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Lorine Niedecker: Collected Works by Lorine…
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Lorine Niedecker: Collected Works

by Lorine Niedecker

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In the past, I've enjoyed Niedecker's poetry in bits and pieces, here and there as I came to it, so it took me quite some time to get around to this collection. As a whole, though, the collected works read quickly and serve as a majestic and provoking journey through her years of writing. I'm not sure how often I'll come back to many of these poems, but there are many moments here that I'll remember and revisit. And, though I've only been aware of Niedecker's poetry in the past, I truly enjoyed the other works in this collection. Her essays are historical and transporting, utterly worth the read, maybe particularly for readers interested in character sketches or writing about their own families or surroundings. The gem of the collection, however, is the radio play that Niedecker based off of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. I'm not sure how I'd feel about it if I hadn't read the novel--my guess is that I wouldn't have been anywhere near so affected by it, though I may be wrong--but as it stands, even though I haven't read Faulkner's novel in at least five years, I found this one of the most powerful pieces of writing I've read in ages. Only about twenty very small (and doublespaced pages) in the collection, the radio play is packed with power--every word counts. Absolutely amazing. If you're a fan of Faulkner, honestly, whether you like poetry or not--this collection is worth your time and energy just for her prose and radio plays.

Simply? There's something for most readers here. Recommended. ( )
1 vote whitewavedarling | Apr 3, 2014 |
"I can always go back to fertilization, kimonos, wrap-arounds and diatribes." ( )
  MatthewHittinger | Jan 13, 2009 |
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Rarely does a single volume of poetry radically change the prevailing view of its author. Lorine Niedecker: Collected Works, superbly edited by Jenny Penberthy, is such a book. It is, at last, the long-awaited necessity: an accurate, reliable, full text of this important modernist writer’s oeuvre. Its value is not to be underestimated.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520224345, Paperback)

"The Brontës had their moors, I have my marshes," Lorine Niedecker wrote of flood-prone Black Hawk Island in Wisconsin, where she lived most of her life. Her life by water, as she called it, could not have been further removed from the avant-garde poetry scene where she also made a home. Niedecker is one of the most important poets of her generation and an essential member of the Objectivist circle. Her work attracted high praise from her peers--Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Cid Corman, Clayton Eshleman--with whom she exchanged life-sustaining letters. Niedecker was also a major woman poet who interrogated issues of gender, domesticity, work, marriage, and sexual politics long before the modern feminist movement. Her marginal status, both geographically and as a woman, translates into a major poetry.
Niedecker's lyric voice is one of the most subtle and sensuous of the twentieth century. Her ear is constantly alive to sounds of nature, oddities of vernacular speech, textures of vowels and consonants. Often compared to Emily Dickinson, Niedecker writes a poetry of wit and emotion, cosmopolitan experimentation and down-home American speech.
This much-anticipated volume presents all of Niedecker's surviving poetry, plays, and creative prose in the sequence of their composition. It includes many poems previously unpublished in book form plus all of Niedecker's surviving 1930s surrealist work and her 1936-46 folk poetry, bringing to light the formative experimental phases of her early career. With an introduction that offers an account of the poet's life and notes that provide detailed textual information, this book will be the definitive reader's and scholar's edition of Niedecker's work.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:51 -0400)

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