Robert Pinsky Poetry: American Poets Analysis
Like many of the creative writers in the second half of the twentieth century, Robert Pinsky is closely identified with a university and may be accurately described as a major poet-critic. As a graduate student, Pinsky was charmed and influenced profoundly by the work of Winters, one of the most important poet-critics of the twentieth century and a man who is memorialized as the “old Man” in Pinsky’s long poem “Essay on Psychiatrists,” which appears in his first volume of poetry, Sadness and Happiness. From Winters, Pinsky learned the virtues of clarity in thought and diction as well as a rigorous attention to poetic meter and other details of craftsmanship. Even in the freest of his free verse, the reader will detect no slackness or ragged edges in the lines of Pinsky: a quiet elegance and reassuring feeling of control seem to guide all of his poetic compositions.
Under the influence of Winters, Pinsky developed a fondness for certain poets such asFulke Greville, Robert Herrick, Thomas Hardy, Robert Bridges, and Wallace Stevens. While at Stanford, Pinsky became especially interested in the nineteenth century English Romantic poets, an enthusiasm that resulted in a dissertation on the work of Walter Savage Landor and a lifelong passion for the great odes of John Keats. Pinsky’s first published work, in fact, was not a book of poetry but his dissertation on Landor, which was published as Landor’s Poetry (1968). In that work,...
(The entire section is 5415 words.)
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