New Poems

New Poems

New Poems

New Poems

Synopsis

"In his poetry," writes critic Morgan Gibson of Kenneth Rexroth, "he attains––not by ego or will, but through the grace of imagination––communion with nature and those he loves; and, in a transcendent community of love, he discovers himself as being responsible for all." This sense of what is universal, his prophetic embrace of all being and beings, is the moving spirit in New Poems, Rexroth’s first major collection since Love and the Turning Year: One Hundred More Poems from the Chinese (1970). These ninety-one pieces––original poems, adaptations, and translations––include much previously unpublished work, as well as Sky Sea Birds Trees Earth House Beasts Flowers, brought out in a limited edition by Unicorn Press. Rendered from the Chinese, some in collaboration with Ling Chung, are poems from the classic writers and three by Rexroth himself. Translations from the Japanese focus on the short, sensual poems of the contemporary woman poet Marichiko, who takes her pen name from Marichi, the Hindu goddess of the dawn. New Poems is but the latest display of the broad, striking range of Rexroth’s poetic powers.

Excerpt

Now the starlit moonless Spring

Now the starlit moonless Spring
Night stands over the Fontaine
De Medicis, and the gold
Fish swim in the cold, starlit
Water. Yesterday, in the
New sunshine, lovers sat by
The water, and talked, and fed
The goldfish, and kissed each other.
I am in California
And evening is coming on.
Now it is morning in Paris
By the Fontaine de Medicis.
And the lovers will come today,
And talk and kiss, and feed the fish,
After they have had their coffee . . .

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