The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky
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The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The Poem of a Life is the first critical biography of Louis Zukofsky, a fascinating and crucially important American modernist poet. It details the curve of his career, from the early Waste Land-parody “Poem beginning 'The'” (1926) to the dense and tantalizing beauties of his last poems, 80 Flowers(1978), paying special attention to the monumental, complex, and formally va...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Counterpoint
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Eddie Watkins
I can probably say right now that I will not read this book in its entirety. It's not the fault of the book, which is clarity itself. I just never read biographies in their entirety anymore, and I don’t know why. Boredom, maybe, or maybe because they just make me want to read the actual productions of the subject, or maybe I just find it damn strange to spend my life reading about someone else’s life as told by yet someone else.

What I’ve read has been extremely helpful in my years long desultory...more
Patrick Pritchett
As the title implies, the focus here is more on LZ's work than his life, though the intricate intertwining of both is developed with scrupulous attention and a brilliant reading of this most hermetic of poets, as Kenner called him.
James Murphy
I'd been waiting for and wanting this biography. Louis Zukofsky was one of the more interesting and influential poets of his time. I'd had a long fascination with his work and had been reading his long poem "A"--the poem of his life--for years with a muddied understanding. This is critical biography focusing on analysis of all his work and is extremely helpful. My reading has produced a blizzard of marginalia and underlinings. He was an ambitious poet dedicated to strict form. What this book rev...more
Mar 14, 2008 Brigitte rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: poets
As a poet, I find this book fascinating.

Mark Scroggins shaped his biography of Zukofsky's work in a way that transported me, the reader, into Zukofsky's world so that I was able to experience the progression of events as they occurred in relation to Zukofsky's work ,and in turn, I understood how they shaped his work. That a biography may actually embrace the relationship between form and content, which is essential to creative writing works, is very puzzling and feels quite innovative.

I very m...more
Nov 25, 2008 Albert added it
Shelves: library-borrow
Brilliant. Reading "A" now, and complete shorts on the way. Also, just borrowed Bunting's complete from NYPL.
Mar 04, 2008 Jessica marked it as to-read
recommended to me by W.B., so I know I've got to read it.
May 05, 2008 Allen is currently reading it
Z is fascinating as well as an essential poet. Scroggins delivers the info clearly (the facts) while discussing Z's work usefully. very good bio and study.
Jan 13, 2008 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Still in process, will let you know
yay, sale copy at the mla.
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Born as military brat just down the street (he likes to imagine) from where Theodor Adorno was lecturing on the culture industry & modernist aesthetics. Bounced all over in his formative years -- Monterey CA, Syracuse NY, various bits of Germany, west Texas, western Kentucky -- then more or less settled down in middle Tennessee, but not before contracting a permanent sense of dislocation. Stud...more
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