Tributes to John Hollander, who died yesterday, have been circulating widely. We learned of his death from Amy Glynn Greacen, who had written this lovely piece about her former teacher during her stint as a guest author here.
We'll have more about Hollander later. Meanwhile, here is a selection from Hollander's introduction to The Best American Poetry 1998:
Genuine originality is born and works in private, and art of any kind is solitary, and often lonely, work. Literary schools and groups and circles have existed at least since the Renaissance, but with different associative paradigms: study groups, social clubs, mini-courts, aesthetico-political underground cells, cabals, and so forth. But they matter little to poets themselves, and are celelbrated primarily by journalists and publicists and eventually perhaps, historians. Within them, the complex dynamics of deep personal friendship, aesthetic affinity and taste, and institutional accident work in mysterious ways. Although some of the older poets represented in this book may have been called members of a group or school, the reader will be unable to determine such an association from their current work. There are no battle lines in the eternal, ever final struggle to become, to remain--and to continue to change the meaning of being--poetically oneself. La lutte continue!
RIP John Hollander. Please post your own tribute in the comments section below.