What can I say about my professor John Hollander, who died on Saturday?
He was a brilliant teacher and poet, and he was kind to me.
I thought of commenting on Robert Frost’s sonnet “Never Again Would Birds’ Song Be the Same,” which I hear in Hollander’s voice, as he recited it. But that would invite the wrong meanings–something about his “oversound” and how “probably it never would be lost.” No, that won’t do.
Still, I don’t want to comment on either one right now. I’ll let them stand as they are.
I have tried in the past to describe his teaching; I don’t think I achieved an approximation. There was no one like him at the time, and there are fewer now.