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Collected Poems, 1919-1976

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2006

    Modernist Master

    Is this book really still in print? It certainly should be. Here you will find such challenging and memorable poems as 'Death of Little Boys,' 'Mr. Pope,' 'The Wolves,' 'The Mediterranean,' 'Aeneas at Washington' (where there is a serious misprint--'struck,' which should read 'stuck' in the concluding lines), 'Sonnets at Christmas,' and 'The Swimmers' (a masterful late, autobiographical poem in terza rima about a lynching)--not to mention 'Ode to the Confederate Dead,' Tate's most famous poem. Tate, as Langdon Hammer puts it, presents one side of the 'Janus face' of Modernism--Hart Crane, Tate's exact contemporary, presenting the other side. Tate styled himself a classicist in poetic temperament, but he is hardly less the visionary--if always a less rhapsodic one--than Crane. And as with his Mr. Pope, there is sometimes 'rage between his teeth,' at other times an enervated spirit. Tate's discordant music, which so influenced the early Robert Lowell's and Geoffrey Hill's, is unforgettable.

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