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Selected Poems Revised Edition
     

Selected Poems Revised Edition

by Robert Duncan, Robert J. Bertholf (Editor), Robert J. Bertholf (Editor)
 
This second edition of the late Robert Duncan's Selected Poems, first published in 1993, includes eleven additional poems and excerpts.
Duncan, like Dante, was a poet of cosmic imagination, intensely aware of his and poetry's role in the ever-expanding logos of creation. His Selected Poems, first published in 1993, is a "useful and portable compilation," says

Overview

This second edition of the late Robert Duncan's Selected Poems, first published in 1993, includes eleven additional poems and excerpts.
Duncan, like Dante, was a poet of cosmic imagination, intensely aware of his and poetry's role in the ever-expanding logos of creation. His Selected Poems, first published in 1993, is a "useful and portable compilation," says critic Tom Clark, that "provides the most comprehensive available look at the career of the Bay Area's greatest lyric poet." Editor Robert J. Bertholf has enlarged the original collection to include eleven additional poems and excerpts. The second edition of the Selected Poems fully fleshes out the retrospective of works chosen from the whole of Duncan's writing life. From his early poems through his final Ground Work volumes, as well as his serial poems, "Structures of Rime" and "Passages," composed over the course of thirty years, there emerges a prophetic voice of great perception.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Duncan (1919-1987) was one of the true masters of contemporary American poetry. His oeuvre is by turns lyrical, experimental, archaic, visionary and political. His most innovative works (``Structure of Rime'' and ``Passages'') have been epic in nature and interspersed among shorter poems throughout several volumes, so that it has been virtually impossible to get a sense of his full poetic powers without reading his mature books, from 1960 on, in order. Bertholf's selections are so attuned to the essentials of Duncan's ( Ground Work: Before the War ; Roots and Branches ) writing--the idiosyncratic spellings, the attention and respect given the muses, the horrific sense of war--that even those familiar with the whole body of Duncan's work will become more sensitized to his recurring imagery and consistency of thought pattern through this collection. ``Writing is first a search in obedience,'' he says in a relatively early poem. And, varying this concept in one of his final poems, written during a long, painful illness: ``What Angel, what Gift of the Poem, has brought into my / body / this sickness of living?'' In Bertholf's brief, insightful introduction, he makes necessary connections between the often-neglected early work and the later masterpieces. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Duncan, who died in 1987 with over 40 books and chapbooks to his name, is often linked with Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, and other stars of the San Francisco Renaissance of the 1950s. Such associations tend to dilute the importance of this writer, whose ambitious, idiosyncratic poems stand on their own. They are as classically elegant as they are starkly avant-garde, as erotic as they are intellectual, and they are almost always beautiful to the ear. Duncan is particularly celebrated for his love poems, which are well represented here. The most beautiful, perhaps, is ``The Torso Passages 18,'' which ends: ``Gathering me, you gather/ yourself/ for my other is not a woman but a man/ the king upon whose bosom let me lie.'' Robert Bertholf's short introduction emphasizes Duncan's eclectic range, his interest in painting and philosophy as well as poetry, and his dedication to the art. Long overdue, this collection is a fine introduction to Duncan; one does, however, hope for a ``complete works.''-- Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York
Booknews
A retrospective of the mystical modernist's work chosen from the whole course of his writing life. Published by New Directions Publishing Corp., 80 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811213455
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Series:
Paperbook Series
Edition description:
ENLARGED
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Robert Duncan (1919–1988) was a 20th century American poet affiliated with the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement.

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