"The staggering thing about a life's work is it takes a lifetime to complete," notes Craig Morgan Teicher, and in these luminous essays, he considers how poets start out and learn to hear themselves, all so that they can offer us that rare, glittering thing: lasting work. Teicher traces the poetic development of the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, W.S. Merwin, and Francine J. Harris, among others, to illuminate the paths they forged—by dramatic breakthroughs or by slow increments, and always by perseverance.
"Teicher's reasoning is sound, articulate, and accessible to readers of all poetic fluency levels, but also so original that even experts will find new ways of thinking about old favorites."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)