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Yvor Winters: Selected Poems (American Poets Project) [Hardcover]

By Yvor Winters & Thom Gunn (Editor)
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Item description for Yvor Winters: Selected Poems (American Poets Project) by Yvor Winters & Thom Gunn...

As critic and teacher, Yvor Winters was one of the most controversial and influential figures of his time. He criticized the likes of Eliot and Henry James, was called by the chair of his English department "a disgrace," and taught such major poets as Robert Pinsky and Philip Levine. As a poet, he created a moving body of work featuring natural and personal subjects and dramatic formal experiments. The American Poets Project presents the largest collection of his work ever published. Selected by celebrated poet Thom Gunn, a friend and former student of Winters, this volume begins with early free verse and culminates in late meditative neoclassical masterpieces.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 4.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 13, 2003
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  1931082502  
ISBN13  9781931082501  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Yvor Winters & Thom Gunn

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Winters was a poet, critic, and Stanford University professor of English literature.

Yvor Winters was born in 1900 and died in 1968.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Yvor Winters: Selected Poems (American Poets Project)?

Why Poetry?  Jan 4, 2006
On the face of it, poetry seems useless and pretentious. The tiny poetry section at Chapters or at Barnes & Nobles probably reflects the general lack of interest in written poetry. And yet poetry _is_ present in our lives. Pop songs are the best example. There certainly is some horrible stuff out there (e.g. "Oh baby, I'm so hot, so hot for you, so hot so hot, yeah!") but there's great verse too: Elenor Rigby (the Beatles, 1966) is a classic , as is The Wall (Pink Floyd, 1979) while Lose Yourself (Eminem, 2002) is something newer but that might perhaps survive. Any of these three works can be appreciated without the music.

But why write verse that will never be put to music? Beats me, yet many authors do. So once in a while I pick up something, hoping that it will click. I was rather lucky this time with Thom Gunn's selection of poems by Yvor Winters (1900-1967).

The selection spans Yvor Winters' entire poetic career. Winters' early works take up about a third of the slim volume and his later poems take up the rest. Winters was at first a free verse maverick, which I suppose matched the artistic trends of the early twentieth century. But later in life Winters adopted a neo-classical style, in other words his poems rhymed and followed a meter. But the poems are also new; Winters writes using plain contemporary language avoiding references to Greek gods and legends. Here is one stanza picked at random from the later works.

But you and I in part are one:
The frightened brain, the nervous will,
The knowledge of what must be done,
The passion to acquire the skill
To face that which you dare not shun.

This is beautiful. It contrasts fear with duty and evokes the poet's need (or for that matter anyone's need) to do his work.

I prefer Winters' later works but if life is a road then he had to write his earlier poems before writing his later ones. Editor Thom Gunn (a student of Winters) calls him a maverick's maverick. And so he was: Winters rebelled against his earlier rebellion by making his message plainer.

Vincent Poirier, Montreal
a reintroduction to a great poet  Dec 16, 2003
Winters is best known as a critic and as a teacher--he's taught some great poets, and they in turn have taught some great poets... We have a lot to thank Yvor Winters for. But people sometimes forget that Winters was a poet as well. Some of my favorite poems are: "Jose's Country," "October," "Full Moon," "Sleep," "The Passing Night," "The Fable," "The Fall of Leaves," "Moonlight Alert," "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and "The Journey."

Thom Gunn edited this addition to the great new series Library of America is putting out, 'American Poets Project." Gunn himself is a great poet, and brings a good sensibility to his selection of Winters' poetry. You get some phenomenal poems in this collection. Gunn also includes the one short story Winters wrote. And surprisingly, it is a pretty good story. This is a great edition of a poet I'm afraid that we have almost forgotten. We have to thank Library of America for creating this new series, and Thom Gunn for his selection of Winters poetry.


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