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Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems

The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems

Henry Weinfield

“Again, again one returns to Weinfield’s verses for their musical resonance, intellectual incisiveness, unflinching wit, and inescapable relevance: they are companions to be treasured.” —Allen Mandelbaum

“Behind columns of discarded form, Weinfield moves stealthy cargo: passion, responsibility, vocation. His poems, and their grave music, are undistracted and undeterred.” —Ross Feld

“The elements which I most appreciate in Henry Weinfield’s poetry are the combination of playfulness and seriousness, the union of traditional form and contemporary sensibility, the commitment to words and to things, the concern for poetry and for persons, the involvement with feeling and with thought, the attachment both to literature and to life.” —Julia Budenz

“What strikes first in The Sorrows of Eros is the beautiful bravery of Weinfield’s handling of form. The formal language, at once learned and yet contemporary, heightens and modulates perception, passion, speculative thought, weaving itself into a tempered music of substance, depth, and originality.”—Michael Heller

“Based in the great tradition of English poetry, Henry Weinfield’s beautifully crafted, memorable lyrics are passionate, witty and philosophical. Here, with Classical precision, the muse Euterpe is given rigorously intelligent voice.” —Michael Perkins

Drawn from fifteen years of work, The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems presents a rich selection of the verse of Henry Weinfield. Many of the poems contained here appear for the first time. The sensuous lyricism of the English tradition and the classic austerity of philosophical discourse are brought together in this poetry in a way that is unique in our times. A master of rhyme and meter, Weinfield’s sonnets, tercets, and rhyme royal fall upon the ear with rare grace. Brilliantly allusive in their frames of reference, they are woven from the stuff of Dante, Shakespeare, and Shelley: Plato, Genesis, and the Book of Job. Yet Weinfield is also given to the kind of rigorous intellectual speculation that one usually associates with poets such as William Bronk or George Oppen, and a refined process of abstraction never fails to give the work an utterly contemporary edge. His subject matter is equally challenging; here are poems about political violence, the anomie of the postmodern city, the bittersweet disasters of the erotic life. Powerfully chastening, these poems nevertheless can comfort, charm, and delight; they are “The luminous and liquid solacings/ That language proffers against the void.”

ISBN: 978-0-268-01766-8
82 pages
Publication Year: 1999

Henry Weinfeld is professor of liberal studies at the University of Notre Dame and the author of The Poet Without A Name: Gray’s Elegy and the Problem of History and a translation of and commentary on The Collected Poems of Stéphane Mallarme. His poems have appeared in Talisman, Colorado Review, and The Best American Poetry.

“The appearance of The Sorrows of Eros is a cause for celebration. The Muse herself may be inscrutable when it comes to . . . existential issues, but what she sometimes provides us in our struggle with them can be wonderfully clear. In a way that is unprecedented in recent years, The Sorrows of Eros is such a gift. No one who loves poetry shold refuse it.” — Denver Quarterly

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The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems

Henry Weinfield

The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems
Paper Edition

“Again, again one returns to Weinfield’s verses for their musical resonance, intellectual incisiveness, unflinching wit, and inescapable relevance: they are companions to be treasured.” —Allen Mandelbaum

“Behind columns of discarded form, Weinfield moves stealthy cargo: passion, responsibility, vocation. His poems, and their grave music, are undistracted and undeterred.” —Ross Feld

“The elements which I most appreciate in Henry Weinfield’s poetry are the combination of playfulness and seriousness, the union of traditional form and contemporary sensibility, the commitment to words and to things, the concern for poetry and for persons, the involvement with feeling and with thought, the attachment both to literature and to life.” —Julia Budenz

“What strikes first in The Sorrows of Eros is the beautiful bravery of Weinfield’s handling of form. The formal language, at once learned and yet contemporary, heightens and modulates perception, passion, speculative thought, weaving itself into a tempered music of substance, depth, and originality.”—Michael Heller

“Based in the great tradition of English poetry, Henry Weinfield’s beautifully crafted, memorable lyrics are passionate, witty and philosophical. Here, with Classical precision, the muse Euterpe is given rigorously intelligent voice.” —Michael Perkins

Drawn from fifteen years of work, The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems presents a rich selection of the verse of Henry Weinfield. Many of the poems contained here appear for the first time. The sensuous lyricism of the English tradition and the classic austerity of philosophical discourse are brought together in this poetry in a way that is unique in our times. A master of rhyme and meter, Weinfield’s sonnets, tercets, and rhyme royal fall upon the ear with rare grace. Brilliantly allusive in their frames of reference, they are woven from the stuff of Dante, Shakespeare, and Shelley: Plato, Genesis, and the Book of Job. Yet Weinfield is also given to the kind of rigorous intellectual speculation that one usually associates with poets such as William Bronk or George Oppen, and a refined process of abstraction never fails to give the work an utterly contemporary edge. His subject matter is equally challenging; here are poems about political violence, the anomie of the postmodern city, the bittersweet disasters of the erotic life. Powerfully chastening, these poems nevertheless can comfort, charm, and delight; they are “The luminous and liquid solacings/ That language proffers against the void.”

ISBN: 978-0-268-01766-8

82 pages

“The appearance of The Sorrows of Eros is a cause for celebration. The Muse herself may be inscrutable when it comes to . . . existential issues, but what she sometimes provides us in our struggle with them can be wonderfully clear. In a way that is unprecedented in recent years, The Sorrows of Eros is such a gift. No one who loves poetry shold refuse it.” — Denver Quarterly