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Daryl Hine 1936-2012
We were greatly saddened to hear that Daryl Hine, former editor of Poetry, passed away in his Evanston, Illinois home on August 20. Evan Jones informed us of the news: “He caught something on Saturday and with his weakened immune system didn’t have the strength to recover. I spoke to him two weeks ago and he was stable, had just bought a new MacBook and was at work on his own version of the Argonautica (as told by the ship).”
Hine served as Poetry’s editor from 1969-1978, after a brief term as visiting editor while his predecessor, Henry Rago (editor 1955-1969), took time off from the magazine. Hine had previously published work in the magazine during the 1950s and 1960s, and continued to do so throughout his editorship.
It is the archaeological view
That holds that [life] is short and [art] is long;
Its partisans the erstwhile happy few
Who know to whom the particles belong.
Yet both the ancient tongues I thought I knew
Proved in the mouth irrelevant or wrong:
And in their place I have to offer you
These comprimés of analgesic song.
A rigorous and enthusiastic formalist with a keen interest in Greek and Roman mythology, Hine welcomed poets with diverse approaches to form. Under Hine’s tenure, the magazine welcomed a variety of new contributors, including David Ferry, Sandra M. Gilbert, Sandra McPherson, Robert Pinsky, Ron Silliman, Mark Strand, Anne Waldman and many others.
The Canada-born Hine may have been “out of step with the nationalist project that took hold of [Canada] in the sixties,” as Jason Guriel writes in his review of Hine’s Recollected Poems: 1951-2004 in January 2008, but his work “gleams with what sonneteers used to call sprezzatura, the confident, making-it-look-easy gloss that greases great art.”
For more insight into Hine’s term as editor of Poetry, read “From the Archive: Daryl Hine,” composed by the Poetry Foundation’s online editors, which includes a slideshow of Hine’s poems and a few of the issues published under his editorship.