Bibliography of American Poetry Told Through the Pulitzer Prize
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spice empire

Selected Poems

PS 3501 I5 A6

Conrad Aiken

Excerpt from "Goya": Stenchflowed out of the second's tick./and Goya swam with it through Space,/Sweating the fetor from his limbs, land stared upon he unfettered face. Includes a preface from the poet as to why he chose the poems he chose.


action words

Collected Poems

PS 3511 R94 1942

Robert Frost

Frost's preface to the 1939 edition is an essay called "The Figure A Poem Makes. " He says: "The object in wilting poetry is to make all poems sound as different as possible from each other, and the resources for that of vowels, consonants, punctuation, syntax, words, sentences, meter are not enough; we need the help of context-- meaning--subject matter." The preface is signed "Boston, January 11, 1939. " Wins the Pulitzer for Collected Poems and he's only got 30 years of good stuff left.


another chicago magazine

The Flowering Stone

PS 3507 I585 F6 1931

George Dillon

Read the book from the University of Chicago's Harriet Monroe Collection, signed by the author. A whole book built on the idea that you can mix up verb clauses and noun clauses. From "This Dream is Strange": "This dream is strange that has not flown". One of the acknowledgements is to The Dial, the great magazine. I was first turned on to Dial Magazine when I was studying poetry at the University of Illinois at Chicago under poet Michael Annania.




PS 3525 A27 C6 1927

Archibald MacLeish

Book must have sold pretty good because I read the "Fourth Impression, Feb. 1933. " That's a lot of printings. MacLeish was a rabble-rouser who also wrote verse plays like "J.B. ", a modem story of the Biblical Job. Later got a job with the government.


pretty good list

Collected Verse

PS 3515 I69 C7

Robert Hillyer

Conversational. Interesting rhyme schemes break things up. No big deal. Bunch of sonnets in it, too. Real Uplifting. Dedicated to dear old mom and dad. I read the fourth printing, 1934. In 1917 he was in an anthology book called "Eight Harvard Poets" with some serious powerhouses, including "E. Estlin Cummings", which is the first time I ever saw his middle name or the use of capital letters. e.e. cummings once wrote a book called "No Thanks". It wasn't called that until he tried to get it published and wimp publishers kept returning it to him, saying, "No, Thanks".


pblic knowledge

Bright Ambush

PS 3545 U7 B7 1934

Audrey Wurdemann

Great title, but this ended up being an inconsequential first book of poems from a forgettable poet. Yock-a pi- tooey. Find a good book in this year.


nice mustache

Strange Holiness

PS 3505 0234 S7

Robert P. Tristam Coffin

Ponderous, religious poems about the Coffin inner self. Dedicated to his sister Annie, "Who went to the country church l with me and saw l the strange holiness." Nice title. Meanwhile, in Europe, Jesse Owens wins big in the Olympics.


religious issues

A Further Range

PS 3511 R9458 1936

Robert Frost

Nature verses from Frost. Plenty of woodchucks, spiders, and birds. In the dedication to his wife, he wants to "range beyond range even into the realm of government and religion." Finds the truth of the human spirit and organization by observing other animal life. Big on thinking abut the ownership of land vs. the unownable universal beauty of nature.



Cold Morning Sky

PS 3549 A 77 C6 1937

Marya Zaturenska

Sing-song pretty kind of poems with an edge. Got the first edition from the shelf at the Harold Washington Library Center. Courageously lacking in rhyme for the most part. Thanks Robert Hillyer (1934) in the Acknowledgements, proving that it doesn't hurt to know a previous winner.


pencil sketch

Selected Poems

John Gould Fletcher

Could not get my hands on this book. I will endeavor to and I'll get back to you if you send me an email. Apparently he was interested in Buddhism.