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1 May 1980
Five American Poets 
by John Matthias, introduced by Michael Schmidt.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £3.25, November 1979, 0 85635 259 4
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The New Australian Poetry 
edited by John Tranter.
Makar Press, 330 pp., £6.50, November 1979
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Carpenters of Light 
by Neil Powell.
Carcanet, 154 pp., £6.95, November 1979, 0 85635 305 1
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Mirabell: Books of Number 
by James Merrill.
Oxford, 182 pp., £3.25, June 1979, 0 19 211892 7
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The Book of the Body 
by Frank Bidart.
Faber, 44 pp., £4.50, October 1979, 0 374 11549 4
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Skull of Adam 
by Stanley​ Moss.
Anvil, 67 pp., £2.50, May 1979, 0 85646 041 9
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Poems 1928-1978 
by Stanley Kunitz.
Secker, 249 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 436 23932 9
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... Jerome Kern words like ‘suddenly’ and ‘somehow’, nor sprinkle his text with words italicised for emphasis. Yet Bidart’s book makes a point and compels an acknowledgment when put alongside Stanley Moss’s Skull of Adam. Bidart’s, one has to concede, is interesting for the human material it contains. Moss’s book by comparison is bland, vacuous, sleek and slack – and the attempt to give ...
24 January 1991
Selected Poems 
by Anna Akhmatova, selected and translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward.
Harvill, 173 pp., £5.95, November 1989, 0 00 271041 2
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The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova 
translated by Judith Hemschemeyer, edited by Roberta Reeder.
Zephyr, 1635 pp., £85, October 1990, 0 939010 13 5
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The Garden: New and Selected Poetry and Prose 
by Bella Akhmadulina.
Boyars, 171 pp., £9.95, January 1991, 0 7145 2924 9
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... Mandelstam himself, as of Eliot or Ungaretti, could find some more or less harmonious equivalent in a foreign syntax, but it may in the end be preferable to render Akhmatova in a plain prose version. StanleyKunitz and Max Hayward, however, are highly experienced translators, sympathetic alike to Russian and English requirements. One of her most memorable poems, ‘Lot’s Wife’, four quatrains ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters

22 September 2005
The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
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... t you violating a trust? . . . But art just isn’t worth that much.’ Much fiercer was the response of his old friend Adrienne Rich, which he dismissed as a feminist outburst. Another old friend, StanleyKunitz, though admiring the poetry, called it ‘intimately cruel’. Lowell told Kunitz that his valued friend Peter Taylor ‘couldn’t imagine any moral objection to Dolphin. Not that the poem ...

Tomorrow is here again

Anne Wagner: The First Pop Age

11 October 2012
The First Pop Age 
by Hal Foster.
Princeton, 338 pp., £20.95, October 2011, 978 0 691 15138 0
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... on large-scale canvases, effecting the transfer with opaque projectors, slides and silk screens, sometimes dissecting then reassembling the salient parts. The result in the eyes of doubters, the poet StanleyKunitz for example, was an art ‘not of transformation but of transposition’, when transformation is art’s proper aim. Transposition of what? Foster begins his book with the pronouncement of the ...

Stand-Up Vampire

Gillian White: Louise Glück

26 September 2013
Poems 1962-2012 
by Louise Glück.
Farrar, Straus, 634 pp., £30, November 2012, 978 0 374 12608 7
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... boyfriend in ‘Labour Day’ – are individual, specific. There are dozens of dramatic monologues, and quite a few more in The House on Marshland: she was obviously paying attention to the work of StanleyKunitz, as well as of Robert Lowell. Formally, too, this early work – thick, stacked diction and taut, chewy syntax – is unlike the plain style that follows: Under cerulean, amid her backyard ...

Diary

Mark Ford: Love and Theft

2 December 2004
... I love you, Darling, there’s a black black void, as black as night without you. I long to see your face and hear your voice, and take your hand . . .’ (‘In the Mail’) Friends such as StanleyKunitz and Elizabeth Bishop (who a few years earlier had been dismayed to find one of her own distressed letters to Lowell recycled as a sonnet) begged him not to publish: ‘Art just isn’t worth ...

Follow-the-Leader

Colm Tóibín: Bishop v. Lowell

14 May 2009
Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell 
edited by Thomas Travisano and Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 875 pp., £40, November 2008, 978 0 571 24308 2
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... no joy greater than correcting someone else’s French, it must have been a pure pleasure for Bishop to write. (‘And now having damned everyone,’ she wrote to Lowell in 1959 after she had dissed StanleyKunitz and Richard Wilbur, ‘I feel awfully cheered up.’) ‘If you want me to,’ she went on, I’d be glad to give you more benefits of my past experience in Rimbaud-translating. (But of ...

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