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The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky

by Mark Scroggins

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"Louis Zukofsky began his life of letters on a corner in the Lower East Side, reciting Longfellow in Yiddish to keep Italian bullies at bay. Throughout his career his work was marked by a deeply idiosyncratic sense of language shaped by his Jewishness, his commitment to formalism, and his particular ear for the music of bare and obliquely crafted verse. As a protege of Ezra Pound, a close friend and collaborator of William Carlos Williams, and the leader of the Objectivists school of 1930s avant-garde poets, Zukofsky influenced and was influenced by some of the great minds of the twentieth century. Throughout he retained a voice that stood apart in the crowded streets of modernism." "From the early Waste Land-parody "Poem beginning 'The" (1926) to the dense and tantalizing beauties of his last poems, 80 Flowers (1978), Zukofsky's work spans the divide from modernism to postmodernism, and beyond - his later writings have proven an inspiration to new generations of contemporary poets. The Poem of a Life traces the arc of Zukofsky's career, focusing particularly on the monumental, complex, and formally various epic poem "A" - Zukofsky's "poem of a life" on which he labored for almost fifty years. Condensed and as fantastically detailed as the writings of James Joyce, every turn of Zukofsky's poetry is imbued with the life and times of its unique maker."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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"Louis Zukofsky began his life of letters on a corner in the Lower East Side, reciting Longfellow in Yiddish to keep Italian bullies at bay. Throughout his career his work was marked by a deeply idiosyncratic sense of language shaped by his Jewishness, his commitment to formalism, and his particular ear for the music of bare and obliquely crafted verse. As a protege of Ezra Pound, a close friend and collaborator of William Carlos Williams, and the leader of the Objectivists school of 1930s avant-garde poets, Zukofsky influenced and was influenced by some of the great minds of the twentieth century. Throughout he retained a voice that stood apart in the crowded streets of modernism." "From the early Waste Land-parody "Poem beginning 'The" (1926) to the dense and tantalizing beauties of his last poems, 80 Flowers (1978), Zukofsky's work spans the divide from modernism to postmodernism, and beyond - his later writings have proven an inspiration to new generations of contemporary poets. The Poem of a Life traces the arc of Zukofsky's career, focusing particularly on the monumental, complex, and formally various epic poem "A" - Zukofsky's "poem of a life" on which he labored for almost fifty years. Condensed and as fantastically detailed as the writings of James Joyce, every turn of Zukofsky's poetry is imbued with the life and times of its unique maker."--BOOK JACKET.

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