John Hollander

John Hollander is a poet and scholar who teaches at Yale. His books include The Untuning of the Sky.

Poem: ‘The Week’s Events’

John Hollander, 13 September 1990

She said, affably, ‘Calm next Mahnday,’ Indicating that his pants would be ready by then, But nonetheless unwittingly invoking a mysterious occasion, Which, on ultimate reflection, appeared to be a sort Of centennial celebration for the author of Joseph and His Brothers And other works, even as it eventually turned out not to be.

‘Let’s have lunch on Tuesday,’...

Poem: ‘The Art of Fiction’

John Hollander, 1 October 1987

The poet who pretends to read John Austin’s essay on ‘Pretending’ Need never grasp its condescending Point that pretending can’t succeed.

Thus the weak-minded, headstrong youth Private returns to his unending Wording of fables, still pretending Not to pretend to tell the truth.

Poem: ‘Inviting a friend to lunch’

John Hollander, 19 February 1987

Martial and Jonson frame my text, A pleasant catalogue of what Delights for you are to be got At lunch with me on Monday next:

An avocado full of pink Prawns we will wash in a tide cleaner Than ocean – pale Gewürztraminer Chilled just to make the palate wink;

A green world walled within a bowl, Unfallen leaves that crown their plate With which sweetly to celebrate Crispness of...


Alastair Fowler, 9 November 1989

Eliot may not have been wrong in valuing ‘workshop criticism’, or criticism by poets. True, criticism as we know it consists largely of interpretation and evaluation, activities in...

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