Thursday, April 12, 2007

National Poetry Month Recommendation: Sommer & Hacker

Jay, our head book buyer, offers two suggestions:

Piotr Sommer

"If you like Szymborska, Milosz, Zagajewski, or Zbigniew Herbert [Oh, and we do!], check out Piotr Sommer."

The great John Ashbery says: "Piotr Sommer is the great poet of 'everyday lonliness, contrary to your self, perhaps.' Like Frank O'Hara, whom he has translated into Polish, he is on the lookout for what he calls 'improper names'—the very ones that allow us to construe the unkempt and taciturn world that surrounds us."

Essays on Departure
Marilyn Hacker

"A fine overview of one of our finest poets."

The estimable Edmund White says: "Marilyn Hacker joins a miraculous facility with poetic forms (sonnets, ballades, sestinas) to a shockingly intense sensuality. Not unlike Baudelaire, you might say, and indeed like him, she shares a taste for excess, drink, Paris, women, crowds. 'Enivrez-vous!' Baudelaire ordered his readers. Marylin Hacker has taken his advice seriously."

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