The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Warren may be a touch unfashionable now: dead white man of letters, Southern novelist, Harvard-educated, and a purveyor of the "new criticism," the textual analysis that drove literary studies in the 1960s. And it doesn't help that he once espoused segregationist beliefs (adamantly retracted in adulthood). But readers briefly acquainted with his poems from the rather stodgy selections in anthologies may be surprised to find how down-to-earth and actually readable these poems are. Harold Bloom's introductory essay points the reader toward Incarnations (1966-68) and what comes afterward as the strongest work. Short, long, rhymed, unrhymed--the range here is impressive. The long narrative poem "Audubon: A Vision," which spawned many imitations, exemplifies how Warren's historical approach is both sensual and personal, enlivened by some of the best natural description of our time: "and the large bird,/ Long neck outthrust, wings crooked to scull air, moved/ In a slow calligraphy, crank, flat, and black against/ The color of God's blood spilt, as though/ Pulled by a string." Painstakingly edited by Burt, a professor at Brandeis, this collection brings together published and unpublished work chronologically and details the poet's revisions through various drafts. An important purchase.--Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807123331
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 838
  • Sales rank: 1,466,656
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 2.24 (d)

Meet the Author

John Burt, professor of English at Brandeis University, is the author of Robert Penn Warren and American Idealism and the poetry collections The Way Down and Work Without Hope.

LSU Press

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