Bibliography of American Poetry Told Through the Pulitzer Prize
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nice beard

Untitled Subjects

PS 3515 08415 U5

Richard Howard

First edition. Wild, tall early 70s- looking book.The tall format was a hallmark of early 70s books. The entire thing is written in poetic monologues of historical figures. The author is also a translator of historical works. One poem is an imagined 1951 monologue of John Ruskin on his wedding journey to Venice. He is the poetry editor of the prestigiuos Paris Review.



The Carrier of Ladders

PS 3563 R58 A6 1971

William S. Merwin

I read the first edition, published by Atheneum in New York, 866 Third Avenue. They make very good-looking books. This one is really no great shakes. Example: "Quince": The gentle quince blossoms open/ they have no first youth/ they look down on me/ knowing me well/ some place I had left." Huh? Merwin was friends with Ezra Pound.



Collected Poems

PS 3545 R58 A6 1971

James Wright

Very personal verses. Soft and fuzzy yellow cover. I got the first edition from Harold Washington. Not so crazy about the book itself.


animal lover

Up Country

PS 3521 U638 U6

Maxine Kumin

The return of the New England poets. The first, bizarre part of the book follows a hermit with titles like: "The Hermit Has A Visitor," "The Hermit Prays," "The Hermit Reviews His Simples," and "The Hermit Meets A Skunk." Ooo-K.


 The Dolphin Robert Lowell




Turtle Island

PS 3569 N88 T8

Gary Snyder

Shamanistic, anthropological treatise of a man living the freak commune life of the early 70s. Very well-intentioned Earth Day kind of stuff. Utopian poetry with recipes for cooking roadkill. Snyder was also a part of the San Francisco Beat scene in the 1950s. Very innocent and earnest stuff.



Setf-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

PS 3501 S475 S4

John Ashbery

Academia's Greatest Living Poet gets his Pulitzer. Poetry for professional thinkers or people who think too much. I'd like to see what king of reception Ashbery would get at the Green Mill ("Just read the fucking poem, John!"). Sure he's into Decontructivism and you need a degree in philosophy to curl up with this guy but he is who he is. Thanks the Guggenheim Foundation in his acknowledgements. Guggenheim seems to be taking Auden's place as Pulitzer barometer.



Divine Comedies

PS 3525 E6645 D5

James Merrill

Very cool book. The brunt of it is a long narrative poem, "The Book of Ephraim," tells the story of contacting a ghost through a OUIJA board. I thought it would be hokey but it works well. Funny. The poem "Lost in Translation" is for translator and Pulitzer winner Richard Howard, proving once again that logrolling works.Son of Charles Merrill, co-founder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch. They used to advise you to Be Bullish.


no offense

Collected Poems

PS 352 7 E5Al 7 1977

Howard Nemerov

The droopy eyed, puffy-skinned cover photo should be the poster photo for the Liver Foundation. University of Chicago Press. St. Louis Walk of Fame holds both him and Eliot. Brother of great photographer Diane Arbus.


best poet of the 1970s

Now and Then: Poems, 1976-1978

PS 3545 A 748 N6

Robert Penn Warren

Amazing. The poem "Heat Lightning" is a soaking wet hot hot hot love poem of remembrance from a guy who was in his late 70s. Very touching. I read the first edition. Also published in this year is one of my favorite books, Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/ LeRoi Jones. Crushing, vicious, beautiful.