Monday, February 08, 2016

The poet and his wishes …

… RANSOM, THE EQUILIBRISTThe Collected Poems of John Crowe Ransom. Edited by Ben Mazer. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ransom kept revising his Selected Poems into his eighties, but this is the first Collected, and includes not only Ransom's three volumes of poetry, but poems added in assorted ‘Selected Poems’, uncollected work (mostly sonnets, including a sort of aggregate sonnet, ‘Autumn Love’, consisting of three octaves and a sestet), an eye-opening section of poems reworked in ‘Distinct Versions’, prefaces, introductions, an index of titles and first lines, and a compendium of textual variants. Often referred to as a ‘major minor’ poet, Ransom has fallen in recent decades into some obscurity – I inevitably have to gloss his name for students, even though they are likely to have come across one or two of his masterpieces in anthologies. This volume should go some way to rectifying this state of affairs.

1 comment:

  1. I did not think that his changes to "Conrad in Twilight" and "Here Lies a Lady" were improvements. But it's good there's a new edition out.