Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1975
Honestly, I have felt in few poems such inspiration as I took from yours. The book as a whole was exciting to me....Hazard has become...as visceral and alive as the people in good novels....the accumulated weight of a rich and complicated man which grew in the book impressed me most of all.
-Letter from John Irving to William Meredith, September 12, 1975
Resemblances between the life and character of Hazard and those of the author are not disclaimed but are much fewer than the author would like.
Reading your poems is like talking to you-but more freely than I shall ever dare to do. It is a poetry which satisfies me.
-Letter from Josephine Jacobson to William Meredith, Febrary 7, 1978
Harnessed and zipped on a bright
This is what for two years now
They must have caught and spanked him
It does not matter that the great masters
Reprinted from Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems by William Meredith, published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in 1997. Copyright © 1997 by William Meredith. All rights reserved; used by permission of Northwestern University Press and the author.