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Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems Hardcover – March 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374532095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374532093
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,241,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The publication of these poems by the seminal New York School poet is a cause for celebration; none of them was included in any of Schuyler's published collections, and there is much to savor, as well as valuable insight into the poet's process of composition. From early poems in which Schuyler sensitively describes his youth in the Midwest and East Aurora, N.Y., to highly charged observations of the streetscapes, seasons, and social life of New York City, both longtime readers of Schuyler and those new to his work will find an abundance of surprising, moving material. Most of the poems are less than a page long, but nearly all are packed with visual and emotional punch, exploding with color and sensation: Downriver, by the delicately webbed gasometers/ and the antennae, frailly tensile,/ lumber kindles into golden flames/ curling like shavings from a plane. The editors have included useful notes, which give dates of composition where possible, and brief descriptions of the many poets, painters, and neighborhoods that Schuyler wrote his poems to and about. Occasionally rough and half-realized, yet always alive, this book constitutes an exciting poetic discovery. (Apr.)
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Review

To read Schuyler is, almost inevitably, to be struck with the desire to be a poet. (Troy Jollimore Los Angeles Times)

The publication of these poems by the seminal New York School poet is a cause for celebration; none of them was included in any of Schuyler's published collections, and there is much to savor, as well as valuable insight into the poet's process of composition. From early poems in which Schuyler sensitively describes his youth in the Midwest and East Aurora, N.Y., to highly charged observations of the streetscapes, seasons, and social life of New York City, both longtime readers of Schuyler and those new to his work will find an abundance of surprising, moving material. Most of the poems are less than a page long, but nearly all are packed with visual and emotional punch, exploding with color and sensation: 'Downriver, by the delicately webbed gasometers/ and the antennae, frailly tensile,/ lumber kindles into golden flames/ curling like shavings from a plane.' The editors have included useful notes, which give dates of composition where possible, and brief descriptions of the many poets, painters, and neighborhoods that Schuyler wrote his poems to and about. Occasionally rough and half-realized, yet always alive, this book constitutes an exciting poetic discovery. (Publishers Weekly)

The last 1950s New York School poet to publish a book collection--as late as 1969--Schuyler (1923-1991) was as productive as any of the other three, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and John Ashbery. The proof is in the poems in this book, none of them lesser work, including a great deal of exceptionally attractive earlier (1950s and 1960s) pieces. Schuyler had the knack for writing about his own experiences so carefully that he's never overbearing or self-important. His poetry, especially early on, is about the resonances of how things look, sound, and feel, at rest and in motion. He was a great friend of the artist Fairfield Porter (1907-75), and few artworks in language and paint, respectively, so rewardingly complement one another as Schuyler's poems and Porter's domestic interiors and landscapes. Schuyler probably shared Porter's love for a maxim of Renoir's: "Make everything more beautiful." At any rate, he located beauty even in the hospitals to which recurring mental illness brought him. Perhaps he's the best New York School poet. (Ray Olson Booklist)

Discovered among Schuyler's papers at the University of California, San Diego, in 2005, the 165 uncollected and previously unpublished poems found here expand the late poet's known canon (Collected Poems, 1993) by nearly a third. Among his New York School peers-who are named frequently throughout-Schuyler's warmth and unabashed sense of wonder at the mundane ("A nothing day full of/ wild beauty") aligned him most closely in spirit with Frank O'Hara, whose gee-whiz spontaneity and sense of the seized moment he shared. Schuyler's empathic connections to weather ("The rain begins with a thousand pinpricks"), flowers, music, the city, travel, and most of all his friends held modernist irony at bay, and he often wore his heart on his sleeve when addressing loved ones ("You are so good to me/ that even my own feelings don't make me feel guilty."). Though Schuyler toyed with traditional forms such as sestinas and sonnets, he was quick to improvise, his poems brimming with jazzy non sequiturs ("the dirty photographs apostrophize mon-/soons. Swimming snakes shake the lake"). VERDICT A treasure trove for students of the New York School poets that should appear in most university library collections. (Fred Muratori Library Journal)

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Michael Albert on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Believe it or not, I became acquainted with the poetry of James Schuyler through a biography of Fairfield Porter, the representational painter who hung with the Rothko / de Kooning / Pollock crowd. Was I ever grateful. Schuyler, too, was a part of that great florescence of modern art that occurred in New York City after the second World War. In him (and in Frank O'Hara, whom I also love) is an openness and honest I just don't sense in most other modern poets. And a clear, unapologetic sense of where they are and when they are. I guess you might sum it all up in the words, "Nothing Is Ordinary." Everything is poem-worthy. It really is wonderful to have this additional volume of his work, additional to the Collected Poems (1993). It's like getting a surprise visit from a dear friend you haven't seen in years--and instantly falling in with each other as if no time has passed at all. And, as many of the previous "official" reviews point out, this isn't simply a collection of stuff that was found on the back of old shopping lists or lining his bird cage; these are bone fide vintage Schuyler, with all the detail and wit that make his "collected" poems a must have (assuming the Pulitzer in 1981 didn't pique your curiosity in the first place). And now, damn it, I'm going to have to give John Ashbury another try. There are more than a few poems dedicated to him or addressed to him. I tried reading his most recent collected poems (Notes from the Air, 2007) and had such a hard slog of it I had to surrender around page one-hundred. But apparently he and Schuyler were great friends (they even wrote a novel together) and you should always try extra hard to be friends with your friends' friends. Thankfully, American Library has a collection of his earlier books.
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