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Hearing Things


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About the Author

Angela Leighton is Professor of English and Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.


Many critics claim to engage in close reading, but nobody is as skilled as Angela Leighton at close listening. Heard through her ears, words sing and rhythms thrum on the page, making even familiar poems sound compellingly fresh and new. This approach makes Hearing Things something more than a traditional work of literary criticism. What Leighton offers us instead, as she ranges across poetry from the nineteenth century to the present day, is criticism as a form of play: inventive, witty, and joyfully experimental.--Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, author of The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland
Leighton shows us that what separates poetry from other things that humans make are those very moments when poems enact or allude to listening--hums, murmurs, echoes, incomprehensible language. Hearing Things is persuasive, ambitious, synthetic, clear, and powerful.--Steph Burt, author of The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them
Understanding the role of sound helps you get at how a poem or piece of prose manages your aesthetic response...[Hearing Things] is a wise, suggestive reminder to readers to keep an eye on the ear.--Sam Leith"Prospect" (06/01/2018)

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