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Stephen Jonas Selected Poems
     

Stephen Jonas Selected Poems

by Stephen Jonas, Joseph Torra (Introduction)
 

Poetry. "Stephen Jonas is part of a mythic Boston poetry gang headed by John Wieners, comrades of Charles Olson, fellow New Englander. His gay verse pioneered and prophesied later 'Fag Rag' decades in Puritan Boston. A true poet of modern classic culture in mid-twentieth century U.S.A."--Allen Ginsberg.

Overview


Poetry. "Stephen Jonas is part of a mythic Boston poetry gang headed by John Wieners, comrades of Charles Olson, fellow New Englander. His gay verse pioneered and prophesied later 'Fag Rag' decades in Puritan Boston. A true poet of modern classic culture in mid-twentieth century U.S.A."--Allen Ginsberg.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This selection from the work of one of the most interesting African American writers is long overdue. Though Jonas's work sprang from the Beat movement, the term may not be adequate to suggest his particular gifts or experience. In the mid-1940s, Jonas sidestepped the Black Mountain and New York poetry scenes and settled in Boston, producing a body of writing that is astonishing in its musicality and intellectual breadth. Self-taught and heavily influenced by Pound, Williams and the improvisational qualities of jazz, Jonas, who died in 1970, wrote collages of polyphonic fragments that evinced enormous energy and precision. In ``Exercises for the Ear,'' he wrote, ``i have come to / chew up yr language''; and so he does, ingesting the language of the street and transcribing it (with phonetic spelling) into a rhythmic free verse. The ambitious set of long poems called ``Orgasms/Dominations'' represent a sprawling investigation of everything from street life to the aesthetics of poetry. This latter subject especially dominates his work. For Jonas, true poetry was found in the ear: ``the set-up of a poem / may not always please / the eye; / but the ear can be . . . conducted along / surprising causeways.'' To be led by him is to listen to language at its best--music. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883689063
Publisher:
Talisman House, Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/1994
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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