Kenneth Fearing: Selected Poems

Overview

Poet, journalist, and crime novelist, Kenneth Fearing (1902–61) wrote poems filled with the lingo of advertising and radio broadcasts and tabloid headlines, sidewalk political oratory, and the pop tunes on the jukebox. He evoked the jitters of the Depression and the war years in a voice alternately sardonic and melancholy, and depicted a fragmenting urban world bom-barded by restless desires and unnerving fears. But this portraitist of his era also foreshadowed much that was to come in American writing. This ...
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Overview

Poet, journalist, and crime novelist, Kenneth Fearing (1902–61) wrote poems filled with the lingo of advertising and radio broadcasts and tabloid headlines, sidewalk political oratory, and the pop tunes on the jukebox. He evoked the jitters of the Depression and the war years in a voice alternately sardonic and melancholy, and depicted a fragmenting urban world bom-barded by restless desires and unnerving fears. But this portraitist of his era also foreshadowed much that was to come in American writing. This volume reveals him as a vernacular prophet of media culture and consumerism, and at the same time as a lyric poet of tremendous gifts.

Author Biography: Robert Polito is the author of Savage Art, a biography of the crime novelist Jim Thompson, and of the forthcoming Detours, a study of noir culture in America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931082570
  • Publisher: Library of America, The
  • Publication date: 3/22/2004
  • Series: American Poets Project
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 1,357,414
  • Product dimensions: 4.82 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
St. Agnes' Eve 1
Minnie and Mrs. Hoyne 2
Andy and Jerry and Joe 4
Cultural Notes 5
John Standish, Artist 7
They Liked It 8
Jack Knuckles Falters But Reads Own Statement at His Execution While Wardens Watch 9
from Aphrodite Metropolis 11
The Drinkers 12
Lithographing 14
Portrait 15
The Cabinet of Simplicity 16
Ballad of the Salvation Army 19
Green Light 20
Breakfast With Hilda 22
Saturday Night 22
Evening Song 25
Invitation 26
Angel Arms 28
Conclusion 30
Winner Take All 31
Resurrection 33
Obituary 35
American Rhapsody (1) 36
Dividends 39
X Minus X 40
1933 41
Dear Beatrice Fairfax 44
American Rhapsody (2) 45
As the Fuse Burns Down 47
No Credit 48
Dirge 50
What If Mr. Jesse James Should Some Day Die? 52
Escape 53
$2.50 55
American Rhapsody (3) 57
Lullaby 58
20th Century Blues 59
Denouement 61
En Route 68
Happy New Year 70
Literary 71
Lunch With the Sole Survivor 72
Devil's Dream 72
Hold the Wire 74
Longshot Blues 76
A Pattern 77
The Program 79
American Rhapsody (5) 80
Portrait 81
C Stands for Civilization 82
Take a Letter 84
Radio Blues 85
Dance of the Mirrors 87
Manhattan 88
Scheherazade 91
How Do I Feel? 92
Agent No. 174 Resigns 94
Pact 97
The Doctor Will See You Now 98
Gentleman Holding Hands With Girl 99
Portrait of a Cog 101
A La Carte 102
American Rhapsody (4) 103
Yes, the Agency Can Handle That 104
Class Reunion 105
Payday in the Morgue 107
Love, 20[cents] the First Quarter Mile 110
Discussion After the Fifth or Sixth 112
Readings, Forecasts, Personal Guidance 114
Continuous Performance 117
Art Review 119
Cracked Record Blues 120
Travelogue in a Shooting-Gallery 121
Thirteen O'Clock 122
Reception Good 124
Confession Overheard in a Subway 125
King Juke 128
Elegy in a Theatrical Warehouse 130
Piano Tuner 131
Model for a Biography 132
End of the Seers' Convention 133
The Joys of Being a Businessman 135
Public Life 137
A Tribute, and a Nightmare 138
Afternoon of a Pawnbroker 139
Stranger at Coney Island 143
4 A.M. 145
Castaway 147
The Juke-Box Spoke and the Juke-Box Said 148
Newspaperman 149
Bryce & Tomlins 151
Sherlock Spends a Day in the Country 152
Mrs. Fanchier at the Movies 153
The People v. the People 154
Irene Has a Mind Of Her Own 156
Minutes From the Chamber of Commerce 158
This Day 159
Long Journey 160
Family Album (1): The Pioneers 162
Family Album (2): Granny 164
Family Album (3): The Boat 165
Family Album (4): The Investigators 166
Biographical Note 171
Note on the Texts 173
Notes 175
Index of Titles and First Lines 177
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