2nd Edition, Revised
Trade paper -- $24.95
Includes bibliography, general index and index of Rexroth poem titles. Info Page
Cover art by
Marlene Zander Gutierrez
"Movement and Stillness"
Oil and gold-metal leaf over acryllic
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"As long as we are lost / In the world of purpose / We are not free."
—Kenneth Rexroth, "Empty Mirror"
"THE HOLINESS OF THE REAL"
Amador Publishers is proud to issue this new edition of a singular work of scholarship on a singular poet, Kenneth Rexroth. Professor Donald Gutierrez, in presenting Rexroth as a major American poet, brings to bear his own artistic sensibility, his mastery of literary criticism, and his firsthand dealings with a literary lion known to have an ego as large as his intellect, who eschewed academia, championed the working class, chased women, nurtured the Beats, and revered Nature above all.
Two major considerations underlie Professor Gutierrez's study of San Francisco poet Kenneth Rexroth's best short poems over a span of fifty years: that many of these poems approach major status and are comparable in value or significance to the best works of Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats, or D. H. Lawrence—and that most of these poems have not been analyzed or discussed in detail. The title of the book, "The Holiness of the Real," is a key phrase from "Time Is the Mercy of Eternity," one of Rexroth's finest nature-meditation poems. The phrase underscores the essence of Rexroth's work at its best—his capacity to meditate on, celebrate, and articulate love, nature, and political experience with a unique numinosity.
The book is divided into six chapters. The first, following a preface, is a general introduction to Rexroth, covering his career and cultural position in American society, his prosody, influences on his verse, theorizing on his poetics, and speculation about why he has been ignored by gatekeepers of the literary canon in academe and elsewhere. The next four chapters deal with significant subject categories in Rexroth's poetry: nature, political, love, and love-nature verse. The final chapter provides an overview of Rexroth as a literary and social critic-journalist, amplifying the sense of his scope as an intellect and personality. A brief conclusion follows.
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