Mr. Raffel, thank you for writing this book.
This book is sorely needed in today's culture. I wish more people would read it. Sadly, poetry doesn't make money because people do not read it or appreciate it like they used to. And people do not appreciate it because it does not make money.
These are indeed dark times for poets, and many with the potential for greatness simply do not live out their vocation, being drawn elsewhere.
Raffel's genius is staggering. He's credited here with translating poetry from Russian, Vietnamese, Old English, Middle English and I believe Latin.
I would also like to thank Raffel for introducing me to the work of some great poets that I had never read before (Pushkin, Alan Dugan, and Michael Hettich the ones who impressed me most).
I practically cheered Raffel on as I read this. He has no patience for deliberately obscure poetry, meaningless poetry that sounds good, or any form of pretension. Poetry, to him, is about communication. It is about meaning over manner, and this is a refreshing view. Obscurity seems a virtue among contemporary poets. This trend must stop.
In short, READ THIS BOOK.
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