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Unread 01-16-2013, 03:15 PM
Gregory Dowling Gregory Dowling is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, Italy
Posts: 2,398
Default Happy 90th birthday to Anthony Hecht

A little late in the day but I just realised...

Here's a poem from a decade back by Richard Wilbur:


An Eightieth-Birthday Ballade
for Anthony Hecht

Who is the man whose poems dare
Describe man’s inhumanities,
And count our deadly sins, and bare
Such truths as cause the blood to freeze,
Yet in whose darkest verse one sees
How style and agile intellect
Can both instruct and greatly please?
I speak, of course, of Tony Hecht.

Who is the man who has a flair
For double-dactyl drolleries
And other forms, as light as air,
That call for wit and expertise,
Whose “Dover Bitch,” moreover, frees
His comic gifts to play unchecked?
Who is his own antipodes?
The many-sided Tony Hecht.

Who has translated Baudelaire,
Avoiding all translationese?
Who rendered Brodsky and Voltaire
And Horace’s urbanities,
And would be named by all of these
As one of their august elect?
Can there be any question? He’s
That true Parnassian, Tony Hecht.

By now, Prince, you must be aware
Of what bard most deserves respect.
There is but one beyond compare,
The incomparable Tony Hecht.
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Unread 01-16-2013, 03:23 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,659

What a coincidence! I just closed the cover on the Selected Letters!

I've been reading them alongside the poems - my introduction to Hecht. It's been fascinating.

Amazing to think he is gone, and yet, not. The voice in the letters often makes me laugh! And Richard Wilbur still here, and Daniel Hoffman, who will be honoured at WC this year.

Dave has sent off this morning his review of the Selected Letters. Great stories emerge therein.

So yes - I join you in a warm acknowledgement of Anthony Hecht's 90th!
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Unread 01-16-2013, 04:00 PM
Gregory Dowling Gregory Dowling is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, Italy
Posts: 2,398

Can't wait to see Dave's review. I'm still waiting for my copy of the book to make it across the Pond.
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Unread 01-16-2013, 05:51 PM
Janice D. Soderling's Avatar
Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14,175

He's my kind of poet. Since long before I discovered Eratosphere.
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