Monday, 28 September 2015

True Cosmopolitan

James Pollock, who recently edited The Essential Daryl Hines, describes the moment when his enthusiasm for Hines' poetry began to take hold:
Once I had tracked down all his books of poems, and read them all from cover to cover, I realized I had found the strongest Canadian poet of his generation, and one of the strongest Canadian poets of the twentieth century. Having just read, and been thoroughly persuaded by, Timothy Steele’s argument for the power of metrical verse in contemporary poetry—in his 1990 book Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter—I was excited to find a compatriot who was so much more sophisticated and skilled in his prosody than any other Canadian poet I knew, even Jay Macpherson. And his knowledge of and engagement with such a wide range of poetic traditions—ancient Greek and Latin, Spanish baroque, Elizabethan, French, American—revealed him as a true cosmopolitan, a perfect antidote to the literary provincialism I’d winced at in so much Canadian poetry.

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