The poetry of the late James Laughlin (1914-97) spans a period of over sixty years, from the first verses written in his signature "typewriter" metric to the most recent pieces that open his Poems New and Selected. Laughlin reveals himself in his poems as a master of concision, of the well-placed word that penetrates the human heart. Over two hundRed and twenty five poems included here show his technical brilliance as well: in short- and long-line poems; in the three-stress verses of his autobiographical "Byways"; in "Epigrams," amatory and otherwise, and "Pentastichs"; in idiosyncratic "(American) French" poems and their translations of his own devising. For readers coming to Laughlin's work for the first time, this collection will be a sea of undiscovered riches, and for longtime devotees, a chance to ply once again the well-chartered waters of his poetry.
James Laughlin founded New Directions in 1936. His own first book of poems, Some Natural Thingsthe first of manyappeared nine years later. His most recent collections include The Secret Room (1996) and The Love Poems of James Laughlin (1997).
About the Author
James Laughlin (1914–1997) founded New Directions in 1936 while still a student at Harvard. He wrote and compiled more than a dozen books of poetry as well as stories and essays; seven volumes of his correspondence with his authors are available from W.W. Norton.