From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Though he won the 1968 poetry Pulitzer, Oppen (1908–1984) remained a cult figure for much of his life. Devotees and experts have long heard about, but rarely seen, the daybooks, journals (mostly from the 1960s) in which the poet recorded and revised reactions to American politics, quotations he favored and apothegms about the art of verse. Cope's careful edition gathers those journals together with Oppen's few, and wise, completed essays, among them reviews of Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish and a famous Statement on Poetics (We write to find what we believe and what we do not believe). The results are daunting in their moral seriousness, occasionally hard to assemble given their fragmentation, but finally impressive as a guide to poetry, not only to Oppen's own. Young people—even the brilliant young people—tend to address their immediate elders, whether in hatred or in love, Oppen warns; it is a long step from there to the dialogue... across a number of centuries which is literature. (Jan.)
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“A book that will undoubtedly deepen readers’ experience and understanding of Oppen, and broaden the scope of Oppen scholarship.”
(Joseph Bradshaw Rain Taxi Review Of Books
"Carefully transcribed and annotated... Cope's book is well organized and makes an admirably clear text for readers."
(Times Literary Supplement (TLS)