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Book Title: The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch|
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The author of the book: Kenneth Koch
Date of issue: October 2nd 2007
ISBN 13: 9780375711190
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 29.32 MB
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Kenneth Koch has been called “one of our greatest poets” by John Ashbery, and “a national treasure” in the 2000 National Book Award Finalist Citation.
Now, for the first time, all of the poems in his ten collections–from Sun Out, poems of the 1950s, to Thank You, published in 1962, to A Possible World, published in 2002, the year of the poet’s death–are gathered in one volume.
Celebrating the pleasures of friendship, art, and love, the poetry of Kenneth Koch has been dazzling readers for fifty years. Charter member–along with Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and James Schuyler–of the New York School of poets, avant-garde playwright and fiction writer, pioneer teacher of writing to children, Koch gave us some of the most exciting and aesthetically daring poems of his generation.
These poems take sensuous delight in the life of the mind and the heart, often at the same time: “O what a physical effect it has on me / To dive forever into the light blue sea / Of your acquaintance!” (“In Love with You”).
Here is Koch’s early work: love poems like “The Circus” and “To Marina” and such well-remembered comic masterpieces as “Fresh Air,” “Some General Instructions,” and “The Boiling Water” (“A serious moment for the water is when it boils”). And here are the brilliant later poems–“One Train May Hide Another,” the deliciously autobiographical address in New Addresses, and the stately elegy “Bel Canto”–poems that, beneath a surface of lightness and wit, speak with passion, depth, and seriousness to all the most important moments in one’s existence.
Charles Simic wrote in The New York Review of Books that, for Koch, poetry “has to be constantly saved from itself. The idea is to do something with language that has never been done before.” In the ten exuberant, hilarious, and heartbreaking books of poems collected here, Kenneth Koch does exactly that.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Read information about the authorKenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the attempt to create a fresh genre free from cliché. In his anthology The New York Poets, Mark Ford writes, "In their reaction against the serious, ironic, ostentatiously well-made lyric that dominated the post-war poetry scene, they turned to the work of an eclectic range of literary iconoclasts, eccentrics and experimenters."
Fiercely anti-academic and anti-establishment, Koch's attitude and aesthetic were dubbed by John Ashbery his "missionary zeal." Ford calls him "the New York School poet most ready to engage in polemic with the poetic establishment, and the one most determined to promote the work of himself and his friends to a wider audience." Koch died of leukemia at age 77, leaving a legacy of numerous anthologies of both short and long poems, avant-garde plays and short stories, in addition to nonfiction works dealing with aesthetics and teaching poetry to children and senior citizens.
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