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Collected Poems: with Notes Toward the Memoirs of Djuna Barnes

Overview

This groundbreaking edition compiles many of the late unpublished works of American writer Djuna Barnes (1892-1982). Because she published only seven poems and a play during the last forty years of her life, scholars believed Barnes wrote almost nothing during this period. But at the time of her death her apartment was filled with multiple drafts of unpublished poetry and notes toward her memoirs, both included here for the first time. Best known for her tragic lesbian novel Nightwood, Barnes has always been ...

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Overview

This groundbreaking edition compiles many of the late unpublished works of American writer Djuna Barnes (1892-1982). Because she published only seven poems and a play during the last forty years of her life, scholars believed Barnes wrote almost nothing during this period. But at the time of her death her apartment was filled with multiple drafts of unpublished poetry and notes toward her memoirs, both included here for the first time. Best known for her tragic lesbian novel Nightwood, Barnes has always been considered a crucial modernist. Her later poetry will only enhance this reputation as it shows her remarkable evolution from a competent young writer to a deeply intellectual poet in the metaphysical tradition. With the full force of her biting wit and dramatic flair, Barnes’s autobiographical notes describe the expatriate scene in Paris during the 1920s, including her interactions with James Joyce and Gertrude Stein and her intimate recollections of T. S. Eliot. These memoirs provide a rare opportunity to experience the intense personality of this complex and fascinating poet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Famous for her grim lesbian novel Nightwood (1936) and for her life as a fabulous expatriate in Paris between WWI and WWII, Barnes (1892- 1982) has never enjoyed a reputation as a poet, partly because almost none of her post-Nightwood verse saw print. This diligent and exhaustive edition both restores her hard-to-find magazine verse of the 1910s and 1920s and makes available her dense, sardonic late poems. The early poems are conventional in form, but extreme in emotion. Some focus on same-sex desire; others perform a self-conscious wildness, with disturbing or deadly tableaux-a lady's "profile like a dagger lain/ Between the hair," a "snail that marks the girth of night with slime." The later poetry, as the editors write, "challenges us to savor lines that appear to be English, but... elude us," condensing almost to unintelligibility a gothic-sarcastic sensibility derived from T.S. Eliot, and from the 17th-century dramatists Barnes, like Eliot, admired. She casts herself as a neo-medieval scourge of hypocrisy named Dan Corbeau ("Lord Crow"), attacks authority of all sorts, or invokes "Lucifer, the salmon of the air,/ The kiss killing man," who "Breeds himself by falling from the air." Often the editors print multiple drafts of a single unfinished poem. Of more general interest, perhaps, are the pages from Barnes's unfinished prose memoir of Paris: despite their repetitive, fragmentary state, they contain witty remarks and observations on Joyce, Stein, Jean Cocteau and other luminaries, among them her own mentor T.S. Eliot, whom she admired and resented to the end. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299212308
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.66 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Herring is professor emeritus of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and now lives in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the biography Djuna: The Life and Work of Djuna Barnes. Osías Stutman, poet, immunologist, and professor emeritus at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has published a Spanish translation of Barnes’s poetry, which was on the bestseller list in Spain, where he now lives. His poems have been published in a variety of books and magazines.

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Table of Contents

Collected poems
Early published poems (1911-29) 21
The dreamer (1911) 23
Call of the night (1911) 24
Serenade (1914) 25
When emperors are out of men! (1914) 26
Just lately drummer boy (1914) 28
Six carried her away (1914) 29
Solitude (1914) 31
The personal God (1914) 32
Jungle jargon (1915) 34
Who shall atone? (1915) 36
Harvest time (1915) 38
The master - dead (1915) 39
Tramp summer (1915) 41
This much and more (1915) 42
The book of repulsive women (1915) 43
From Fifth Avenue up 44
In general 46
From Third Avenue on 47
Seen from the "L" 49
In particular 50
Twilight of the illicit 51
To a cabaret dancer 53
Suicide 55
Death (1916) 56
In conclusion (1916) 57
Dust (1916) 58
Birth (1916) 59
The yellow jar (1916) 60
A last toast (1916) 61
To an idol (1916) 62
Shadows (1916) 63
Love song (1916) 64
Lines to a lady (1918) 66
The lament of women (1918) 67
Ah my God! 68
To - 69
To the hands of a beloved (1919) 70
To one in favour (1919) 71
To a bird (1919) 72
To the dead favourite of Liu Ch'e (1920) 73
To one feeling differently (1923) 74
She passed this way (1923) 75
Vaudeville (1915, 1923) 76
Crystals (1923) 77
The child would be older (1923) 78
To one in another mood (1923) 79
A book (1923) and A night among the horses (1929) 80
Pastoral 81
Antique 83
Hush before love 84
Paradise 85
Six songs of Khalidine 86
Song in autumn 88
Lullaby 89
I'd have you think of me 90
The flowering corpse 91
First communion 92
Finis 93
Early unpublished poems (1920-25) 95
The poisoned tree (ca. 1920-23) 97
The end of summer (ca. 1920-23) 98
The rose (ca. 1920-23) 99
Growth (ca. 1920-23) 100
Love and the beast (1923) 101
Requiem (1923) 102
Portrait of a lady walking (1924-25) 103
Galerie religieuse (1924-25) 104
Archaic (ca. 1924-25) 105
Death and the wood 106
Late published poems (1938-82) 129
Transfiguration (1938, 1978) 131
Fall-out over heaven (1958) 133
Galerie religieuse (1962) 134
Quarry (1969, 1972) 136
The walking-mort (1971) 138
Creatures in an alphabet (1982) 140
Rite of spring (1982) 145
Late unpublished poems (ca. 1950-82) 147
Dereliction (man cannot purge ...) 149
Satires (man cannot purge ...) 150
The bo tree 152
Lament for wretches, every one 153
Dereliction (there are no sessions ...) 154
Descant (there is no gender ...) 155
Dereliction (does the inch-worm ...) 157
The rounds 158
Laughing lamentations (lord, what is man ...) 159
As cried (lord, what is man ...) 160
Imigo 161
Dereliction (Augusta said ...) 162
Discant (his mother said ...) 163
As cried (if gold falls sick ...) 164
Who died that day at Dannemora? 165
The satirics (they called Jesus ...) 167
As cried (sixty years ...) 168
Pharaoh 169
Dereliction (on my spade ...) 170
Dereliction (see how the sledded ...) 171
Discant (so they went up ...) 172
Dereliction and virgin spring (tell where is ...) 173
Satires (or why not ask ...) 174
Discant (pregnant women ...) 175
The Marian year 176
Satires (the laying on of hands ...) 177
Discant (he said to the don ...) 178
Magnificat : canticle 179
The great man 180
Dereliction (for old Rustibus ...) 181
Dereliction (there is no sanctuary ...) 182
The honeydew 183
Dereliction (when first I saw Io ...) 184
When first I saw my fable 185
Discant (there should be gardens ...) 186
There should be gardens 187
Satires (the honeydew) 188
Therefore sisters 189
Satires (high-society ...) 190
Untitled (a woman riding astride) 191
Satires (this roaring sea ...) 192
Descent (the coupling) 193
Dereliction (when beasts ...) 195
Discontent 196
When the kissing flesh is gone 197
Satires (memory has muscles) 198
When I conjured you 199
Laughing lamentations of Dan Corbeau 200
Discant (nothing's as vanquished ...) 201
Satires (man's member ...) 202
Tom fool (you have the rough tongue ...) 203
Tom-fool (beware Tom-fool ...) 204
Jackdaw (when I was an infant ...) 205
A victim is a state of decline 207
Viaticum (the victim and the victor stood ...) 208
Ancient spring (therefore look not ...) 209
Hearsed up in oak 210
Sardonics (burly ghosts ...) 211
Father 212
Jackdaw : the eye bereaves 213
Dereliction (over in the meadow ...) 214
Viaticum (when he came headlong ...) 215
Satires : mule satires 216
Satires (in some noble show ...) 217
Who does not love the chorister? 218
Satires (old man cruel ...) 219
Dereliction (hearing the slow beat ...) 220
Laughing lamentations (when first I practiced ...) 221
Satires (man does not save himself ...) 222
As cried (she was a creature ...) 223
Laughing lamentations (laughter under-water ...) 224
Dereliction (cold comfort ...) 225
As cried (and others ask ...) 226
Verse 227
Notes toward the memoirs
Selected notes on T. S. Eliot 231
Vantage ground 235
A way of life 243
Farewell Paris 249
War in Paris (1939) 263
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