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Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan: The Collected Later Poems and Plays

Robert Duncan
Edited and with an Introduction by Peter Quartermain
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Pages: 931
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  • Book Info
    Robert Duncan
    Book Description:

    Profoundly original yet insistent on the derivative quality of his work, transgressive yet affirmative of tradition, Robert Duncan (1919-1988) was a generative force among American poets, and his poetry and poetics establish him as a major figure in mid- and late- 20th-century American letters. This second volume of Robert Duncan's collected poetry and plays presents authoritative annotated texts of both collected and uncollected work from his middle and late writing years (1958-1988), with commentaries on each of the five books from this period: The Opening of the Field, Roots and Branches, Bending the Bow, and the two volumes of Ground Work. The biographical and critical introduction discusses Duncan as a late Romantic and postmodern American writer; his formulation of a homosexual poetics; his development of the serial poem; the notation and centrality of sound as organizing principle; his relations with such fellow poets as Robin Blaser, Charles Olson, and Jack Spicer; his indebtedness to Alfred North Whitehead; and his collaborations with the painter Jess Collins, his lifelong partner. Texts include his anti-war poems of the 1960s and 70s, his homages to Dante and other canonical poets, and his translations from the French of Gérard de Nerval, as well as the complete Structure of Rime and Passages series.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95664-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xviii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xix-xx)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  5. Introduction: Discovery Making
    (pp. xxv-lii)

    The division of Duncan’s mature writing life, from 1958 to 1988, into the two periods, “middle” and “late,” is in some respects too neat, but the publication record, with Duncan’s 1968 vow to publish no books of new work for fifteen years following the appearance of Bending the Bow, makes such a break seem natural, and even inevitable. He did, of course, publish new work in various places in the course of those years, some of it privately (like his Prospectus for the prepublication issue of “Ground Work,” which included the first section of “Santa Cruz Propositions”), some of it...

  6. The Opening of the Field (1960)

  7. Uncollected Work 1957–1960

    • A Stray Poem (Notes Reading from Rene Fulop-Miller’s The Power and Secrets of the Jesuits)
      (pp. 91-93)
    • Melville after Pierre
      (pp. 93-94)
    • Solitude
      (pp. 94-95)
    • The Song of the River to Its Shores
      (pp. 95-97)
    • Pre-face
      (pp. 97-98)
    • I Saw the Rabbit Leap
      (pp. 98-98)
  8. Roots and Branches (1964)

  9. Uncollected Work 1961–1964

  10. Bending the Bow (1968)

  11. Uncollected Work 1965–1968

    • At the Poetry Conference: Berkeley after the New York Style
      (pp. 419-421)
    • We heard it as a cry. It was the Word.
      (pp. 421-422)
    • Keeping the War Inside
      (pp. 422-422)
    • Yes, I care deeply and yet
      (pp. 423-424)
    • Christmas Present, Christmas Presence!
      (pp. 425-426)
    • From a Poem by John Ashbery
      (pp. 426-428)
    • If I Had Kin
      (pp. 428-428)
  12. Ground Work:: Before the War (1984)

    • Some Notes on Notation
      (pp. 431-434)
    • Achilles’ Song
      (pp. 434-436)
    • Ancient Questions
      (pp. 437-439)
    • A Song from the Structures of Rime Ringing as the Poet Paul Celan Sings:
      (pp. 439-440)
    • Despair in Being Tedious
      (pp. 440-442)
    • The Concert Passages 31 (Tribunals)
      (pp. 442-445)
    • Ancient Reveries and Declamations Passages 32 (Tribunals)
      (pp. 445-451)
    • Transmissions Passages 33 (Tribunals)
      (pp. 451-457)
    • The Feast Passages 34 (Tribunals)
      (pp. 457-461)
    • Before the Judgment Passages 35 (Tribunals)
      (pp. 461-469)
    • Santa Cruz Propositions
      (pp. 470-482)
    • A Glimpse
      (pp. 482-482)
    • And If He Had Been Wrong for Me
      (pp. 483-483)
    • For Me Too, I, Long Ago Shipping Out with the Cantos
      (pp. 483-483)
    • And Hell Is the Realm of God’s Self-Loathing
      (pp. 484-484)
    • Childhood’s Retreat
      (pp. 484-485)
    • Fragments of an Albigensian Rime
      (pp. 485-486)
    • O! Passages 37
      (pp. 486-487)
    • Bring It Up from the Dark
      (pp. 488-488)
    • Structure of Rime XXVII
      (pp. 489-490)
    • Structure of Rime XXVIII: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens
      (pp. 490-491)
    • Over There
      (pp. 492-493)
    • The Museum
      (pp. 493-496)
    • Interrupted Forms
      (pp. 497-497)
    • Poems from the Margins of Thom Gunn’s Moly
      (pp. 498-500)
    • The Moly Suite
      (pp. 500-505)
    • A Seventeenth Century Suite in Homage to the Metaphysical Genius in English Poetry (1590–1690) : Being Imitations, Derivations & Variations upon Certain Conceits and Findings Made among Strong Lines
      (pp. 506-533)
    • Dante Études
      (pp. 534-580)
    • The Missionaries Passages
      (pp. 580-582)
    • The Torn Cloth
      (pp. 582-585)
    • Songs of an Other
      (pp. 586-587)
    • Empedoklean Reveries Passages
      (pp. 587-592)
    • Jamais Passages
      (pp. 592-594)
    • An Interlude of Winter Light
      (pp. 595-601)
    • “Eidolon of the Aion”
      (pp. 601-605)
    • The Presence of the Dance / The Resolution of the Music
      (pp. 606-611)
    • Circulations of the Song
      (pp. 611-622)
  13. Uncollected Work 1969–1982

  14. Ground Work II:: In the Dark (1987)

    • An Alternate Life
      (pp. 643-657)
    • To Master Baudelaire
      (pp. 658-661)
    • At Cambridge an Address to Young Poets Native to the Land of My Mothertongue
      (pp. 661-663)
    • Le Sonnet Où Sonne la Sonnette dès Dernières Jours Toujours Fait Son Retour
      (pp. 663-666)
    • Pour Souffrir l’Envie Jusqu’à l’Amour en Vie le Non-Rire Il Faut Qu’il Rie
      (pp. 666-667)
    • Sets of Syllables, Sets of Words, Sets of Lines, Sets of Poems Addressing: Veil, Turbine, Cord, & Bird
      (pp. 668-673)
    • For the Assignment of the Spirit
      (pp. 673-675)
    • The Cherubim (I)
      (pp. 675-676)
    • The Cherubim (II)
      (pp. 676-677)
    • Styx
      (pp. 678-679)
    • The Sentinels
      (pp. 679-680)
    • An Eros/Amor/Love Cycle
      (pp. 680-683)
    • Et Passages
      (pp. 683-685)
    • In Wonder Passages
      (pp. 685-688)
    • Constructing the Course of a River in the Pyrenees
      (pp. 689-689)
    • In Waking
      (pp. 690-693)
    • From the Fall of 1950 / December 1980
      (pp. 693-696)
    • Two Sets of Tens: Derived from Confucian Analects
      (pp. 696-696)
    • Regulators Set of Passages
      (pp. 697-715)
    • Structure of Rime: Of the Five Songs
      (pp. 716-723)
    • Whose Passages
      (pp. 723-725)
    • Close
      (pp. 725-727)
    • At the Door
      (pp. 727-728)
    • Illustrative Lines
      (pp. 728-730)
    • After a Long Illness
      (pp. 731-734)
  15. Uncollected Work 1983–1988

  16. Appendix: Table of Contents for Roots and Branches
    (pp. 739-742)
  17. Notes
    (pp. 743-860)
  18. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 861-864)
  19. Index of Titles and First Lines
    (pp. 865-869)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 870-870)