Synopses & Reviews
With this eye-opening new collection, selected and introduced by John Updike, Karl Shapiro is restored to his place as one of his generation's freshest and most compelling voices. Here are Shapiro's essential poems: lyrical, iconoclastic, often bitingly funny.
Karl Shapiro was an exuberant force in American poetry for more than half a century. This collection, selected and introduced by John Updike, reveals him as one of the enduring voices of his generation. Included are works drawn from more than a dozen of Shapiro's published volumes: early poems like "Drug Store" and "Buick," which revel in the ordinary life of his native Baltimore; selections from Essay on Rime, his tour de force on the craft of poetry; the dignified and moving lyrics, written near the front lines in New Guinea, of V-Letter and Other Poems, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944; candid late musings on subjects like Kleenex, New York City, and Creative Writing.
"His feet planted on the substantive," Updike writes in his introduction, Shapiro "could be modest and casual but also bold, with the boldness of truth personally verified." Early and late, he was irreverent, down to earth, and always a master of his craft.
In this new selection, master literary craftsman John Updike provides a long-overdue reassessment of Karl Shapiro, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who has become one of the defining figures of the postwar period.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 185-186) and index.
About the Author
John Updike, editor, is a novelist, short-story writer, poet, and critic whose classic works include the novels Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1990).