About the Book
"What is a poem? If he asked them, could they answer?...Today he’ll talk about Hardy’s elegies. But what are they about? his students will ask. They want the love story. How he hates this question, understanding, now, in the shade of his office, that poetry is among the few things that can survive this question. If the poem is very good it is very hard to say what it is about. It is this and it is not that. It seems like one thing and then, after a while, not so much, one’s understanding always shifting with the images and the sounds. He’ll add something on Tennyson, perhaps, something on rhyme. Something about that very question, about poems being one of the few things that cannot be summarized or that can survive such an evil with something left over, something else. Something remaining. A trouble. A pleasure. A little extra." --Stephanie Bishop The Other Side of the World.