' Critical Inquiry,vol 6 no 4, U of C P, Summer 1980
  19. ^ Readings in Contemporary Poetry December 1995
  20. ^ Sam Hollander, 'The Lives they lived' New York Times Magazine, December 21 2013
  21. ^ STATE OF CONNECTICUT, Sites º Seals º Symbols; Connecticut State Register & Manual; retrieved on January 4, 2007

External links[edit]