The Collected Poems of Jean Toomer

The Collected Poems of Jean Toomer

ROBERT B. JONES
MARGERY TOOMER LATIMER
WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND TEXTUAL NOTES BY ROBERT B. JONES
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 148
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9781469616414_jones
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  • Book Info
    The Collected Poems of Jean Toomer
    Book Description:

    This volume is the only collected edition of poems by Jean Toomer, the enigmatic American writer, Gurdjieffian guru, and Quaker convert who is perhaps best known for his 1923 lyrical narrativeCane. The fifty-five poems here -- most of them previously unpublished -- chart a fascinating evolution of artistic consciousness.The book is divided into sections reflecting four distinct periods of creativity in Toomer's career. The Aesthetic period includes Imagist, Symbolist, and other experimental pieces, such as "Five Vignettes," while "Georgia Dusk" and the newly discovered poem "Tell Me" come from Toomer' s Ancestral Consciousness period in the early 1920s. "The Blue Meridian" and other Objective Consciousness poems reveal the influence of idealist philosopher Georges Gurdjieff. Among the works of this period the editor presents a group of local color poems picturing the landscape of the American Southwest, including "Imprint for Rio Grande." "It Is Everywhere," another newly discovered poem, celebrates America and democratic idealism. The Quaker religious philosophy of Toomer's final years is demonstrated in such Christian Existential works as "They Are Not Missed" and "To Gurdjieff Dying."Robert Jones's clear and comprehensive introduction examines the major poems in this volume and serves as a guide through the stages of Toomer's evolution as an artist and thinker.The Collected Poems of Jean Toomerwill prove essential to Toomer's admirers as well as to scholars and students of modern poetry, Afro-American literature, and American studies.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-1642-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. ix-xxxiv)

    Jean Toomer’s popularity as a writer derives almost exclusively from his lyrical narrative,Cane.He shows himself there to be a poet, but few are aware of the extensive and impressive corpus of his other poems. His poetry canon may be classified into three categories: the individually published poems, the poems first published inCane,and the mass of over one hundred unpublished poems.¹ To date, however, there has been no attempt to assemble a standard edition of Toomer’s poetical works, nor has there been any comprehensive study of his poems.² Yet it is through the lens of his poetry...

  4. EDITORS’ NOTE
    (pp. xxxv-xxxvi)
  5. THE AESTHETIC PERIOD (1919–1921)

  6. THE ANCESTRAL CONSCIOUSNESS PERIOD (1921–1923)

  7. THE OBJECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PERIOD (1924–1939)

  8. THE CHRISTIAN EXISTENTIAL PERIOD (1940–1955)

  9. A PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE POETRY OF JEAN TOOMER
    (pp. 105-111)