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(16 January 1923 - 20 October 2004 / New York)

Anthony Evan Hecht
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Anthony Evan Hecht was an American poet. His work combined a deep interest in form with a passionate desire to confront the horrors of 20th century history, with the Second World War, in which he fought, and the Holocaust being recurrent themes in his work.

Early Years

Hecht was born in New York City to German-Jewish parents. He was educated at various schools in the city - he was a classmate of Jack Kerouac at one point - but showed no great academic ability, something he would later refer to as "conspicuous." However, as a freshman English student at Bard College in New York he discovered the works of ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''It's all very well to dream of a dove that saves,
    Picasso's or the Pope's
    The one that annually coos in Our Lady's ear
    Half the world's hopes,''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. Birdwatchers of America (l. 1-4). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxfo...
  • ''The air was clear. He seemed in ultimate peace

    Except that he had no eyes. Rigid and bright
    Upon the forehead, furred
    With a light frost, crouched an outrageous bird.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. Birdwatchers of America (l. 21-24). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Ox...
  • ''And in their fairy tales
    The warty giant and witch
    Get sealed in doorless jails
    And the match-girl strikes it rich.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. It Out-Herods Herod. Pray You, Avoid It (l. 5-8). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J....
  • ''And that their sleep be sound
    I say this childermas
    Who could not, at one time,
    Have saved them from the gas.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. It Out-Herods Herod. Pray You, Avoid It (l. 33-36). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. ...
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