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Selected Poems of Herman Melville

Melville, Herman

44 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394403983 / ISBN 13: 9780394403984
Published by Random House, 1971
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Brown cloth spine, oatmeal cloth boards, gilt titles at front and spine. Stated first edition. Edited and with an Introduction by Robert Penn Warren. Includes a substantial section of Notes on the Text. A near fine copy in very good plus DJ with a small stain at heel of spine. 453 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 12534

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Selected Poems of Herman Melville

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 1971

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


Everyone agrees that Whitman and Dickinson are the two greatest poets of 19th-century America, but who is the third? Some readers say Whittier, others say Poe, and these days an increasing number say Herman Melville. The revaluation of Melville s poetry is due in large part to the influence of this landmark volume, for Melville the Poet has never found a more judicious, eloquent, or persuasive partisan than Robert Penn Warren.

In 1970, Warren published what was then (and what remains) the most comprehensive selection of Melville s poetry ever presented. The book brings together the best lyrics from Battle-Pieces (1866), John Marr (1888), and Timoleon (1891), as well as many poems unpublished during Melville s lifetime. Central to the selection are many long, self-contained passages from Clarel (1876), the book-length poem that Warren calls "an important document of our modernity . . . In fact, a precursor to The Waste Land, with the same central image, the same flickering contrasts of the past and the present, the same charade of belief and unbelief."

Warren introduces his selection with a valuable interpretive essay, and also provides copious textual and critical notes. It is a labor of love, this highly personal anthology: as Warren says in the preface, "I have called this book 'A Reader's Edition,' and the reader I refer to is myself. The book may be regarded as a log of my long reading of Melville's poetry, of my preferences, my impressions and speculations, my curiosities and investigations." Warren's Melville is, to our mind, the most important "selected" since Malcolm Cowley s Portable Faulkner. It s a book that not only showcases an American master at his most powerful, but also changes our perception of his work forever.

From the Back Cover:

The entries collected in The Selected Poem of Herman Melville were chosen with literary consideration foremost, but poems of lesser regard also appear in the interest of exploring Melville's artistic development and their correlation with his novels.

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