Without Mythologies by Henry Weinfield



  • Kind: Perfect Bound
  • Pages: 192
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1-933675-26-8


“A poet of exquisite formal control, Henry Weinfield writes lyrical and narrative poems that have a rich, sad music for which the ear and the heart hunger. This is a poetry to provoke and console, a poetry that has many roots in the Classical and Hebraic traditions and that combines and extends both in a unique way. His translations are superb, marking a level of achievement above that of all other American translators of European lyric poetry.” —Kevin Hart

“Henry Weinfield’s poems startle us with their formal beauty and mesmerizing cadence. Their intense clarity is at once moving and richly polyvalent. Legacies abound, from the Metaphysicals through Mallarmé and on to Stevens and Bronk. Weinfield writes that “to be is but the form of to desire.” With immaculate diction and often biting wit, these poems exhibit an almost paradisical perfection of that desiring.” —Michael Heller

“Few poets have a mind broad enough and a heart sufficiently large to speak meaningfully to their contemporaries. Even fewer remember their poetic ancestry. Henry Weinfield possesses both these missing qualities. In his poems we hear echoes of voices that sang centuries ago. Homer and the writer(s) of Genesis, Dante, Tasso and Milton, Holderlin, Mallarme, and Eliot. Still he sings in his own voice for our own time.” —Louis Dupré

“Can poetry, ‘Hallowed and hollowed out of emptiness’, still participate in the philosophical quest for a ground of being? The fact that Weinfield even poses such questions indicates how distinct his sensibility is from that of most poets today.” —Norman Finkelstein


Without Mythologies

Without mythologies the leaves are blown
Hither and yon, seeds sown and flowers grown:
They do it on their own without mythologies.

Without mythologies they wax and wane,
Neither complain nor hasten to explain,
Since everything is plain without mythologies.

Without mythologies when day is done
Under the sun, songs sung and races run,
A new one is begun without mythologies.


Henry Weinfield is the author of The Sorrows of Eros and Other Poems (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999) and of three other collections of poetry. His verse-translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days and Theogony, done in collaboration with Catherine Schlegel, is available from the University of Michigan Press and his translation of Gérard de Nerval’s sonnet sequence, The Chimeras, with monoprints by the artist Douglas Kinsey, from Spuyten-Duyvil. He is the author of a translation of and commentary on the Collected Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé (University of California Press, 1995) and of a critical study, The Poet without a Name: Gray’s Elegy and the Problem of History (Southern Illinois UP, 1991). His book, The Music of Thought in the Poetry of George Oppen and William Bronk, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press,” and he is working on a study of the blank-verse tradition in English poetry from Milton to Stevens. Henry Weinfield is professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in