18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring blend of personal response and academic criticism.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures (Paperback)
Highly recommended for anyone to whom poetry is important and feels that most criticism seems to miss the point.
These lectures were originally conceived and delivered as individual pieces, but as a collection they also provide an account and defence of Heaney's philosophy of poetry. Heaney deals with poems from the point of view of a reader to whom poetry is important as a means of understanding and coping with life -- for whom, as he says, poetry is "strong enough to help".
As literary criticism they are excellent (if eclectic), and are particularly valuable because they are free of much of the nonsense which creeps into academic commentary on poetry. This isn't to say that Heaney always makes perfect sense, and a couple of the pieces veer towards self-indulgence; nevertheless they are extremely readable, stimulating and -- an extremely rare thing in critical writing -- inspiring.