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Today's poem is "Now the Starlit Moonless Spring"
from The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth

Copper Canyon Press

Kenneth Rexroth was one of the twentieth century's great literary minds, the author of fifty-four volumes of poetry, essays, and translations from a dozen languages. The Complete Poems collects all the poetry he is known to have written, including early work that appeared in revolutionary magazines and a few later uncollected poems. Rexroth's poems of nature and protest are remarkable for their erudition and biting social and political commentary; his love poems are renowned for their incandescent eroticism and clarity of emotion; and his poems of trancendent wisdom bridge Eastern and Western traditions.

About The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth:

"A poet of rare depth, range, and power — one of a handful of American poets that deserve to be called great."
Los Angeles Times

"Rexroth is the master of us all."
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"Kenneth Rexroth: elaborately learned, precisely and passionately political, sardonic and witty, and expert high mountain rambler; poet of love, wisdom, and righteous anger. He was a great teacher to so many, a warm, cranky, personal mentor to me. His poetics and politics are ever more relevant. I am grateful that we have his vivid hard-hitting poems brought back to us in this one volume."
—Gary Snyder

"By his poems, essays, and translations, Kenneth Rexroth did nothing less than alter the landscape of American poetry, but this is not his true achievement. The true achievement is this: certain of his words—a poem here for this person, a phrase there for another, can alter the course of a reader's life, alter your sense of what is possible for you in a life. Here in this book, liftable in your hand, the keys to the kingdom: a rose-breasted grosbeak singing; the sudden glance of a pregnant mouse. Rexroth's vision—ecological, erotic, historical, musical—is fully alive and hugely ranging. What signal treasure, that these poems exist, can here and now be read."
—Jane Hirshfield

"The rediscovery of Kenneth Rexroth's poetry has been a revelation for me. Eros, mysticism, nature, the nature of revolution—all themes inherent in his poems—have never been more contemporary or more necessary. It is a continual arc of words that celebrates all that is possible. It is flesh and stone. It is the tough-minded plea for absolute attention. Consider this book a spring in days of drought. I am in love. Hold this holy book close and read it aloud with someone you cherish. May his voice awaken our senses. 'Do you hear? We are breathing. We are alive.' Rexroth's personal vision on the page and in the world is, quite simply, communion."
—Terry Tempest Williams

"Kenneth Rexroth is a crucial elder—solid, defining, brilliant in his formal resources, always the active mind. His work is bedrock."
—Robert Creeley

"There is no question that American literary history will have to be rewritten to accomodate Rexroth, that postwar American poetry is the 'Rexroth Era' as much (and as little) as the earlier decades are the 'Pound Era.'"
—Eliot Weinberger



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