Education: Ransom Harvest

In a nation whose literary life is wedded to the colleges, quiet, courtly Poet John Crowe Ransom has for years been one of literature's most influential college teachers. An ironist of edged eloquence, Ran som has published only a few dozen sharply tooled poems, but they are among the best written in the U.S. this century. A critic of high reputation, he has never allowed his views to fossilize; he can retreat with grace from an untenable position, or with great courtesy flay the hide off a literary wrongdoer.

Courtesy and a decorous spirit—as well...

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