Willard Spiegleman is Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University and Editor-in-Chief of The Southwest Review.
Many critics have explored the relationship between landscape and language, but Spiegelman goes farthest in analyzing the disposition of parts of speech and syntactic arrangements, the sentences that create the effect of description. This attention to language leads Spiegelman to some superb close reading. He understands that poetry is first and foremost an art form, with language as its medium, figuration its inevitable activity.... Reading him, we are observers of an honest, intense encounter with some major contemporary writers. Every poet must wish for such attentiveness, such willingness to learn from the poems themselves how they want to be read. * Bonnie Costello, Literary Imagination * Masterly.... Spiegelman demonstrates again and again how a superlatively educated, cultivated, sympathetic, earnest, even passionate reader...goes about the joyful business of reading every scripture in the spirit in which it was written.... That How Poets See the World can balance these two imperative, to see by means of and to see the true nature of, is its large and substantial achievement. * Twentieth-Century Literature * How Poets See the World yields fresh insights on every page, touching upon the history of taste, or the sources of styles. As a guide to the work of poets whose difficulty Spiegelman never glosses over, it is indispensable. * Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University * Spiegelman's masterly study of the persistence of the descriptive impulse in contemporary poetry, ranging from Tomlinson's just looking (the play on words is Tomlinson's) to Graham's ongoing search for "a new way of looking," demonstrated how resourceful poets of various stripes engage themselves and the reader in inventive acts of looking at the visible world. Spiegelman has served his poets, and the art of poetry, well.. * Partial Answers * Spiegelman's masterly study of the persistence of the descriptive impulse in contemporary poetrydemonstrates how resourcefully poets of various stripes engage themselves and the reader in inventive acts of looking at the visible world. Spiegelman has served his poets, and the art of poetry, well. * Frank J. Kearful, Partial Answers *