SELECTED POEMS by Conrad Alken
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SELECTED POEMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this volume is collected, by the author's own choice, his best and most representative poetry written during the last half century. Though Aiken has received several of the highest awards, it is not generally realized that he is our greatest living American poet. He outranks in his range of thought- by far- Robert Frost and E.E. Cummings. He has assimilated his learning and experience into better poetry than has Pound. His only rival is T. S. Eliot who long ago disenfranchised himself. Alken is at once the most musical, the most metaphysical, the most learned and most modern of them all. He is deeply personal and more deeply universal; complex in thought but usually clear in expression; rooted in the most delicate sense perceptions but reaching toward the most ultimate philosophical conclusions. It is perhaps indicative of Aiken's growth that many of his earlier poems were placed in a matrix of Egyptian allusion and represented his truly tragic preoccupation with death and the ""melody of chaos"". Without losing any of his musicianship, his later poems are more classically oriented toward Greece or China and refer to the most modern metaphysical and scientific thought. Cunningly he connects all his intimations of time past and time future to the concrete simplicities of his home, Sheepfold Hill on Cape Cod, a masterful expression of the stream of time.... A great poet- what more is there to say.

Publisher: Oxford