[New-Poetry] remembering Kunitz
junction at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 28 23:54:11 EST 2010
He was also well aware of the poetry he chose not
to acknowledge. As was his right.
At 09:59 PM 11/28/2010, you wrote:
>One interesting link between Stanley Kunitz and
>Gerald Stern is that they both had to wait a
>long time for recognition, and thus to join the
>world of the Poetry Establishment. Both
>eventually enjoyed what seem to us like long and
>laurel-filled careers, but both were in their
>fifties before they became well known.
>Kunitz won the Pulitzer in 1959 when he was 54
>years old; and Stern's first major press book,
>*Lucky Life*, appeared in 1977, when he was 52
>(he had a couple minuscule press pamphlets prior
>to that). *Lucky Life*'s back flap informs us
>that Gerald Stern was teaching then at Somerset
>County College in New Jersey--not exactly the
>Iowa Writers Workshop at that point.
>We look back now and think of them both,
>perhaps, as quintessential insiders, but that's
>at least an oversimplification. And each one, I
>think, carried the mindset of the outsider into
>the academy, when they finally made their marks there.
>Not sure that any of this has much to do with
>the work, of course. In any case, Kunitz was
>highly revered by poets like Roethke, Lowell,
>Kinnell, Rukeyser, and many younger figures; and
>served himself as a kind of father figure to
>many generations of younger writers.
>I for one am not inclined to dismiss him too
>readily. And I very much agree with Barry that
>about the art of poetry his knowledge of poetry
>seemed encyclopedic--at least if we're talking
>about the whole history of poetry, and not just
>the skirmishes of our own times.
>grahamd at ripon.edu
>New-Poetry mailing list
>New-Poetry at wiz.cath.vt.edu
New from Chax Press: Mark Weiss, As Landscape.
$16. Order from http://www.chax.org/poets/weiss.htm
"What a beautiful set of circumstances! What a
lovely concatenation of particulars. Here is the
poet alive in every sense of the word, and
through every one of his senses. Instead of
missing a beat or a part, Weiss fragments are
like Chekhovs short storiesthe more that gets
left out, the more they seem to contain
hear echoes from all the various
ancestors...[but] the voice, at its center, its
core, is pure Mark Weiss. His use of the fragment
is both elegant and bafflingly clear, a pure
[it] opens a window, not only
into a mind, but a person, a personality, this
human figure at the emotional center of the poem."
M.G. Stephens, in Jacket.
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