ABSTRACT

In all the poets here, there is presence rather than absence, force rather than slackness, daring rather than timidity, idiosyncrasy rather than typicality. In almost all of these cases, one can say, “That’s Bidart,” or “Gary Snyder, of course,” or “Graham, unmistakably,” or “Heaney, yes.” That is, one could not mistake Snyder for Dove, or… . Each has left a mark on language, has found a style. And it is that style—the compelling aesthetic signature of each—that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.