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Complete Poems (Revised Edition) by Ernest…

Complete Poems (Revised Edition) (1979)

by Ernest Hemingway

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Let's be truthful: As "literary" poetry, it stinks. But if poetry had a punk rock genre in the 1920s, this would be it. It's the work of a disillusioned man in his early twenties whose legs were ripped by shrapnel on the Italian front — while still a teenager! — in World War One, wounds he would carry the rest of his life. And then his first love, the woman he intended to marry, had dumped him for an Italian officer (who subsequently dumped her). Hemingway was a hurt, angry man, barely beyond a teen, when he wrote poems like this:

The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.

The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.

The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.

And in the end the age was handed
The sort of sh*t that it demanded.

(Hemingway didn't use the asterisk.) ( )
  JoeCottonwood | Apr 1, 2013 |
That such a master of prose could write such wretched poetry is astonishing. Only for those curious (like me) or for the obsessed Hemingway completist, or the Hemingway scholar. This book could only have been published posthumously, as Hemingway, no doubt, could not have tolerated the negative criticism his poetry would have elicited. ( )
3 vote EnriqueFreeque | May 11, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803272596, Paperback)

Ernest Hemingway never wished to be widely known as a poet. He concentrated on writing short stories and novels, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1956. But his poetry deserves close attention, if only because it is so revealing. Through verse he expressed anger and disgust—at Dorothy Parker and Edmund Wilson, among others. He parodied the poems and sensibilities of Rudyard Kipling, Joyce Kilmer, Robert Graves, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Gertrude Stein. He recast parts of poems by the likes of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, giving them his own twist. And he invested these poems with the preoccupations of his novels: sex and desire, battle and aftermath, cats, gin, and bullfights. Nowhere is his delight in drubbing snobs and overrefined writers more apparent.

In this revised edition of the Complete Poems, the editor, Nicholas Gerogiannis, offers here an afterword assessing the influence of the collection, first published in 1979, and an updated bibliography. Readers will be particularly interested in the addition of "Critical Intelligence," a poem written soon after Hemingway's divorce from his first wife in 1927. Also available as a Bison Book: Hemingway's Quarrel with Androgyny by Mark Spilka.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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