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Struggling Times (American Poets Continuum)


Struggling Times (American Poets Continuum) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Louis Simpson has been a leading figure in American letters for more than half a century. Born in the West Indies, Simpson immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen. He studied at Columbia University, then served the US Army in active duty in Europe during World War II. After the war he continued his studies at Columbia and at the University of Paris. While living in France, he published his first book of poems, The Arrivistes (1949).

The poems in Struggling Times find Simpson’s distinct imaginative voice working at its full poetic power. Both timely and personal, the poems reveal Simpson’s ongoing quarrel with suburban America, as well as the American government’s struggle to retain its integrity and honor in the midst of its own aggression and worldwide strife.

You have to be careful

what you hear or see.

In Afghanistan I saw

the man and the woman

who were caught in adultery

buried up to their heads.

Their children were brought

and told to throw stones.

I can still see the heads

twisting on the ground.

The poor devil in Papillon

with his head in the guillotine . . .

but Goya’s half-buried dog

looking up at the sky

I think was the worst of all.

"This is the Jamaican-born Simpson's 18th collection; its dry trimeters and tragic resignations should certainly please the faithful fans... Yet the new poems, as much as any in his oeuvre, leave room for unexpected happiness...Simpson believes in endurance and the rewards of the ordinary. He can, at his best, make his readers believe in those things too."

                                                                --Publishers Weekly

Louis Simpson’s last book, The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001, (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2003) was finalist for the National Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize. His other honors include the Prix de Rome, Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, and the Columbia Medal for Excellence.


The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's new collection reflects sixty years as a leading figure in American letters.

About the Author

Educated at Munro College (Jamaica, West Indies) and at Columbia where he received his doctorate, Louis Simpson has taught at various universities. The author of seventeen books of poetry, he has received the Rome Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Hudson Review Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Product Details

Simpson, Louis
BOA Editions
Simpson, Louis Aston Marantz
American - General
General Poetry
Poetry-A to Z
Single Author / American
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
American Poets Continuum
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.1 x 6.1 x 0.3 in 4.5 oz

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Struggling Times (American Poets Continuum) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 88 pages BOA Editions - English 9781934414194 Reviews:
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's new collection reflects sixty years as a leading figure in American letters.
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