About this title: Style is the material body of lyric poetry, Helen Vendler suggests. To cast off an earlier style is to do an act of violence to the self. Why might a poet do this, adopting a sharply different form? In this exploration of three kinds of break in poetic style, Vendler clarifies the essential connection between style and substance in poetry. Opening perspectives in the work of three very different poets, her study of changes in style yields a view of the interplay of moral, emotional and intellectual forces in a poet's work.
Note: This is a general synopsis. Each listing is described below.