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The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001 (American Poets Continuum) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001 (American Poets Continuum) by Louis Simpson...

Few poets have so artfully confronted American life as Louis Simpson. Persona speakers struggle with everyday issues against a backdrop of larger forces, the individual's maladjustment to a culture of materialism and brutal competition, the failure of marriage under the pressures of such a society, the failure of the American dream. Simpson wages a lover's quarrel with the world.

"Louis Simpson has perfect pitch. His poems win us first by their drama, their ways of voicing our ways . . . of making do with our lives. Then his intelligence cajoles us to the brink of a cliff of solitude and we step over into the buoyant element of true poetry."-Seamus Heaney

Educated at Munro College (West Indies) and at Columbia University, Louis Simpson has taught widely, most recently at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry and ten works of prose. He has received fellowships from the Academy of American Poetry, the Hudson Review, the Guggenheim Foundation, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 10"
Weight:   1.18 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2003
Publisher   BOA Editions Ltd.
ISBN  1929918399  
ISBN13  9781929918393  

Availability  0 units.

More About Louis Simpson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Educated at Munro College (Jamaica, West Indies) and at Columbia where he received his doctorate, Louis Simpson has taught at various universities. The author of seventeen books of poetry, he has received the Rome Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Hudson Review Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Louis Simpson was born in 1923.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001 (American Poets Continuum)?

a modern classic  Feb 12, 2008
I had read a few books by L. Simpson and I considered him a very good poet, but this collection of his work confirms he is a modern classic. One of the best poets of the century.
Simpson helps us focus on the particular  Jan 29, 2005
Louis Simpson's poems are a gift to the reader and a guide to help one focus on each moment with great clarity and insight. In an earlier collection of poems he writes:

"In recent years I have written about occurrences, sometimes very ordinary ones, in which there is a meaning hidden beneath the surface. Bringing out such meanings, it seems to me, is a road poetry can take in a world that, as it grows more industrial, seems less beautiful in the old sense. The more banal and 'anti-poetic' the material, the more there is for the poet to do. For this work a sense of humor is as necessary as an awareness of the drama, terror and beauty of life."

We so often live "unpoetic" lives, but Simpson helps us find the poetry that is there, if we have eyes to see it.

Here is the last stanza of "The Foggy Lane"

Walking in the foggy lane
I try to keep my attention fixed
on the uneven, muddy surface . . .
the pools made by the rain,
and wheel ruts, and wet leaves,
and the rustling of small animals
This poet was diasporic, wry, and mongrel when he jumped out  Feb 20, 2004
from the womb of Jamaica into the tomb of Wheeler Hall but he kept on writing, and thinking in writing, and deforming the narrative poem into a wry little lyric full of pithy sense and twisted ironice morals. I have loved his work a along time, and the man is part of the whole thing, what Wallace Stevens praised as "The Whole Man" composed of his time and climate and place, and nation-language which by now is not the Caribbean but Bush II America. I would honor him with a Pulitizer Prize if I could,this lyric machine still writing at 80, still the same imagistic wit and focus. The Hawaii poems are pretty interestingk even when they are remote, sarcastic, and tourist-sardonic like some haole moon peaking out over Kaimana Beach. But yes I agree that "Particularly now, when experimental schools such as the Language group command critical attention, his poetry can seem old-fashioned. It might best be considered as a model of academic poetry today" as Ivan Arguelles put it in 1988 for the Univ. of California at Berkeley Library. Yes, it is godawfully "old fashioned," and brilliant and animating by turns, twisted like Thomas Hardy and Noel Coward in one: Maybe, "By 50, he understood the Way of Heaven" as Confucius said long ago and far away. Praise him...he keeps writing in his own way & time.
The Owner of the House  Nov 24, 2003
Louis Simpson is an American treasure. His poetry is honest, yet
mysterious - plain-spoken, yet artful. This collection offers not only those poems which have long garnered him our highest accolades, but also new poems which reveal an owner of the house who is very much at home. What a rare invitation this collection is - an open door to an open heart! A large heart.
An expansive mind. A rare talent.
The Owner of the House by Louis Simpson  Oct 2, 2003
This work contains many themes about life, pogroms, immigrants,
the homeless and occasionally theology. Here are some samples.

"To the north (Mauka)
a mass of rosy clouds
two slopes of a mountain
sprinkled with garden lights. (Kaimana Beach)


"Beside a Church we dug our holes,
By tombstone and by cross
They were too shallow for our souls
When the ground began to toss. "

The readings make for an entertaining session. This poetry
is light-hearted but it is not elegant in the style of
an Evangeline or Edgar Allen Poe work.


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