Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems

Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems

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Overview

With an ear tuned to the most delicate musical effects, an eye for exact and heterogeneous details, and a mind bent on experiment, Louis Zukofsky was preeminent among the radical Objectivist poets of the 1930s. This is the first collection to draw on the full range of Zukofsky’s poetry——containing short lyrics, versions of Catullus, and generous selections from “A”, his 24-part “poem of a life”—and provides a superb introduction to a modern master of whom the critic Guy Davenport has written: “Every living American poet worth a hoot has stood aghast before the steel of his integrity.”

The most formally radical poet to emerge among the second wave of American modernists, Louis Zukofsky continues to influence younger poets attracted to the rigor, inventiveness, and formal clarity of his work. Born on New York’s Lower East Side in 1904 to emigrant parents, Zukofsky achieved early recognition when he edited an issue of Poetry devoted to the Objectivist poets, including George Oppen and Charles Reznikoff. In addition to an abundance of short lyrics and a sound-based version of the complete poems of Catullus, he worked for most of his adult life on the long poem “A” of which he said: “In a sense the poem is an autobiography: the words are my life.”

Zukofsky’s work has been described as difficult although he himself said: “I try to be as simple as possible.” In the words of editor Charles Bernstein, “This poetry leads with sound and you can never go wrong following the sound sense. . . . Zukofsky loved to create patterns, some of which are apparent and some of which operate subliminally. . . . Each word, like a stone dropped in a pond, creates a ripple around it. The intersecting ripples on the surface of the pond are the pattern of the poem.” Here for the first time is a selection designed to introduce the full range of Zukofsky’s extraordinary poetry.

About the American Poets Project
Elegantly designed in compact editions, printed on acid-free paper, and textually authoritative, the American Poets Project makes available the full range of the American poetic accomplishment, selected and introduced by today’s most discerning poets and critics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781931082952
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 04/06/2006
Series: American Poets Project Series , #22
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 1,127,012
Product dimensions: 4.76(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Charles Bernstein is Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of over forty books including the essays collections, My Way: Speeches and PoemsA Poetics, and Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984 and the poetry collections With StringsRepublics of Reality: 1975-1995, and Dark City.

Table of Contents

Introductionxiii
I Sent Thee Late (1922)1
from 55 Poems (1923-1935)
from Poem beginning "The"3
First Movement: "And out of olde bokes, in good faith"3
Fifth Movement: Autobiography5
Half-dozenth Movement: Finale, and After9
from 29 Poems
2. "Not much more than being"11
3. "Cocktails"12
5. Ferry14
from 29 Songs
5. It's a gay li - ife15
8. "Happier, happier, now"15
16. "Crickets'"16
21. "Snows' night's winds on the window rattling"17
23. "The Immediate Aim"17
24. This Fall, 193320
from Anew (1935-1944)
1. che di lor suona su nella tua vita22
2. "One lutenist played look; your thought was drink:"22
9. "For you I have emptied the meaning"23
10. "What are these songs"23
12. "It's hard to see but think of a sea"24
20. "The lines of this new song are nothing"25
21. "Can a mote of sunlight defeat its purpose"25
22. Catullus viii26
from Some Time (1940-1956)
A Song for the Year's End27
from So That Even a Lover29
And Without30
from Songs of Degrees30
from Barely and widely (1956-1958)
Barely/and/widely33
4: A Valentine34
11: Head Lines36
12: 4 Other Countries36
from I's (pronounced eyes) (1937-1960)
(Ryokan's scroll)74
Peri Poietikes75
I's (pronounced eyes)76
To Friends, for Good Health80
from "A"
1 (1928)81
7 (1928-1930)86
9 (first half 1938-1940; second half 1948-1950)90
11 (1950)96
from 12 (1950-1951)97
from 15 (1964)114
16 (1963)116
from 21 (1967)117
23 (1973-1974)119
Uncollected
A Foin Lass Bodders (1940)152
from Bottom: On Shakespeare (1947-1960)
Julia's Wild155
from Catullus (1958-1969)
5156
7156
8157
51158
70158
76158
112160
from 80 Flowers (1974-1978)
"Heart us invisibly thyme time"161
Honesty161
Liveforever162
Dogwood162
Raspberry162
Thyme163
Vines163
Weeds164
Zinnia164
from Complete Short Poetry
Gamut (1978)165
Biographical Note & Note on the Texts169
Notes171

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