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John Hollander Biography

(1929– ), A Crackling of Thorns, Movie-Going and Other Poems, Visions from the Ramble

poetry poems college columbia

American poet and critic, born in New York City, educated at Columbia University and Indiana University. Allen Ginsberg was a fellow student and friend at Columbia, though their poetry is entirely antithetical. Hollander has taught at Harvard, Connecticut College, Hunter College, and at Yale. His first book, A Crackling of Thorns (1958), had an Introduction by W. H. Auden, who praised the ‘literariness’ of Hollander's work. Later books include Movie-Going and Other Poems (1962), Visions from the Ramble (1965), Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls (1967; with Anthony Hecht and others), Philomel (1968), Types of Shape (1969), The Night Mirror (1971), Tales Told of the Fathers (1975), Reflections on Espionage (1976), Spectral Emanations: New and Selected Poems (1978), Blue Wine and Other Poems (1979), and Powers of Thirteen (1984). His literary criticism in The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music in English Poetry 1500–1700 (1961) and Vision and Resonance: Two Senses of Poetic Form (1975) underscores his own commitment to a poetry based on formal verse. Hollander's own work has always sought the refuge of form, a quality of self-restraint unlike the open forms frequently found in twentieth-century American poetry.

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