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The Elements" - Original Manuscript Poem signed.
[New York], 1960 - [New York], no year (c.1960). 21,7 cm x 28 cm. Folded in center. Minor remains of a rusty paperclip (only visible at the backside of the paper). Original Manuscript poem by the American poet Oscar Williams. The poem is written on a piece of large quarto sized blank paper with a 'Macadam Bond' watermark with Williams' signature at the foot of the page. Oscar Williams was the pen name of Oscar Kaplan (December 29, 1900 – October 10, 1964), an American anthologist and poet. Williams was born Oscar Kaplan in Letychiv, Ukraine, son of Jewish parents Mouzya Kaplan and Chana Rapoport. He immigrated to New York at the age of seven. His first book, Golden Darkness, was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Among his influential anthologies are Master Poems of the English Language, Immortal Poems of the English Language, The Pocket Book of Modern Verse, and the Little Treasury Poetry Series, which were used in colleges and high schools around the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. During his lifetime, anthologies he edited sold more than two million copies, a nearly unheard amount for books of poetry. Many of his anthologies are still being republished today. Though a friend and promoter of poets like Dylan Thomas and George Barker, Williams' own poetry is not highly regarded by critics, though he published several volumes during his lifetime, and is not nearly as accomplished as the poetry of his wife, Gene Derwood (1909–1954). Among Williams' poems are "Revenge," "Poem," "Poet," "The Last Supper" and "I Sing an Old Song," "The City's Face". Shopping for Meat in Winter is a typical Williams poem, with its urban theme, forced rhyme, and attempts at replicating the neo-Romanticism of the New Apocalypse. Shopping for Meat in Winter What lewd, naked and revolting shape is this? A frozen oxtail in the butcher's shop Long and lifeless upon the huge block of wood On which the ogre's axe begins chop chop. The sun like incense fumes on the smoky glass, The street frets with people, the winter wind Throws knives, prices dangle from shoppers' mouths While the grim vegetables, on parade, bring to mind The great countryside bathed in golden sleep, The trees, the bees, the soft peace everywhere-- I think of the cow's tail, how all summer long It beat the shapes of harps into the air. Oscar Williams and his poet-artist wife Gene Derwood sponsored an annual $15,000 poetry award which bears their name. They lived in a penthouse of an office building on Water Street. In his later years, Oscar Williams' home near Wall Street in Manhattan served as a mecca for young poets. Asked how he chose the poems used in his anthologies, he said, "How do you pick one girl to marry? In poetry it's divine polygamy. Generally, when a poem stays with me a long time that poem delivers the goods". Throughout his life, Oscar Williams eschewed his Jewish background. He was always mysterious about his origins and was buried by an Episcopal Church. He was survived by a son, Strephon Kaplan-Williams, who was raised in boarding schools and hardly ever interacted with his parents. His papers are housed at the Indiana University Lilly Library. (Wikipedia) Sprache: English Original Manuscript poem by the American poet Oscar Williams. The poem is written on a piece of large quarto sized blank paper with a 'Macadam Bond' watermark with Williams' signature at the foot of the page. Minor remains of a rusty paperclip (only visible at the backside of the paper).
      [Bookseller: The Time Traveller's Bookshop Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2014-12-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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