The collected poems of James Laughlin
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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