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18 September 1980
Selected Poems 
by Patricia Beer.
Hutchinson, 152 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 09 138450 8
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The Venetian Vespers 
by Anthony Hecht.
Oxford, 91 pp., £3.95, March 1980, 0 19 211933 8
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Nostalgia for the Present 
by Andrei Voznesensky.
Oxford, 150 pp., £3.50, April 1980, 0 19 211900 1
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Reflections on the Nile 
by Ronald Bottrall.
London Magazine Editions, 56 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 904388 33 6
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Summer Palaces 
by Peter Scupham.
Oxford, 55 pp., £3, March 1980, 9780192119322
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... paradisal. A cat, five minutes created, sits with a pigeon. Happy birthday. An almost irresponsible ecstasy. I hope to hear much more of it. At first it seems improbable that The Venetian Vespers by AnthonyHecht should be able to sustain the weight of its three epigraphs: one from King Lear, one from Moby Dick and one by Beethoven. And indeed, Hecht’s shorter poems, chatty and clever, with their ...

Places Never Explained

Colm Tóibín: Anthony Hecht

8 August 2013
The Selected Letters of Anthony​ Hecht 
edited by Jonathan Post.
Johns Hopkins, 365 pp., £18, November 2012, 978 1 4214 0730 2
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... said about the war, the one that seems most true came at the end of his review of Marianne Moore. ‘The real war poets are always war poets, peace or any time.’ This remark applies more perhaps to AnthonyHecht, who was born in 1923 and had published no poems before he went to war, than it does to anyone else. Hecht studied at Bard College then served in the US Army from 1943 to 1946. He saw action in ...


Wystan Curnow

19 March 2015
... Marius makes Armand a virgin   when Armand is seventeen, and Akasha’s like, that’s so     random! Who’s your secret server? After ingesting   derivatives Magnus too becomes a vampire. AnthonyHecht likes that, which is not like him at all. (to be continued) Louis de Pointe du Lac’s mortal birth: blood’s all over, every   body slips and slides, and gets sticky (Aw, that’s so ...

On Douglas Crase

Matthew Bevis

25 November 2019
... The most interesting book of first poems in many years’, Richard Howard proclaimed in 1981. James Merrill, John Hollander and John Ashbery spoke in similarly emphatic terms, while AnthonyHecht saluted an ‘extraordinarily fine’ debut and Harold Bloom hailed the arrival of a great original. ‘I think I speak for many,’ David Kalstone wrote, ‘in saying it appeared with that sense of ...


Adam Phillips: Christopher Ricks

22 July 2010
True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht​ and Robert Lowell under the Sign of Eliot and Pound 
by Christopher Ricks.
Yale, 258 pp., £16.99, February 2010, 978 0 300 13429 2
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... derive from or depend upon personal friendship or personal feelings. I have published for more than 40 years my gratitude for Hill’s art and for Lowell’s, and for 30 years my gratitude for Hecht’s,’ it is difficult not to feel that the repetitions override the disclaimers, and not to wonder what gratitude is when there is so much of it, and when it has been so insistently published. But ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters

22 September 2005
The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
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... Peter Taylor ‘couldn’t imagine any moral objection to Dolphin. Not that the poem, alas, from its donnée, can fail to wound’ (this letter is not included in the book under review). The poet AnthonyHecht, in a Library of Congress Lecture in 1983, commented: ‘Lowell appears wonderfully unaware that a poem that cannot fail to wound must have at least some moral objection to it.’ Others made ...


Mark Ford: Donald Justice

16 November 2006
Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... he devoted his life to the perfection of a small body of deceptively modest poems. His work exhibits little of the ostentatious virtuosity of better-known formalists such as Richard Wilbur and AnthonyHecht, with whom he is so often, and rather unfortunately, grouped. Rather, Justice’s poems delicately induce the hypnotic state that Bishop described as her artistic ideal in a letter to Anne ...

Beach Poets

Blake Morrison

16 September 1982
The Fortunate Traveller 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 99 pp., £3.95, March 1982, 0 571 11893 3
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Sun Poem 
by Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
Oxford, 104 pp., £4.95, April 1982, 0 19 211945 1
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Collected Poems 
by Bernard Spencer, edited by Roger Bowen.
Oxford, 149 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 19 211930 3
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Selected Poems 
by Odysseus Elytis.
Anvil, 114 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85646 076 1
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Poems from Oby 
by George MacBeth.
Secker, 67 pp., £4, March 1982, 9780436270178
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The New Ewart: Poems 1980-1982 
by Gavin Ewart.
Hutchinson, 115 pp., £4.95, March 1982, 0 09 146980 5
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The Apple-Broadcast 
by Peter Redgrove.
Routledge, 133 pp., £3, November 1981, 0 7100 0884 8
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... Hotel Normandie Pool’ – are the ones in which he seems to me most fully at home. Walcott’s are sophisticated poems versed in the Anglo-American tradition, dedicated to the likes of Mark Strand, AnthonyHecht and Susan Sontag, and aimed primarily at a circle of readers in London and New York. (He has evidently succeeded in that aim: the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has just bestowed ...
5 June 1980
The Movement: English Poetry and Fiction of the 1950s 
by Blake Morrison.
Oxford, 326 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 9780192122100
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The Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse 1945-1980 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 299 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 19 214108 2
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... is something you have to work on in a library. So it suddenly comes to seem rather remote, as deep in the past as those files of the Spectator where he found the famous pieces by J.D. Scott and Anthony Hartley, or the scripts of John Wain’s Third Programme magazine First Reading, or copies of the Reading limited editions of Wain and Amis. Mr Morrison claims to have eschewed gossip and attended ...

St Marilyn

Andrew O’Hagan: The Girl and Me

6 January 2000
The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe 
Christie’s, 415 pp., $85, September 1999, 0 903432 64 1Show More
The Complete Marilyn Monroe 
by Adam Victor.
Thames and Hudson, 339 pp., £29.95, November 1999, 0 500 01978 9
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Marilyn Monroe 
by Barbara Leaming.
Orion, 474 pp., £8.99, October 1999, 0 7528 2692 1
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... so new ones every year. It is even possible to suggest a typology of writings about Marilyn. It starts off with studio biographies written by publicists, and a kind of memoir by the screenwriter Ben Hecht (later published as My Story by Marilyn Monroe, featuring the well-spun tale of Norma Jeane’s abused childhood, and the white piano she saved from her mother’s house – a piano that sold for ...

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