Books: View from Parnassus

Poets' opinions of other poets are often unintelligible to anybody except a poet. But Minor Poet Randall Jarrell is also a witty critic who can sometimes be more eloquent in prose than he is in verse. In the opening address at the National Poetry Festival in Washington (the first in U.S. history), Jarrell surveyed American poetry and the poets of this century and delivered himself of some tart judgments. Excerpts:

Robert Frost: "When you know Frost's poems you know surprisingly well what the world seemed to one man . . . to have this whole range of being treated with so much...

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