The Collected Poems of James Laughlin

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Moyer Bell, 1994 - Poetry - 574 pages
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In the literary world James Laughlin is best known as the publisher of New Directions Books. But he has also been a dedicated poet. His work is both modern - rich in technical experiment - and ancient - grounded in the Greek and Latin poets. Guy Davenport has called Laughlin "a very ironic Roman poet, and a very salty Greek one. Which is not to say that he imitates anybody, or offers plaster casts of antiquities. He is the youngest and most modern poet now writing in the United States. He is the real thing." Laughlin describes himself as a writer of light verse. He can be witty but underneath the wit there are often pungent truths about the human condition. His work is notable for its range of subject matter, the originality of its invention, his restoration of the classical tradition, his wordplay, his satire, and the intensity of his love poems. Few poets have dealt with the quandaries of love so acutely since Rochester and Herrick. "Who else today," asks the critic Marjorie Perloff, "writes such bittersweet, ironic, rueful, erotic, tough-minded, witty love poems, poems that run the gamut from ecstacy to loss"?
This volume collects Laughlin's poems from 1935 to 1993. His Random Stories and Random Essays are also published by Moyer Bell.

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About the author (1994)

James Laughlin, the publisher of New Directions books since 1936, is also a noted poet. In his lyrics and in his love poems he blends the spirit of the Latin poets with his own keen ear for the subtleties of colloquial speech. Beneath the wit of this poetry there are pungent truths about the human condition. His "Collected Poems" were published in 1994 by Moyer Bell.
Virginia Schendler has photographed inner-city school children, and has made portraits of writers and artists. In the semi-abstract color photographs of "Phantoms," she has sought to capture some of New York's own expression: the ironies and the humor, the complex and less-familiar provocations of older parts of the city.

Monumental book and winner of National Book Critics Circle Award.

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