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Morris DicksteinStanley Burnshaw has played an active role on the literary scene since the late 1920s in many capacities--poet, critic, editor-publisher, fiction writer, memoirist, translator, anthologist, and theorist of poetry and translation. Besides collecting most of his poems for the first time, something which has long been overdue, this book gives a broad overview of his prose writing, including the whole last section of his biography/memoir of Robert Frost; a key chapter from his classic work of poetic theory, The Seamless Web; the definitive last word on his controversy with Wallace Stevens; and the whole text of his superb memoir/novella, My Friend, My Father. These are pieces that will never go out of fashion.
As a poet, Burnshaw is a meticulous craftsman with a fine ear and a considerable lyric gift. The first section, Early and Late Testament, is not his strongest, but there are many fine poems here. Caged in an Animal's Mind (1963) and In the Terrified Radiance (1972) show Burnshaw at the peak of his powers as a poet, breaking through to an essential clarity and simplicity, as do some of the last poems. Burnshaw, now in his nineties, has made numerous small revisions in poems all through the book, and every single one of them is an improvement, [which] shows what a conscious craftsman and creative student of verse he remains.
In sum, this book not only fills out the historical record of an important and enduring literary career, but also offers a wonderful range of good reading in both prose and poetry--in short, a living body of work.
— Morris Dickstein, Distinguished Professor of English and Senior Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Graduate Center of the City University of New York