Collected Poems of Anthony Hecht

Anthony Hecht


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Random House USA Inc
7 November 2023
ISBN: 9780593319192
640 pages

From the publisher

Edited by Philip Hoy

The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • In his centenary year, this volume of the Pulitzer Prize winner and former poet laureate’s poems celebrates the indispensable artistry of a writer who faced the history of his era with a “clear-eyed mercy toward human weakness” (The New York Times Book Review) and was hailed in his day as “the best poet writing in English” (Joseph Brodsky).

This volume brings together for the first time all of the poems that appeared in Anthony Hecht’s seven trade collections, from A Summoning of Stones of 1954 through to The Darkness and the Light of 2001; it adds the remarkable work contained in his posthumously issued Interior SkiesLate Poems from Liguria of 2011; and it rounds this out with the best of the many poems which were left uncollected at the time of his death in 2004, the earliest dating from 1950 and the latest from 2001. Including the woodcuts by Leonard Baskin that accompanied some of his pieces through the years, Collected Poems brings us the full sweep of the experience and artistry of Anthony Hecht, who, as an infantryman in World War II, bore witness to the shaping events of his time, which continue to shape our own.

As the editor Philip Hoy states in his introduction: “Anthony Hecht once wrote that poems can allow us to contemplate our ‘sweetest triumphs’ and our ‘deepest desolations,’ and by employing ‘the manifold devices of art’ to recover for us what he memorably called ‘the inexhaustible plenitude of the world.’ The work gathered together here amply attests to the truth of that claim, and makes it clear that Hecht was one of the finest poets, not just of his generation, but of the twentieth century.”