The First Poets

The First Poets

Lives of the Ancient Greek Poets

Book - 2004
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Michael Schmidt traces the lives and works of the great Classical and Biblical poets, showing their legacy in English poetry today

Blackwell North Amer
In this book, Michael Schmidt writes about the ancient Greek poets who have the most enduring influence on poetry today. Overshadowed by the great Greek dramatic writers, these poets are here rescued from obscurity. We may no longer study their language but we inherit a fragmented legacy of ideas and figures, stories and histories which can be as real to us as our own immediate past. Where the lives of these poets are verifiable they are fascinating. Where true lives are shrouded in mystery, later writers and readers provide narratives of their own. In his inimitable way, Michael Schmidt encourages us to tiptoe along the fine line between imaginative fact and conjecture. Here we find Orpheus, the first poet: healer, mystic and magical fixer; and Homer, about whom so much and so little is known. Here too are poets who survive only in legend. Linos Arion, Amphion, whose stories are known and loved still even if the words themselves are lost. Here are Hesiod, Sappho (the greatest Greek woman writer). Hipponax (the dirty old man of poetry). Theocritus (the father of the pastoral), and others. The object of this book is to entertain, inform and create an awareness of necessary presences: these are poets out of whom our imaginations, like our literatures, are woven.

Publisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004
ISBN: 9780297643944
Branch Call Number: 881 SC
Characteristics: x, 449 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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