For reasons I cannot wholly explain, I never tire of writing about John Crowe Ransom's poetry and criticism. It is a touchstone for me, if not a model; that said, it is also a model from which I compulsively depart and to which I return with a critical eye. This has gone on for quite awhile now. I think Ransom, like Winters and Eliot, cuts so well the figure of the poet-critic and specifically of one who does not set a limit to how far into the world the critical enterprise can sojourn. Further, there's a kind of minor status to his achievement of nonetheless important achievements; it gives one hope that one's own modest talents might reach a good end.
Forma has my latest on the complete poetry of Ransom, just published by Louisiana State University Press, I include a link here also to "Hard Truth," a little review essay on Ransom that appeared in The Weekly Standard, when the first variorum edition of his poetry was published just four years ago.
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