Richard Tillinghast Stephen Behrendt - Essay

Stephen Behrendt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In the cover notes to Richard Tillinghast's second book of poems, The Knife and Other Poems …, James Dickey dubs the author "the best poet of the younger generation." Now James Dickey is no easy critic to satisfy, and indeed one cannot read Tillinghast's poems without being impressed by the considerable skill they display. One listens in admiration, for example, to frequent virtuoso verbal performances:

The cold moon led us coldly
—three men in a motorboat—
down foggy canals before dawn
past cut sugarcane in December….

Such passages [as this one from...

(The entire section is 460 words.)