By Kunitz, Stanley; Ljungquist, Kent; Kunitz, Stanley
"He back tops the crowd--he surpasses himself, the outdated iron dropped at the white warmth of simplicity." that is what Robert Lowell acknowledged of the poetry of Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) and his evolving artistry. The interviews and conversations contained during this quantity derive from 4 a long time of Kunitz's exceptional profession. They contact on aesthetic motifs in his poetry, the roots of his paintings, his friendships within the sister arts of portray and sculpture, his interactions with Lowell and Theodore Roethke, and his reviews on a bunch of poets: John Keats, Walt Whitman, Randall Jarrell, Wallace Stevens, and Anna Akhmatova.
Kunitz emerged from a mid-sized business city in crucial Massachusetts, surviving relatives tragedy and a feeling of non-public isolation and loneliness, to turn into an eloquent spokesman for poetry and for the ability of the human mind's eye. Kunitz has commented, "If we wish to understand what it felt wish to be alive at any given second within the lengthy odyssey of the race, it's to poetry we needs to turn." His personal odyssey from "metaphysical loneliness" to a feeling of neighborhood with fellow writers and artists--by construction associations like Poets apartment and the effective Arts paintings middle in Provincetown, Massachusetts--is ever found in those interviews.
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Extra resources for Conversations with Stanley Kunitz
This tortuous path of questioning, discovery, and uncovering of personal and family secrets eventually led him to signature themes in his work: the quest for identity and the search for a paternal figure. There were stirrings to become a writer, he notes, as early as age thirteen or fourteen, and he even began naïve experimentation with adventure stories. The desire to probe inward was probably accentuated by his hostile reaction to aspects of his native setting. Worcester was a city of immigrants, whose seven hills might, the town officers suggested, recall Rome; in Kunitz’s mind, however, each hill constituted a separate enclave inhabited by a discrete ethnic group (Irish, Swedes, Poles, Armenians, Italians, and eastern European and Russian Jews), each of which turned inward toward to its own insular traditions rather than outward to a broader world.
As he notes in one interview, “Memory is each man’s poet in residence,” and the “vulnerability of [his] own youth” echoes throughout the body of his poetic work and his related comments on his verse. Very much a poet of root images, he recalls the central event of his family life that would hover like a shadow over his childhood and adolescence and assume a lasting impact: his father’s suicide six weeks before he was born. His mother’s response was to erase all memories of his father’s life and the circumstances of his death, but the emotional struggles Kunitz faced in the aftermath of the suicide led him to transform his father—his name is never mentioned outright in the poems—into a mysterious, even mythical figure.
2003 In the spring experiences a health crisis from which he emerges “transformed,” a favorite Kunitz term. 2005 Publishes The Wild Braid, which includes conversations, reflections, and related poems that deal with his passion for gardening. “Stanley’s Century,” a feature section edited by Cleopatra Mathis and Parker Towle, appears in the Worcester Review. 2006 Dies of pneumonia at age one hundred at New York City home. Conversations with Stanley Kunitz Pulitzer Prize Poet Stanley Kunitz Started Career in Worcester Margaret Parsons / 1960 From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (12 June 1960).
Conversations with Stanley Kunitz by Kunitz, Stanley; Ljungquist, Kent; Kunitz, Stanley