"Rather than painting a picture of Indian life, Linda Hogan resurrects its symbols and uses them in new ways. The power of the scorpion or the elk in Hogan's work comes...form her orchestrating of these images. This book is startling."--Hungry Mind Review
"The great California novel been written, in verse (and why not?): The Golden Gate gives great joy."--Gore VidalOne of the most highly regarded novels of 1986, Vikram Seth's story in verse made him a literary household name in both the United States and India. John Brown, a successful yuppie living in 1980s San Francisco meets a romantic interest in Liz, after placing a personal ad in the newspaper. From this interaction, John meets a variety of characters, each with their own values and ideas of "self-actualization." However, Liz begins to fall in love with John's best friend, and John realizes his journey of self-discovery has only just begun. "A splendid achievement, equally convincing in its exhilaration and its sadness."--The New York Times "Seth pulls off his feat with spirit, grace and great energy."--The New Yorker "A marvelous work . . . bold and splendid . . . Locate this book and allow yourself to become caught up, like a kite, in the lifting effects of Seth's sonnets."--Washington Post Book World
The study of Chinese culture was a dominant concern in Ezra Pound's life and work. His great Canto XIII is about Kung (Confucius), Cantos LII-LXI deal with Chinese history, and in the later Cantos key motifs are often given in Chinese quotations with the characters set into the English text. His introduction to Oriental literature was chiefly through Ernest Fenollosa whose translations and notes were given him by the scholars widow in London about 1913. From these notebooks came, in time, the superb poems entitled Cathay and Pound's edition of Fenollosa's Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. But it was Confucius ethical and political teachings that most influenced Pound. And now, for the first time, his versions, with commentary, of three basic texts that he translated have been assembled in one volume: The Great Digest (Ta Hsio), first published in 1928; The Unwobbling Pivot (Chung Yung), 1947; and The Analects (Lun-yu), 1950. For the first two, the Chinese characters from the ancient "Stone Classics are printed en face in our edition, with a note by Achilles Fang. Pound never wanted to be a literal translator. What he could do, as no other could, is to identify the essence, pick out "what matters now," and phrase it so pungently, so beautifully, that it will stick in the head and start new thinking."
The landmark, original publication of Allen Ginsberg's HOWL & Other Poems
HOWL & Other Poems, the prophetic book that launched the Beat Generation, was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books in 1956. Considered the single most influential work of post-WWII United States poetry, the City Lights edition of HOWL has remained in print for more than 60 years, with well over 1,000,000 copies in print.
A strident critique of middle-class complacency, consumerism, and capitalist militarism, HOWL also celebrates the pleasures and freedoms of the physical world, including a tribute to homosexual love. In addition to "Howl," poems in the book include: "A Supermarket in California," "Sunflower Sutra," "America," "In the Baggage Room at Greyhound," "Transcription of Organ Music," and "Wild Orphan," among others.
A History of HOWL
City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti first heard Allen Ginsberg read "Howl" at the Six Gallery event in San Francisco, 1955, which featured writers Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Michael McClure, introduced by poet Kenneth Rexroth. Jack Kerouac was present, but did not read, encouraging and cheering the other poets on. Ferlinghetti was so impressed by Ginsberg's performance, he immediately telegrammed him, referencing Ralph Waldo Emerson's response to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, "I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?"
When the first edition of HOWL arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with the City Lights Bookstore manager, Shigeyoshi Murao. The two were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case was sent to trial. Ferlinghetti partnered with the ACLU to launch a defense of HOWL, and a parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses appeared in court to persuade the judge of its merits. In the end, famously conservative Judge Clayton Horn ruled that the poem was not obscene, but rather, as he stated emphatically, HOWL was a work of "redeeming social significance."
The landmark decision signaled a sea change in American culture, and the City Lights edition of HOWL became a vital cornerstone in the ongoing struggle for free expression and representation. It continues to attract generation after generation of readers.
"It is the poet, Allen Ginsberg, who has gone, in his own body, through the horrifying experiences described from life in these pages."--William Carlos Williams
"Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius . . . probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman."--Bob Dylan
"Not only did he give us love and poetry, he reminded us of our civic duty to use our voice."--Patti Smith
"Howl was Allen's metamorphosis from quiet, brilliant, burning bohemian scholar trapped by his flames and repressions to epic vocal bard."--Michael McClure
Poetry. Fiction. Published in 1992, well before Sherman Alexie became well-known as the screenwriter for the film SMOKE SIGNALS, THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING has now been turned into a film with none other than Alexie himself in his directorial debut. The screenplay for the movie, which recently won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, is loosly adapted from this book. Many film-goers will want to visit or revisit the elegaic poems and stories that set the tone for the film itself. "In an age when many 'Native American' writers publish books that prove their ignorance of the real Indian world, Sherman Alexie paints painfully honest visions of our beautiful and brutal lives" Adrian C. Louis."
This remarkable collection, which won the 1986 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, includes most of the poems from each of Derek Walcott's seven prior books of verse and all of his long autobiographical poem, "Another Life." The 1992 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Walcott has been producing--for several decades--a poetry with all the beauty, wisdom, directness, and narrative force of our classic myths and fairy tales, and in this hefty volume readers will find a full record of his important endeavor. "Walcott's virutes as a poet are extraordinary," James Dickey wrote in The New York Times Book Review. "He could turn his attention on anything at all and make it live with a reality beyond its own; through his fearless language it becomes not only its acquired life, but the real one, the one that lasts . . . Walcott is spontaneous, headlong, and inventive beyond the limits of most other poets now writing."
The last major verse written by Nobel laureate T. S. Eliot, considered by Eliot himself to be his finest work
Four Quartets is a rich composition that expands the spiritual vision introduced in "The Waste Land." Here, in four linked poems ("Burnt Norton," "East Coker," "The Dry Salvages," and "Little Gidding"), spiritual, philosophical, and personal themes emerge through symbolic allusions and literary and religious references from both Eastern and Western thought. It is the culminating achievement by a man considered the greatest poet of the twentieth century and one of the seminal figures in the evolution of modernism.
This edition combines "77 Dream Songs," awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1965, and "His Toy, His Dream, His Rest," which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1969. It contains 385 songs, an index of first lines, an index of titles, and a note by the author.
In his essay on the work, Denis Donoghue says: "John Berryman has now completed the long poem, "The Dream Songs," begun in 1955 . . . The poet resolved it the problem of a long poem] in his own way; not Eliot's way in "Four Quartets," Williams's way in "Paterson," Pound's way in the "Cantos," or Hart Crane's way in "The Bridge" . . . Mr. Berryman's answer was to conceive a diary, a dream diary."
"A major achievement," writes A. Alvarez in "The Observer." "He has written an elegy on his brilliant generation and, in the process, he has also written an elegy on himself."
Of the hero of "The Dream Songs," James Schevill has written: "The character of Henry is a permanent addition to American literature."