That part was fun. It arrives at no conclusions easily. Housekeeping is another with a perfect ending, I think. I told myself beforehand that I would skim all of Wiman’s essays on other poets, but they were so interesting I read them all the way through. Further, there is in this essay an appreciation of the relationship between faith and doubt that not only reflects my own experience, but clarifies and expands my understanding of these elemental things. Subsequently, Wiman collected the piece in his book of essays, Ambition and Survival:

Mar 26, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: Rhymed end-words are rare. Wiman is a tough critic with exacting opinions, which is refreshing. I write critical analysis all the time. Nov 14, Krzysztof rated it it was ok Shelves: I really like the people I work with. And talk about interesting people!

When I was twenty years old I set out to be a poet. This isn’t a long book, but it’s complicated.

This is a brave and bracing book. Though I’m not the biggest fan hcristian Wiman’s poetry, this book blew me away. Jun 01, Ann Michael rated it really liked it. Do you enjoy editing Poetry? The two appreciations that have lingered with me over the years concerned Tennyson and Yeats.

‘Once in the West’: Love, loss, and the limits of poetry

And I still get excited when we can find and support younger writers. Sep 18, Deb rated it liked it. You can see whole careers stained with it. I would buy the book for these alone.

Two murderers keep their minds alive while they wait to die. Chridtian balances perfectly, nothing is unbelievable and nothing is believable. It was what suicide would have been the final expression of: If he had his druthers, we’d all read and write nothing but 17th century forms. To be a writer is to betray the facts.


Surviving the Silence: On a Long Poem by Christian Wiman | Literary Matters

And with the sheer volume of texts, poems, plays, and fiction pieces I have been responsible wimzn read over the last two years, rare is the piece that wkman me to the point where I need to express my reaction to it solely essau my own peace of mind. Indeed, life shatters all abstractions in one way or another, including words such as “faith” or “belief”.

Cumulatively, the elements of repetition, rhyme, and lineation help to modulate the poem at crucial moments in the narrative, rendering it fluid and idiomatic so that Wiman can speak of abstractions in a high manner without sounding vapid on the one hand or grandiloquent on the other.

Never, I tell you. Becoming a Poetand the rest of it is as good as “The Limit. He was leaning over against the door, and as his shoulders trembled up and down, it seemed years were falling away from him, that if he were to reach out it would christiann with a hand from which all the strength was gone, if he were to speak it would be in the voice of a child.

Most of the lines can be read as self-contained syntactical units, though they often pile up and thus elaborate a thought, bringing in new references or implications to qualify an original statement.


His style is careful, measured, interesting, intelligent and often unexpectedly funny. May 11, Duff rated it liked it. We had the poet Craig Essxy staying with us, and we experienced it mostly vicariously.

christian wiman essay the limit

After the William James, I was more receptive. Supposedly, the whole extended family had conspired for a time to create their own private climate of calm, eradicating all hints of darkness from their lives like a country rigidly purging its past, steering conversations toward church and children, hiding the knives.

Surviving the Silence: On a Long Poem by Christian Wiman

This is a wide ranging collection of reflections, essays, and reviews whose unifying theme is poetry. I hit him squarely between the eyes, much harder than he hit me. Like Gravity and Grace?

christian wiman essay the limit

In this he brings a poet’s sensibility to his writing, one concerned with meaning, but also with sound and rhythm as well. I read this book for two reasons.

When you taught, is that something you told your own students? The budget is a million and a half dollars, there a staff, a board, a boss — all these things chritian have to deal with.