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The Witness of Poetry (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Paperback – January 31, 1984

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Milosz is at all times direct, even simple. He has the ability to return the pleasure of poetry to ordinary readers, and in his prose, as here, he makes you suspect that the great intellectual sin of our time may be a fear of the obvious. (Vanity Fair)

[Milosz] speaks in The Witness of Poetry with the sort of quiet, preeminent brilliance that makes his defense [of poetry]…a classic for our time. (Saturday Review)

By the strength of its condensed and lucid exposition, The Witness of Poetry provides us with a key to Milosz's poetic historiosophy, philosophy, and aesthetics. OF course, Milosz's entire work offers one of the most profound responses to the dilemmas of our century. (New Criterion)

From the Back Cover

'Milosz is at all times direct, even simple. He has the ability to return the pleasures of poetry to ordinary readers, and in his prose, as here, he makes you suspect that the great intellectual sin of our time may be a fear of the obvious.'Vanity Fair
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Product Details

  • Series: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (Book 2005)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674953835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674953833
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I first bought this book for a class in 1987. I have since bought it again and again somewhere around 12 times. The "mistake" I make is that I lend it to a friend and they fall in love with it and with Milosz too and then, I just let them keep it and I buy it again because I understand. To say that this book transformed the way I look at poetry and art as a whole is an understatement. It should be a core component of any discussion of 20th century aesthetics. It's a masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
"I have titled this book _The Witness of Poetry_ notbecause we witness it, but because it witnesses us," Miloszsays. This Nobel Laureate who's been around the block is believable when he says it looks like we are in big trouble. That we are a loathsome and self-loathing, despairing, cruel race isn't really news, but Milosz goes further and tells us convincingly how we got to be such [people]. If you follow him this far, you'll want to read on to see what advice he offers before it all goes up the spout (or we simply turn into zombies). So.... either read this short "poetics" and then his tiny book _Road-Side Dog_, or read _Road-Side Dog_ (maybe start with "Beautiful Girl") and then read the _Witness of Poetry_. Pretty amazing guy. -- Oh, and I don't think there'll be a movie.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. it really spoke to me about the role of the poet (and on a broader scale the role of the artist regardless of medium) in society, and our respondsibility. Highly reccommentd.
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The Witness of Poetry (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)
This item: The Witness of Poetry (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)
Price: $23.00
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