Trying to Explain

Donald Davie
An analysis of the major voices in the contemporary poetic traditions of England, Ireland, and America


Trying to Explain gathers a new collection of Donald Davie's essays on poetry and poets. Writing as a British poet who spends most of his time in the United States, Davie analyzes major voices in the poetic tradition of England, Ireland, and America. His ranging intelligence urges the reader to consider poetry from a different and useful perspective.

Poets on Poetry collects critical books by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.

Look Inside


Theme and Action     1
Steep Trajectories     13
A West Riding Boyhood     18
Talking with Millicent Dillon     27
Go Home, Octavio Paz!     49
Art and Anger     52
The Life of Dylan Thomas     63
John Berryman's Freedom of the Poet     66
Lowell's Selected Poems     74
George Steiner on Language     80
Six Notes on Ezra Pound     95

Ezra among the Edwardians     95
Ezra Pound Abandons the English     114
Pound and The Exile     128
Sicily in The Cantos     133
Two Kinds of Magnanimity     143
Ezra Pound and the English     150

A Fascist Poem: Yeats's "Blood and the Moon"     165
John Peck's Shagbark     174
American Literature: The Canon     179
Some Notes on Rhythm in Verse     199
Talking with Dana Gioia     203

Product Details

  • 5-1/4 x 8.
  • 224pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1980
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06310-9

Add to Cart
  • $19.95 U.S.