A central figure in twentieth-century American literature, Robert Penn Warren was appointed by the Library of Congress as the first Poet Laureate of the United States in 1985. Warren wrote enduring fiction as well as influential works of literary criticism and theory. Yet, as this variorum edition of his published poems suggests, it is his poetry - spanning sixty years, siA central figure in twentieth-century American literature, Robert Penn Warren was appointed by the Library of Congress as the first Poet Laureate of the United States in 1985. Warren wrote enduring fiction as well as influential works of literary criticism and theory. Yet, as this variorum edition of his published poems suggests, it is his poetry - spanning sixty years, sixteen volumes of verse, and a wide range of styles - that places Warren among America's foremost men of letters. In this volume, John Burt, Warren's literary executor, has gathered together every poem Warren ever published (with the exception of Brother to Dragons), including the many poems he published in The Fugitive and other magazines, as well as those that appeared in his small press works and broadsides. Burt has also exhaustively collated all of the published versions of Warren's poems - in some cases, a poem appeared as many as six different times with substantive revisions in every line - as well as the author's typescripts and proofs. And since Warren never seemed to reread any of his books without a pencil in hand, Burt has referred to Warren's personal library copies. A record of Burt's comprehensive analysis is found in this edition's textual notes, list of emendations, and explanatory notes....
|Title||:||The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren|
|Number of Pages||:||838 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren Reviews
I will leave it to others more qualified to sing the praises of Warren's poetry, and will merely add some vital information that is inexplicably left out of the books description above: this volume contains every poem published and unpublished that Warren ever wrote with the exception of his book-length poem "Brother to Dragons." It includes his earliest poems from the "Fugative" at Vanderbilt, the long and wonderful "Audubon: A Vision" and all subsequent books of poetry he published. Further, Warren was an constantly revising his poems, and the editor here includes Warren's final revised versions of the poems. Finally, Harold Bloom's introductory essay is a fabulous overview. In short, if you own this book and "Brother to Dragons" then you have ever word of Warren's poetry and you are set for a lifetime of enjoyment.
In 1928, Edmund Wilson (a modern day Samuel Johnson) wrote of Fugitives, the poetry collective to which young Warren (then 23 ) belonged:The standard of the Fugitives is high. Of poets who have not published books, I have found Mr. Allen Tate and Mr. Robert Penn Warren the most interesting. Mr. Warren, gives the impression of being one of the most promising young poets who have recently appeared on the scene. His characteristic style is nodulous, tough and tight:Of Old I know that shore, that dim terrain,And know how black and turbulent the bloodWill beat through iron chambers of the brain.He is, in fact, we feel, a little too tight: we are conscious of that iron chambers rather than of the blood beating through them. We suspect that Mr. Warren suffers from a trouble one often finds in young poets: his mastery of language and his subtlety of mind seem at the moment developed disproportionately to his emotions and his ideas, which are still rather vague and immature. This accounts, I believe,, for his frequent obscurity. Some of the poems of Mr. Warren which I most admire—for example, Croesus in Autumn—I have read carefully several times, yet I cannot really understand them. Line and image burn with a life of their own more intense than any life I can feel informing the poem as a whole—"Now green is blown and every gold gone sallow"—and I suspect that Mr. Warren's real poems still remain to be written.Following is the poem that so gripped Wilson's mind (this poem was later included in Warren first collection called Thirty-Six Poems, you can find it on page 53 of this collected edition):Croesus in AutumnIf the distrait verdure cleave not to the branchMore powerfully than flesh to the fervent bone,Should then gruff Croesus on the village benchLament the absolute gold of summer gone?Though this gray guy be no AureliusSurveying the ilex and latin vine,He might consider a little piteousThe green and fatal tribe's decline;But in Kentucky against a dwindling sunThe riven red-oak and the thick sweet-gumYet hold the northward hills whose final stoneIn dark ogive supports the fractured loam.The seasons down our country have a wayTo stir the bald and metaphysic skull,Fuddling the stout cortex so mortallyThat it cries no more, Proud heart, be still, be still.I bring you but this broken metaphor;So haul your careful carcass home, old fellow,More Roman than the doddering emperorNow green is gone and every gold gone sallow.
It's usually hard to improve on Harold Bloom's literary judgements, so I better quote his introduction: "Until ... 1968, I had thought of Warren's poetry as being admirable but essentially derivative: Eliotic in mode, manner, and argument." Note that it's only the early Eliot that Warren is channelling, and also that Warren is interested in the American South as such, and you've got the bigger half of this book. Not bad, certainly, but not anything you haven't encountered before. And then there's a crazy peak where Warren, having picked up some tricks from Cummings and Wallace Stevens, sounds an entirely new note and produces some really astonishing poetry. I'm especially thinking of the long "Poem/Poems" (okay, poet) of "Or Else" and the volume "Now and Then." He also does one of the best "poem containing history" ventures I've ever seen in "Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce." It's interesting that you don't see Warren anthologized more; I suppose because most of his best poems are huge and don't anthologize well.
One of my favorites - for almost 20 years, I can always come back to this collection. It's always fresh, the poetry is moving and lush and melancholy - but at times funny- reminiscent of other great writers, like Whitman and Jarell.
What's better than a gigantic book of poetry by a master who you've never read before?There's a wide array of topics and styles and it's difficult to even begin to summarize the collected poems here. There's probably somewhere around or upwards of a thousand poems inside. If nothing else, it's a great, heavy book for your dollar.But, yes, some amazing poetry and then a decent chunk that I didn't particularly care for, though it was still aesthetically impeccable.I read this over the course of, like, two months, and that seems a good way to go about it. The poems are often long and linguistically dense, which is something I find myself liking less and less, though it used to be a preferred style. I find, now, that I like my poetry to be simple and somewhat opaque. Maybe why I'll always prefer Basho to Eliot.Anyrate, good stuff here.
I just couldn't relate to his poetry, it did nothing for me. He won more than one Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry and I guess I expected so much more. His section of Promises was my favorite section and it was what won him his first Pulitzer Prize.
my daughter just showed me this book of poetry again- after ages I read it again. Just beautiful- touched me again. Love Recognized.........amazing. puts all things in perspective again- about what it was like to first fall in love.
One of our great poets--with verse that will make you both smile and cry--and long for those things you no longer have. An extraordinary collection that needs to be read over a substantial period of time .
He owned a stunningly restless mind
It's always good to have a book of poems on hand, and this is one of the best. Peep "The Return: an Elegy."