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Civilisation and Its Discothèques

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From Christopher Ricks’s forthcoming book True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound, about ‘A Certain Slant’:

This is finely ‘Etched’, at the edge of the first line, with ‘Edged’ likewise at the second line. In its precise finesse, in its unembarrassed self-consciousness, the effect is echt Hecht. (I know, I know, but our poet did advocate ‘mens sana in men’s sauna’, and he metamorphosed Horace’s ‘Pyrrha’ into ‘piranha’, as well as Wallace Stevens’s ‘Le Monocle de Mon Oncle’ into ‘Le Masseur de Ma Soeur’. And he is the justly proud author of Civilisation and Its Discothèques.)

Comments

  1. loxhore says:

    But there is a difference between ‘our poet”s wordplay and ‘echt Hecht’, which is that ‘echt Hecht’ is neither wily nor funny.

    Ricks is a critic-as-writer — a critic-poet.


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