Reviews for Yvor Winters : Selected Poems

Booklist Reviews 2003 October #2
To Thom Gunn, the foremost Britain-to-America transplant poet of his generation (Auden was his great forebear in a previous generation), falls the task of re-presenting Winters (1900-67), one of the most famous critics and teachers of his lifetime, whose poetry was then more respected than discussed. Now it seems to be some of the best from his generation of American poets. His early work, which Gunn represents far more generously than R. L. Barth did in The Selected Poems of Yvor Winters (1999), exemplifies imagism at its best, and it is based in the American West rather than the classical Greece that predominates in the work of H. D., the best imagist, Winters' later, formally precise poetry is elegant, allusive, profound, and rather dour, demanding careful reading and rereading and always repaying the effort. Adding immense value to this edition is the inclusion of an autobiographical story with an eerie account of self-confrontation in which Gunn sees the pivot between Winters' early and late poetic styles. ((Reviewed October 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews