Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashbery

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CHAPTER THREE: John Ashbery and the Artist of the Past

Spy Vs. Changing Course.

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Vendler's chapter on Yeats's encounter with the sonnet appropriately called "Troubling the Tradition" offers a persuasive and compact illustration of her thesis, comparing Yeats's first published sonnet "Remembrance" to his last, the bizarre, searing "High Talk," a poem structured as the confession of a wild, clownish, frightening stilt maker named Malachi: "High Talk," by means of its forms "run wild," voices Yeats's view that that the "high" rhetoric of the sonnet tradition has collapsed Comment on this item Submission of reader comments is restricted to NY Sun sustaining members only.

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Invisible Listeners

Add to Cart. More about this book. Introduction [PDF]. Invisible Listeners , a compact study of "lyric intimacy" in three poets, demonstrates, if you have forgotten, some of the best reasons to read literary criticism.

Vendler's brisk and light touch, her ability to pick at a line for every bit of meaning, makes this an enjoyable and moving book. Invisible Listeners goes to the heart of our experience of lyric.

It reinforces one of Vendler's central beliefs: that lyric is not just a decorative art, but an art crucial to our social and ethical lives. She has always been able to convey the subtle effects of poetic art, and here, once again, her luminous interpretations catch fire in a voicing of great lyric verse.

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