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New Collected Poems

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  393 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
George Oppen's New Collected Poems gathers in one volume all of the poems published in books during his lifetime (1908-84), as well as previously uncollected poems and also a selection of his unpublished work. Oppen, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969, has long been acknowledged as one of America's foremost modernists. A member of the Objectivist group that flourished in the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Eddie Watkins
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Oppen's poems might at first appear to be thorny, opaque, elliptical to the point of incomprehensibility, and ultra-modernist - all of which qualities can be attractive or repellent depending on the reader and his/her relationship to poetry - once their potentially off-putting crust is broken with a clean whack of the reader’s brain, they reveal themselves to be extremely readable, embodying a remarkable marriage of clear vision, clear thought, exquisite aesthetics, and the intensified ess ...more
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
For current concerns fascinating to find Oppen BUILT HOUSES IN MEXICO. Should reread for his concerns with space (other than space/place as manufactured). Should then come back to poem "The Space" : Brood then / 'in love and care' / Over this little space.
Brooding, dwelling, inhabiting, restoring inner heft/interior of 'things' seems to be inline with his project.
Was surprised how 'light shot' his final poems become--if just for "The Powers" of the Selected Unpublished Poems this edition is the
Ted Burke
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I’ve been reading Michael Davidson’s superb anthology of George Oppen’s verse, Collected Poems, forcing me to the keyboard to ponder some connection with Wallace Stevens . with whom he shares an obsession with how the human personality tries to speak to those things that will never let themselves be revealed.The massive solitude in Oppen's work, wholly devoid of Romantic despair, seems an intrinsic part of his recognition that the Earth itself can never be known.Oppen is connected to Wallace Ste ...more
Ryan Van Runkle
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's so much fan lit on Oppen. And it's always by people who are true blue- ie Lyn Hejinian. They can dissect his genius really well. I can just say he's special. I used to have a cd of his poems. I'd play it in the car. At that time I was living in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Ireland. I had four CDs on repeat- Oppen. Beckett's three novels. Best of Sade. And Lou Reed's The Blue Mask. I can still hear Oppen's voice. Haha. I just remembered he has this one poem where he goes lik ...more
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Not reading this would be an incredibly stupid thing to do.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I feel kind of bad loving this book as much as I do. For years now I've maintained that the white New Directions paperback of Oppen's Collected Poems is the single best book of poetry I've ever read, that one book you'd read aloud from before being shot by a firing squad, or the one you'd read to someone immediately after having sex with them in a filthy sleeping bag. And it still is that book. But this is the book Oppen himself most deserves, in that classic, kind of snooty sense of binding thi ...more
C. Derick
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the most complete set of Collected Poems, and the audio does help getting a feel for tone of Oppen's often challenging work. Davidson's digging brings a lot of the work that had not been republished or anthologized to light. Oppen Objectivist poetry seems to have developed out of Pound's imagism but his later more political poetry does have much more social concern than his early work. While the newly anthologized poems are interesting, but I feel like Oppen's strengths are most on displ ...more
Jul 26, 2007 added it

It is the air of atrocity,
An event as ordinary
As a President.

A plume of smoke, visible at a distance
In which people burn.


Now in the helicopters the casual will
is atrocious

Insanity in high places,
If it is true we must do these things,
We must cut our throats

The fly in the bottle

Insane, the insane fly

Which, over the city
Is the bright light of shipwreck

from Of Being Numerous

Several wonderful Oppen readings are available at PENN SOUND (PBUT)
Cooper Renner
I didn't actually read all of this. I read Oppen's own collections inside it, and the grouping of previously published poems not included in his other books, but I mostly skipped the previously unpublished poems. Oppen is interesting quite often, but not always; but isn't by any means in the first rank of poets. Sociological concerns, the place of people in society and groups, are often paramount, and this can be kind of tedious. But still, he's worth looking into.
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Still some of the most relevant and vital work I know. I’m never really comfortable with the inclusion of unpublished work in a posthumous collected, but Davidson’s insightful introduction, the re-setting of the Discrete Series, and long-overdue addition of Primitive make this book a necessity.
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
there are things we live among 'and to see them is to know ourselves'

I really like that...I like that the way I like 14 of Route

and the last couplet of Leviathan

kind of like how culure and thought can slip right past our lives these days

grateful for Oppen's work and life

need it
Destinee Sutton
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the void eternally generative
I don't know if I would be a different person if I never read George Oppen, but ever since I was introduced to his poetry, I turn to it all the time. The way I feel about certain poems of his is probably similar to the way my Christian sister feels about certain Psalms.
Is there a word for "a book you had in hardcover as an undergraduate but were too simple to keep?"
Jul 06, 2007 added it
One of my favorites. Goes well with eating lunch and breakfast.
Jacob Russell
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I return again and again to the "objectivists," Oppen, Zukofsky, Niedecker...
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm still very hung up on the first poem.
Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
George Oppen writes beautiful stark poetry. Minimalist and thoughtful, this book encompasses the majority of his poetical works from the 1930s until the 1960s.
Catherine Theis
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Jun 28, 2007
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  • Complete Short Poetry
  • Collected Works
  • The Collected Books
  • The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975
  • The Sonnets
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George Oppen (April 24, 1908 - July 7, 1984) was an American poet, best known as one of the members of the Objectivist group of poets. He abandoned poetry in the 1930s for political activism, and later moved to Mexico to avoid the attentions of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He returned to poetry — and to the United States — in 1958, and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1969.
More about George Oppen...