The first appearance of this award-winning writer's work since the 1940s, this collection, which includes an introduction by John Ashbery, restores Joan Murray's striking poetry to its originally intended form. Though John Ashbery hailed Joan Murray as a key influence on his work, Murray’s sole collection, Poems, published after her death at the early age of twenty-four and selected by W. H. Auden for inclusion in the Yale Series of Younger Poets, has been almost entirely unavailable for the better part of half a century. Poems was put together by Grant Code, a close friend of Murray’s mother, and when Murray’s papers, long thought to be lost, reappeared in 2013, it became clear that Code had exercised a heavy editorial hand. This new collection, edited by Farnoosh Fathi from Murray’s original manuscripts, restores Murray’s raw lyricism and visionary lines, while also including a good deal of previously unpublished work, as well as a selection of her exuberant letters.
Gathering Bishop's unpublished material for the first time, this revelatory and moving selection enters her laboratory, showing the initial provocative images that moved the poet to begin writing and illustrating terrain unexplored in the work published during her lifetime.
The poems in this posthumous collection were written by John Berryman between 1967 and 1972, the year of his death. The first group consists of forty-five unpublished or uncollected Dream Songs, included the title poem, "Henry's Fate." The second part includes eleven short poems; the third is devoted to unfinished longer poems, one of which is the extraordinary draft version of "Washington in Love," more ambitious in scope and intention than the version Berryman published in Delusions, Etc.This section also includes the "Proemio"to a poem addressed to his children, which Berryman was planning as "my third epic," after Homage to Mistress Bradstreet and The Dream Songs. The fourth and final section consists of ten poems of the later period, including "The Alcoholic in the 3rd Week of the 3rd Treatment," and "I didn't," a poem written within forty-eight hours of his death. Henry's Fate and Other Poems has been compiled by John Haffenden, poet and critic, who is at work on the authorized biography of Berrman. In his introduction he reveals that a number of poems turned up in unlikely places: " Old Codger Henry' was found, for example, on a scrap of envelope tucked away in an edition of Coleridge." He cites a satirical epitaph Berryman wrote on himself as early as 1955: "He was a poet. To earn a living--instead of scrounging as he should have done--he lectured on subjects he knew nothing about to students incapable of learning anything." He feels that Berryman "embodied in his life the truth of his own phrase, 'The happier you get the worse you feel.'"
In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. -- Kubla Khan
In 1944, New Directions brought out Thomas Merton's first book of verse. By the time of his tragic, untimely death in 1968, Father Louis (as he was known at the Trappist monastery where he lived for twenty-seven years) had published upwards of fifty books and pamphlets, including several more collections of poetry. All of these poems have been assembled in a single, definitive volume (first published by New Directions in 1977) which includes much additional unpublished or uncollected material drawn from the archive of the Merton Studies Center at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky, or supplied by the poet's friends and associates. Brought together in The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton are: Early Poems (1940-42, published posthumously in 1971), Thirty Poems (1944), A Man in the Divided Sea (1946), Figures for an Apocalypse (1947), The Tear of the Blind Lions (1949), The Strange Islands (1957), Original Child Bomb (1962), Emblems of a Season of Fun (1963), Cables to Ace (1968), and The Geography of Lograire (completed in 1968 and published posthumously). These are followed by Sensation Time at the Home and Other New Poems, a book which Merton completed shortly before his death. There are also sections of uncollected poems, humorous verse, poems written in French, with some English translations, Merton's translations of poetry from various languages, drafts and fragments, and a selection of concrete poems. With the availability of The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton as a New Directions paperbook, an ever wider audience may more fully appreciate the impressive range of the poet's technique, the scope of his concerns, and the humaneness of his vision.
The most notorious poet-critic of his generation, William Logan has defined our view of poets good and bad, interesting and banal, for more than three decades. Featured in the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New Criterion, among other journals, Logan's eloquent, passionate prose never fails to provoke readers and poets, reminding us of the value and vitality of the critic's savage art. Like The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, Our Savage Art features the corrosive wit and darkly discriminating critiques that have become the trademarks of Logan's style. Opening with a defense of the critical eye, this collection features essays on Robert Lowell's correspondence, Elizabeth Bishop's unfinished poems, the inflated reputation of Hart Crane, the loss of the New Critics, and a damning-and already highly controversial-indictment of an edition of Robert Frost's notebooks. Logan also includes essays on Derek Walcott and Geoffrey Hill, two crucial figures in the divided world of contemporary poetry, and an attempt to rescue the reputation of the nineteenth-century poet John Townsend Trowbridge. Short reviews consider John Ashbery, Anne Carson, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, Seamus Heaney, and dozens of others. Though he might be called a cobra with manners, Logan is a fervent advocate for poetry, and Our Savage Art continues to raise the standard of what the critic can do.