Why Don’t We Say What We Mean?: Essays Mostly About Poetry

By Lawrence Raab,Harry C. Payne Professor of Poetry. Tupelo Press, December 2016. Available on Amazon. Lawrence Raab has been revered as a quietly magnificent poet. As friends and students have long known, for decades he’s also been a virtuosic teacher. In this first collection of his contemplative essays, Raab ponders works that keep mattering to him as a working writer, with fresh considerations of Edwin Arlington Robinson and Thomas Hardy, Wislawa Szymborska, Ben Jonson, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Lewis Carroll, the artist Rene Magritte, and Robert Frost. Reading with his touchtone of “truthfulness,” a literary maestro meditates on authenticity, ambiguity, and endings, and with “In a Different Hour: Collaboration, Revision, and Friendship,” he offers a fascinating chronicle of prolonged, generative exchange with poet Stephen Dunn.