Prose on poetry
April is Poetry Month, a perfect time for these books on the subject by three splendid writers.
On Elizabeth Bishop (Princeton University Press) by Colm Toíbín is the accomplished Irish novelist's literary biography of the powerful, enigmatic American poet who greatly influenced his writing, and that of many others.
Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Alfred A. Knopf) by Jane Hirshfield, who is a critic and translator of poetry as well as a prize-winning poet, combines her eloquent close readings with wide-ranging scholarship for a fresh look at poetry.
The Wheeling Year: A Poet's Field Book (University of Nebraska Press) by Ted Kooser, former U.S. poet laureate and editor of the Poetry Column that appears on these pages weekly, collects samples from his 60 years' worth of notebooks that capture immediate impressions he transforms into poems.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor