Collected Poems


This collection of poetry showcases the unique talent of James Schuyler and highlights the writing that won him a Pulitzer Prize.

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This collection of poetry showcases the unique talent of James Schuyler and highlights the writing that won him a Pulitzer Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This posthumous collection of Schuyler's (1923-1991) work will confirm the poet's mastery of a type of poem made famous by his friend Frank O'Hara in the late 1950s. Schuyler's subject is his life, and his poems often read like elegant journal entries. The book presents intimate and conversational accounts of life in the Eastern literary landscape--New York City, New England, Long Island. In urbane free verse, the poet recalls and meditates on music and painting, homosexuality, weekends with friends--John Ashbery and Fairfield Porter among them--deaths, a drive to the Hamptons. Unlike many later writers who have tried to convey the poetry inherent in the mundane aspects of their quotidian routine, Schuyler had a superb ear for language, for ``How the thing said / Is in the words, how / The words are themselves / The thing said.'' His work is almost always interesting and witty, though rarely profound. A typical poem finds him dining out with friends, the narrative following the course of the poet's meandering thoughts: ``Now it's tomorrow, / as usual. Turned out that / Doug Douglas Crase, the poet / had to work (he makes his bread / writing speeches): thirty pages / explaining why Eastman Kodak's / semi-slump(?) is just what / the stockholders ordered.'' Rarely has a poet imparted so much of his experience as honestly and engagingly as Schuyler does here. (July)
The writing of the late James Schuyler (1923-1991) isn't everyone's cup of poesy, but it's undeniably rigorous and original. This volume, essential to every library collection, gathers together all of Schuyler's published collections, as well as a substantial group of previously unpublished work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374524036
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 745,898
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

James Schuyler (1923-91) received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for The Morning of the Poem in 1981.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Note xiii
Freely Espousing (1969)
Freely Espousing 3
February 4
With Frank and George at Lexington 5
A Reumon 6
Quick, Henry, the Flit! 6
A New Yorker 7
Walter Scott 8
Greetings from the Chateau 9
Royals 10
"The Elizabethans Called It Dying" 11
March Here 12
Faberge 12
A White City 13
December 13
Ilford Rose Book 14
Rachmaninoff's Third 14
Money Musk 15
A Man in Blue 16
Sestina 18
An Almanac 19
Thinness 20
Hudson Ferry 21
Flashes 22
April and Its Forsythia 23
Roof Garden 24
May 24th or So 24
Penobscot 25
Today 26
Sorting, wrapping, packing, stuffing 27
Seeking 29
Crocus Night 31
Milk 31
Going 32
The Master of the Golden Glow 33
Stun 34
"Earth's Holocaust" 35
Poem 36
3/23/66 36
Industrial Archaeology 37
Now and then 38
Buried at Springs 42
Salute 44
from The Home Book 1951-1970 (1977)
A Grave 47
Poem 47
At the Beach 48
Self-Pity Is a Kind of Lying, Too 48
A Picnic Cantata 49
Grand Duo 57
Things to Do 59
Dreams 60
Joint 62
Jelly Jelly 63
Sonnet 64
Voyage autour de mes cartes postales 64
Four Poems 67
"It's 4:30 in Cambridge" 67
Mass. Ave., Cambridge, Mass. 69
"We must observe the amenities" 69
Frank! Frank! 70
A Head 71
Looking Forward to See Jane Real Soon 73
Dorabella's Naples Watercolor 73
A Poem 74
The Crystal Lithium (1972)
Southampton and New York
Empathy and New Year 77
Poem 80
In January 80
Blue 81
Spring 82
In earliest morning 82
An East Window on Elizabeth Street 84
Alice Faye at Ruby Foo's 85
Buildings 86
Wonderful World 87
Scarlet Tanager 88
A Sun Cab 90
The Island
Light Blue Above 92
The Cenotaph 93
After Joe was at the island 98
"Used Handkerchiefs 5[cent]" 98
The Trash Book 99
8/12/70 100
Light from Canada 100
Gulls 101
Closed Gentian Distances 102
Fall and Winter
September 103
Evening Wind 103
A Vermont Diary 104
A Stone Knife 111
The Dog Wants His Dinner 113
Running Footsteps 114
The Crystal Lithium 116
Loving You
Janis Joplin's Dead: Long Live Pearl 120
Eyes 121
The Night 123
Like Lorraine Ellison 124
Letter to a Friend: Who Is Nancy Daum? 125
Letter Poem #2 130
We Are Leaves 130
Await 132
Steaming Ties 134
Watching You 135
Letter Poem #3 136
Hymn to Life (1974)
Beautiful Funerals 139
Roxy 143
Our Father 147
Mike 149
In the round 152
Poem 154
To Frank O'Hara 154
Unlike Joubert 156
Sometimes 157
Eyes at the Window 157
Two 159
May, 1972 159
June 160
I think 161
For Bob Dash 162
Song 162
Shimmer 163
A Held Breath 164
Sunday 164
Bleeding Gums 165
The sky eats up the trees 166
Gray, intermittently blue, eyed hero 167
Greenwich Avenue 169
Labor Day 170
Just before fall 171
Buttered Greens 172
Sparks 176
Deep Winter 176
In Wiry Winter 177
So Good 179
October 180
Was It 182
Poem 183
Daylight 183
You're 184
A photograph 186
Up 187
Saturday Night 188
Sunday 189
August Night 189
A blue towel 192
Evenings in Vermont
The Bluet 195
"From the next ..." 196
Standing and Watching 196
The Green Door 197
Sunset 198
The Day 198
Evening 200
The Walk 200
Evenings in Vermont 203
Awoke 203
Afterward 204
The Faure Ballade
The Faure Ballade 206
Hymn to Life
Hymn to Life 214
The Morning of the Poem (1980)
New Poems
This Dark Apartment 227
June 30, 1974 228
Korean mums 231
Growing Dark 232
Dec. 28, 1974 233
Good morning 234
Song 235
A Name Day 236
Footnote 238
Afterward 238
I sit down to type 240
The snow 242
Wystan Auden 242
Dining Out with Doug and Frank 244
The Payne Whitney Poems
Trip 252
We walk 252
Arches 253
Linen 253
Heather and Calendulas 254
Back 255
Blizzard 255
February 13, 1975 256
Sleep 256
Pastime 257
What 257
The Morning of the Poem
The Morning of the Poem 259
A Few Days (1985)
The Snowdrop 307
The Rose of Marion 307
Gray Day 308
This notebook 309
Lilacs 310
Thursday 311
Cornflowers 312
Velvet Roses 312
August first, 1974 313
Sleep-Gummed Eyes 314
Overcast, Hot 315
At Darragh's I 316
White 317
Dear Joe 318
Amy Lowell Thoughts 319
The morning 320
October 5, 1981 320
Moon 321
Virginia Woolf 321
Oriane 322
Beaded Balustrade 323
People who see bubbles rise 323
Autumn Leaves 324
En Route to Southampton 325
Tomorrow 326
November 326
Faure's Second Piano Quartet 327
A Belated Birthday Poem 328
Poem 330
Red Brick and Brown Stone 330
Tom 332
Tom's Attempt to Seduce Big Brother Steve 335
Sleep 336
The Day 337
A Table of Green Fields 337
Tom's Dream 338
Perhaps 339
O Sleepless Night 339
Suddenly 345
The Fireproof Floors of Witley Court
Witley Court 346
Below the Stairs 346
In a Churchyard 347
Hats 348
Frock 348
What Ails My Fern? 348
Wild Eggs 350
Boer War Bread Strike 350
Procession 351
Adverts 351
A Few Days
A few days 354
Mark 383
Horse-Chestnut Trees and Roses 383
Mood Indigo 385
Rain 387
Birds 388
Shadowy Room 389
White Boat, Blue Boat 390
Over the hills 391
A cardinal 393
Ajaccio Violets 393
Shaker 394
Three Gardens 396
4404 Stanford 396
Erta Canina 396
Chelsea 397
Let's All Heat It for Mildred Bailey! 397
Noon Office 399
Simone Signoret 400
The light within 402
Advent 403
Six something 403
Andrew Lord Poems 404
Under the Hanger 411
Yellow Flowers 414
Blossoming Oakwood 415
A Chapel 416
A View 417
"This soft October" 418
On the dresser 420
Princess Di 421
Haze 423
Index of Titles and First Lines 425
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