Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

It has been said that sestinas are all but impossible to write. What six end words does Anthony Hecht employ in “More Light! More Light!”? How do these words carry the sestina?

How does memory function in Hecht’s work? From his expressions of recall, what is Hecht’s position regarding memories of the Holocaust?

Who is the “you” in “The Book of Yolek,” and why does Hecht use this particular pronoun?

How do biblical and other allusions function to support theme in Hecht’s poetry?

Identify and discuss the varying ways Hecht uses light as metaphor and symbol.

Hecht’s form often includes a double vision. Consider the characteristics of each of the contrasting settings in “A Hill.” Where are readers in each?