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1. An Autobiographical Novel (A Revived
2. Love Poems from the Japanese (Shambhala
3. Women Poets of Japan
4. The Complete Poems of Kenneth
5. The Selected Poems of Kenneth
6. Women Poets of China (New Directions
7. 100 Poems from the Japanese
8. The Alternative Society
9. The Alternative Society: Essays
10. American Poetry In the Twentieth
11. Li Ching-Chao: Complete Poems
12. The Collected Shorter Poems of
13. Classics Revisited
14. Kenneth Rexroth (Boise State University
15. Natural Numbers: New and Selected
16. One Hundred Poems from the Chinese
17. Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems
19. Poems from the Greek Anthology:
20. World Outside the Window

1. An Autobiographical Novel (A Revived Modern Classic)
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 542 Pages (1991-11-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$15.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811211797
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worthy entry into the American canon
It is unfortunate that this fantastic narrative has been so neglected since Rexroth's death.I have considered this book to be one of the masterpieces of American literature ever since I first read it as a teenager,required reading in for every American Studies major at every liberal arts college and university in the USA.I hope that one day in the next decade or so, my own children will read it with as much enthusiasm as I did. In every respect, it is stylistically a quite original, completely American, work: it is neither a novel nor an autobiography but inhabits a middle ground between the two; it was composed by speaking into a tape recorder rather than written; it is a perfectly crafted ku:nstlerroman ("If this story has a plot or a theme it si the tale of aboy's effort to select and put in order the tools with which he would live his adulthood") and also a rambling yarn of the kind that seems to spin off subnarratives and stories within stories, and digressions in all directions (Rexroth isn't even born until Chapter 2, for example, and as originally published the narrative only reaches his 22 year); and finally, it is an amazing contrarian, counter-mythical depiction of a United States of America that Rexroth grew up in, as it was 100 years ago, a country that few people in our day and age realize ever existed (or as Rexroth in his forward puts it "to many people it may seem a most atypical childhood and youth.I do not think it is, or if it is, it is at least characteristic of one kind of American life.").From a geneological perspective (in the postmodern, French sense) this book is a snapshot of the pre-history of the ethical experience of life in the 20th/21st century.The postlude is absolutely brilliant and should be read, I think, before the book itself, to understand what it is you are about to read and how to put it in context.

The one drawback to this book is that it is edited posthumously by Linda Hamalian, a scholar who has demonstrated her own dissapproval for Rexroth as a person in her biography of Rexroth.I am uneasy reading a book that has been edited by someone who, in her own introduction, makes it clear that she is extremely skeptical of most of what Rexroth says, that the work is a specimen of the "ebb and flow of his imagination".For Hamalian, the issue - what makes this book relevant - is the fact-fiction question (which to me is precisely the most irrelevant question this book raises).For all I care, Rexroth could have made every word up, and, in a sense, it would still be all true in a sense, as true as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (just to cite another book about life in Chicago in the early years of the last century).It is sad that Rexroth's primary posthumous biographical champion is someone who is so unwilling to champion his text for what it is - a boundary-bending masterpiece - and is so focused on narrow questions of conforming to genre and sticking to verifiable fact.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another beautiful mind
The world may one day re-discover or discover the brilliance of Rexroth.It would be nice if it did.In the post-millenial world, Rexroth's life and works might seem to be from an alternate universe, not as high-tech as the one in the Matrix, but a lot more profound. Quitting school at the age of 11, Rexroth mastered every major European language as well as Japanese and Chinee, and Greek & Latin; he was a poet, painter, jazz club manager (where a cop bashed him in the face during a 'raid', he was an iconclast, socialist, environmentalist, and knew more about prosody than anyone alive.His life is spectacularly interesting, and he could make outlandish statements about art: Like 'anyone who knows anything about Italian prosody, knows Dante was a bad craftsman' or dismissing Leslie Fiedler in one sentence as a would-be WASP who is so ignorant of the American spirit, the best he can come up with is that Huckleberry Finn is gay (paraphrase).While MLA junkies analyze how many angels they can deconstruct in a nanosecond, Rexroth knew the value of literature and the value of life.The U. of Berkeley spent years begging him to teach there, and he finally gave in provided he could teach anything he wanted. He called universities smoke factories.This view has been substantiated today: not only metaphorically but literally. ... Read more

2. Love Poems from the Japanese (Shambhala Library)
by Sam Hamill
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2003-01-28)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570629765
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Drawn from classical, medieval, and modern sources—including the imperial collections of theManyoshu andKokinshu—the poems in this collection are some of the greatest love poems from the Japanese tradition. The poems range in tone from the spiritual longing of an isolated monk to the erotic ecstasy of a court princess—but share the extraordinary simplicity and luminosity of language that marks Kenneth Rexroth's verse style. An introduction by the poet and translator Sam Hamill, the editor of this collection, and short biographies of the poets are included.

The Shambhala Library is a series of exquisitely designed and produced cloth editions of the world's spiritual and literary classics, both ancient and modern. Perfect for collecting or as gifts, each volume features a sewn binding, decorative endsheets, and a ribbon marker—a delightful-to-hold 4 ¼ x 6 ¾ trim size. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poems to feed a passionate heart.A fantastic collection.
I have always loved the Japanese approach to poetry.This is why I own numerous collections.This volume focuses on love, passion and longing poems from numerous Japanese sources.They are all short poems but they speak volumes when studied closer.Japanese poetry often has a Zen approach to looking at life and love. This beautiful book is to be enjoyed at your leisure and even read out loud to your lover. This is a book you will want to read and refer to many times.In conclusion, I rate this book 5 stars.
Joseph J. Truncale

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Across the Ages
Love Poems from the Japanese is a elegant, little book that would be the perfect gift for a special other.

Its short poems, of only four or five lines, have a very big impact.Written as early as the 8th century and up to the present, the poems encapsulate all the emotions triggered by love:joy and sorrow, success and loss, pleasure and pain.It is amazing and rewarding that these poems, penned so long ago, express all the feelings lovers experience today.

There is an index that briefly identifies each poet, and the superb translations allows us to quickly and deeply enter into each poem's essence.

Whether in love or not -- treat yourself to this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely Japanese LOVE poems
Just what you need if your wife needs an indication that you are still "there"!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Autumnal dusk of life...
If you have a heart that is full of longing, a life that slips past too quickly, a love long lost or not yet known, a yearning for the spring, an ache for a distant tune partly forgotten or the remembrance of the scent of spring, then this book is for you. It will not lighten the load you bear, but it makes bearing it all the more meaningful.

More Wabi Sabi

5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Exquisite!
A diverse collection from classical, mediaeval and modern sources
including Manyoshu and Kokinshu, the poems have an elegant
simplicity. Brief biographies of the poets are supplied.
An exquisite volume well worth owning. It makes an excellent gift.
... Read more

3. Women Poets of Japan
Paperback: 192 Pages (1982-02-17)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811208206
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From early as the seventh century up to the present day, no other has had so many important women poets as Japan.In this collection (originally published by The Seabury Press in 1977 as The Burning Heart, Kenneth Rexroth andIkuko Atsumi have assembled representative works of seventy-seven poets. Staring with the Classical Period (645-1604 A.D.), characterized by the wanka and tanka styles,followed by haiku poets of the Tokugawa period (to 1867), the subsequent modern tanka and haiku poets,and including the contemporary school of free verse—Women Poets of Japan records twelve hundred years of poetic accomplishment. Included are biographical notes on the individual poets, an essay on Japanese women and literature, and a table of historical periods. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars women poets of Japan
This all-too-brief collection of poems is wonderful!The only improvements that might be made are: give more than one translation for some of the more difficult poems, and expand the number of poems contained in the collection by a lot!A great book for anyone who likes poetry in general and Japanses poetry in particular.

4-0 out of 5 stars Women Poets of Japan
The poetry expressed in this book, "Women Poets of Japan" reinforces universial commonality of women's issues. A friend of mine asked to scan the book before I had read the work. She immediately discovered a poem that reflected her view on every woman's plight. Needless to say, I promised to loan her the book when I had finished it. The writing is crisp, insightful and moving.

A delightful and handy compilation of works from japanese women poets, from K. Rexroth, the author of the book One Hundred Poems from the Japanese,with the cooperation of Ikuko Atsumi.
A must for those interested in a general overview of Japanese poetry, this little jewel shines with the light of the Classic poets (from Princess Nukada, 7th Century, to Abutsu-ni, A.D.1209-1283). A sample:

"I fell asleep thinking of him,
"And he came to me.
"If I had known it was only a dream
"I would have never awakened...". (Ono No Komachi, 9th Century)

Then we get a good sample of the TokugawaHaiku poets, from the 16thto the 18th Centuries, as well as Modern Tanka and Haiku poets.
The book also provides a view of the modern free verse poets of Japan and, finally, some anonymous Geisha songs, such as:

"From the dreamwhere we made love
my laughter called me back
and I searched all around me
my eyes full of tears......."

Finally the book ends with helpful biographical notes about the poets and a basic survey of Japanese poetry and the influence of the women poets.
Very highly recommended to those that want anintroduction to the wonderful Japanese poems, which are timeless..........

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving Deeply Through The Centuries
This collection of seventy-seven accomplished women poets spans 1200 years of poetic achievement. It must have been difficult to select representative poets and their poems but this volume succeeds in conveying the aesthetic of the classic poets, haiku poets of the Tokugawa, modern tanka and haiku poets, along with the free verse poets and a section of anonymous geisha songs.

The name of each poet has been drawn by master calligrapher, Machi Shunso and adds immeasurably to the reading experience.

How these poems resonate through the ages!

From Enomoto Seifu-Jo (1731-1814):

Everyone is asleep
There is nothing to come between
the moon and me. ... Read more

4. The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 900 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$229.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556592175
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth assembles all of his published longer and shorter poems, and includes a never-before-published selection of his earliest work. Rexroth’s poems of nature and protest are remarkable for their erudition and biting social and political commentary; his love poems justly celebrated for their eroticism and depth of feeling.

The cloth edition was one of the most widely reviewed poetry titles in 2003:

“Scholars and critics who endeavor to discuss mid-20th century American poetry responsibly ignore Rexroth at their peril.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review, cover feature and selected as a Book of the Year

“Rexroth is probably best known as the ‘Father of the Beat Generation.’ These poems reveal that great beauty lies beyond that cliché.”—NPR’s All Things Considered

“Rexroth’s prodigious breadth of learning, his hungry attention to the natural world, his contempt for warmongering and his profound, occasionally overlapping love of women are all on flourishing display.”—The San Francisco Chronicle

“Rexroth never mistook his poetry for a product, and he could present ideas and images in an urgent, memorable and eloquent way.”—The Nation

“Rexroth is one of the most readable and rewarding 20th-century American poets.”—Booklist

Kenneth Rexroth (1905–1982) was one of the world’s great literary minds. In addition to being a poet, translator, essayist and teacher, he helped found the San Francisco Poetry Center and influenced generations of readers with his Classics Revisited series.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Among the Best Works of the Century
Aftering having read the majority of this volume, I am immeasurably impressed.Kenneth Rexroth is the real deal and encompasses a vast array of human life including nature, mysticism, mathematics, science, social issues, history, various cultures and an incredible lyricism that weaves it all together.I find something lacking in most of the authors that I read, included many revered to be among the best, though I can't seem to get enough of Rexroth, especially the longer poems that unfold like great narratives bringing in abstraction to his poetic technique.It is evident that he does not use words to impress, but is incredibly well-studied and compassionate enough to have purpose in all that he wrote.This is what poety is all about.The entire thing reverberates with power and beauty from the early poems that he composed, to the bulk written at the height of his power, to the more reflective ones at the end of his career.The introduction by Sam Hamill is of short length and is excellent as well.

Support local bookstores if you can.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
This collection of Rexroth's complete poetry is long overdue. Maybe this volume will force academia to revisit his work and finally place him among the greatest American poets of the last century, which is precisely where he belongs. His poetry is learned and has a deceptive simplicity. With the exception of his early cubist work, his poetry is remarkable for its clarity. He wrote some of the finest nature and love poetry of his generation. The beauty of Rexroth's poetry is that the reader gets to experience what it is like to engage with life fully. Buy a copy for yourself as well as one for a friend. You will not regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An entomologist, not a bug.
Kenneth Rexroth was one of the most significant and influential American poets of the last half of the 20th century. This long overdue volume collects all his published poetry, as well as a wealth of previously uncollected material.Rexroth's erudition is remarkable, and his strongly syllabic verse is sometimes subtle, sometimes didactic, but always richly musical and intellectually sophisticated.His long poems, particularly "The Phoenix and the Tortoise" and "The Dragon and the Unicorn" are especially recommended, as are the "translations" he wrote in the guise of a Japanese woman poet, "The Love Poems of Marichiko."

Rexroth has for too long been overshadowed by his brief association with the Beats. Hopefully, this collection will demonstrate the lasting contribution he made to American literature.

Now with any luck Sam Hamill and Company at Copper Canyon will see fit to publish a collected translations, and perhaps a collected prose... ... Read more

5. The Selected Poems of Kenneth Rexroth
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 152 Pages (1984-09)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811209172
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rexroth, A great Teacher in San Francisco
I am amazed whe I go into a bookstore in San Francisco and find that they don't carry any of Kenneth Rexroth' many books. For many of us that lived in San Francisco during his life he was the teacher.Very few creativeartists have been as generous in praising other artists.

His poetry hasit's own flavor.Particularly touching are the series written over manyyears about his first wife Andree.Go to the library!read him! ... Read more

6. Women Poets of China (New Directions Paperbook, 528)
Paperback: 150 Pages (1982-02-17)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811208214
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad translation
The editors made a good try to translate the poems, but the result makes me laugh!

They can translate the meanings but they can't keep the feelings, formats, sounds, favors, and metaphors.

This book can fool people who can't read Chinese. Chinese is my first language, this book can't fool me!

If you are a professor or teacher, please stop showing off your "good taste" by forcing your student to read this piece of stupid translation. You need to learn Chinese to read real Chinese poem.

5-0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL!!
Probablymy favorite of the asian poetry books that I've read. Thanks for the compilation, Kenneth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unashamed, direct, honest, on par with women poets today.
This collection was a huge surprise. Unlike the steryo type of what women in China was like, subservient to husbands they are forced to marry, with little thoughts and feelings for themselves.

These women poets startingfrom 1644-1911, shout out thier love of thier partners, discuss drinking,sex, lust, romance, infactutation and even loving other women.

Themetaphors are soft and light at the first reading, yet if you look deeperyou realise some of the subjects are far from the softness the poetry isconveyed in.

A good histrical text on Chinese Women and a good read. Asthe previous reviewer said, buy two and give one to a friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest collaborative translations ever
An exciting selection of poems by known and previously unknown women poets. Ling Chung's scholarship and sensitivity gave the late great KennethRexroth the insight and inspiration to outdo himself here. Buy two copiesand give one to afriend. ... Read more

7. 100 Poems from the Japanese
Paperback: 140 Pages (1955-06-17)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201813
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Rexroth's classic best-selling anthology ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A feast for the heart, soul and mind.
I have loved almost anything Asian most of my life.May be this is why I have not only been a life-time student of several martial arts, but also of Asian philosophy, art and poetry.One of my favorite books of poetry has been this collection.Unlike much of western poetry, which sometimes rambles on and on with no purpose, most of the Japanese and Asian approach to poetry is to have you experience a slice of life in a short sentence. The beauty of this book is that the author has each selection written in English, Japanese and in Kanji characters.Over the years, I have read this volume numerous times and it is always a joy. In conclusion, this is a book for anyone who is interested in Japanese poetry. Rating 4 stars.Joseph J. Truncale

5-0 out of 5 stars Spare Beauty
I won't even begin to pretend that I can critique a book that is so beautiful in the art of Japanese poetry....but I will say that the spare, disciplined beauty of the the poems evoke such emotion from me.

When I was falling in love, my love was in the UK...I sent him this book because I loved it so much and wanted to share it. We tried (clumsily) to text each other in the Haiku style when we thought of something...a sweet memory!

Anyway this book is a must have.Also, there is a great preface by the man who collected the poems and it's very educational.

5-0 out of 5 stars And Now For Something Completely Different
Many decades ago as I was standing in a seemingly endless line at the college bookstore waiting to pay for my texts, I happened to pick up a copy of Kenneth Rexroth's 100 POEMS FROM THE JAPANESE and started thumbing through it in order to kill some time while I waited...and waited...and waited for my turn at the register. By the time I finally made it up there I couldn't have cared less, I was totally engrossed in the small volume that had been meant merely to keep me from thoughts of violence as I continued to wait...and wait...and wait. I knew that I had to have this book, I had fallen in love with Japanese poetry. Since that day I've had 3 copies of the book in all. The first was stolen by a "friend", the second died from over-work, and the third is sitting in front of me as I try to cobble together this review.

I had long hated poetry since its writers tended to exhume every archaic word they knew and went on for as long as they possibly could until they had finally beaten what ever sentiment, or thought they had tried to express into into a gelatinous pulp and left it and the reader whimpering on the floor in helpless submision. Writers of Western and European poetry that is. For when I openned Rexroth's book I learned there was an alternative to the pompous florid verbosity of Western poets and it could be found in the powerful, exquisitely crafted yet extremely economical poetry of Japan.

There are several different poetic forms and a great many shadings and other things to be concerned with, as in the works of all poets, and Rexroth deals with these things both in his introduction as well as in individual notes in the back of the book. He explains everything you need to know in order to understand these poems if you're interested in going beneath their surface beauty. Each poem is presented in romanized Japanese as well as English, which is a nice bonus, and each poet has his own little section. Every poet's name is presented in calligraphy down the side of each page.

This is an extraordinary collection of poems translated by a man who himself is an extraordinary poet. Perhaps the best way to convice you might be to offer one or two of my favorites and let you see for yourself what treasures this book has to offer.

A strange old man
Stops me,
Looking out of my deep mirror.HITOMARO

Although I hide it
My love shows in my face
So plainly that he asks me,
"Are you thinking of something?" TAIRA NO KANEMORI


4-0 out of 5 stars Delicate, fragile, elegant
In freshman year of high school, I went through an "Asian" phase, I guess, and this was one of the books I bought.The poetry carried me to a world (or rather, Japan) of times past. It's amazing how such short pieces could impact so much. I especially liked that Rexroth included the Japanese words with the poems (even though I know about 20 words of Japanese). However, then (and now), many of the references to various objects and places in the poems went over my head since I have little background in Japanese history or literature (everything I know about Japan, I learned from anime and the three week unit on Asia in World History class). For instance, I never heard of the River Izumi and plains of Mika nor did I know the importance of the Isle of Awaji (let alone where it was). So some of the poems, though they sounded beautiful, were little more than entertaining to me.I lost the significance and meaning.Fortuneately, Rexroth provides a guide in the back to the poets and some of the works in this collection.
If you've never read Japanese poetry before (or read very little), this book is a good introduction.However, having familiarity with Japanese places, literature and symbols helps, since you won't have to flip to the back every other poem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful
Rexroth neither adds or takes anything away.The book is brilliantly styled, and his notes are truly informative.A definite must have. ... Read more

8. The Alternative Society
by Kenneth Rexroth
 Paperback: 196 Pages (1972)

Asin: B0019QJHJE
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9. The Alternative Society: Essays From the Other World
by Kenneth Rexroth
 Paperback: Pages (1972)

Asin: B001OWBCYG
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10. American Poetry In the Twentieth Century
by Kenneth Rexroth
 Paperback: Pages (1973)

Isbn: 0816491674
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11. Li Ching-Chao: Complete Poems
by Ching-Chao Li
Paperback: 118 Pages (1980-02)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811207455
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Li Ching-Chao - poet
This is an outstanding collections of translations from the Chinese by a well-known poet (Kenneth Rexroth) and (in the U.S. at least) a lesser-known Chinese poet: Ling Chung.At the end of the collection there is a good, if brief, biography of Li by Ling Chung.

The poems read well in English even though some of them have a definite "Rexroth feel" to them.This is not meant to take anything away from the translations or the translators.Anyone who makes the attempt to translate from one incomensurate language (English) to another (Chinese) has his/her work cut out for them.

This small book certainly has a place in the library of anyone who has even a passing interest in Asian poetry in general and Chinese poetry in particular.

5-0 out of 5 stars great poet
Li Qingzhao was a supremely talented poet of the Sung dynasty period of China. She broke taboos concerning women writers by writing openly and creatively over a wide range of topics, both personal and social. She is revered in China today as being perhaps the greatest woman poet in Chinese history. It is enchanting to read her complete works and discover her recurring use of motifs and symbolism. Her voice is very feminine and very passionate but also very humble. It gives a glimpse of how women were expected to behave in Confucian society.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sensual plum blossoms everywhere!
I bought this book in 1983 and it has stayed in my permanent collection of books.It is some of the most sensuous and vibrantpoetry I have ever come upon.The poetry conveys the despair, hope and longing that the poet lives with in her life of waiting for love while at court."The Wu-Tung Tree" is one of the most beautiful poems that I know.The biography of Li Ching-Chao is not only informative, but nicely written.and the notes to the poems give the reader a greater sense of some of the symbolism and cultural significance of tunes and imagery. ... Read more

12. The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 352 Pages (1966-06)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$10.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201783
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13. Classics Revisited
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 228 Pages (1986-05-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811209881
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Rexoth, Classics Revisited. Humourous and insightful essays on Classic literature. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars rexroth
this book has made me stop wasting my time with secondary new things and try to focus onthe top books. i thank rexroth for gettingme to read f m ford's "some do not..." , a really greatnovel. his remarks onhomer are great,and his comments make wonderful reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to the Classics (western and non-)
Rexroth was "the father of the beatniks" and steeped in a humane understanding of the classics.Rexroth's book discusses sixty volumes, such as the Illiad & Odyssey, Beowolf, Njal's Saga, Job, Mahabarata,Kalevala, Sappho, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Plato, Livy,and so on, through Mark Twain and Chekhov.A second volume containssimilar sweep across different authors/works. As Rexroth says, theseclassic texts from around the world are "basic document in the historyof the imagination".

A review of Rexroth's book in the VilllageVoice, written three decades ago, says that "The talk is expansive,linking the archaic and the immediate, finding in Euripides 'the firstpsychedlic system of values, a middle-class substitute for mysticalvision,' or noting how in Caesar's _Gallic War_ 'the simple nouns and verbscarom off each other like billiard balls...The rapid and complex movementof simple elements deploys on the page exactly like the battle itdescribes.'...The books he loved he saw as emanations of living feeling,line of communication miraculously kept open."

Or, to quote fromRexroth himself:"Life may not be optimistic, but it certainly iscomic, and the greatest literature present man wearing the two conventionalmasks;the grinning and the weeping faces that decorate theatreprosceniums.What is the face behind the mask?Just a human face -- yoursor mine.That is the irony of it all -- the irony that distinguishes greatliterature -- it is all so ordinary."

Without denigrating thenon-Western tradition-- in fact, by including many essays aboutnon-Western classics -- and without paying homage via knee jerks, Rexrothsucceeds brilliantly. ... Read more

14. Kenneth Rexroth (Boise State University western writers series)
by Lee Bartlett
Paperback: 50 Pages (1988-07)
list price: US$8.50 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0884300838
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15. Natural Numbers: New and Selected Poems
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 119 Pages (1963)

Asin: B000HHKDYE
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16. One Hundred Poems from the Chinese (New Directions Book)
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 160 Pages (1971-01-17)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$2.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201805
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
incl 35 poems by Tu Fu & other later poets ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent translation of Chinese poems.
I have been a lover of poetry for most of my life. My favorite type of poetry is Japanese; however, I have grown to also love Chinese poetry.This fantastic book provides a series of Chinese poems that are both beautiful and meaningful.In most cases, Chinese poetry seems to have longer verses than Japanese poetry, but fortunately, they are still shorter than most western poetry.I have found myself reading this text numerous times because of the beauty and symmetry of the poetry.In conclusion, this book should be in the collection of everyone who loves Asian poetry.Rating:4 stars.Joseph J. Truncale (Season of the Warrior: A poetic tribute to warriors)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best!
Like several of the other reviewers I've had this book for years. Rexroth is simply terriffic! If for nothing else read this book for its superlative essays on the various poets given as end notes. Rexroth later included the essay on Tu Fu in his collection The Classics Reclassified. The final sentence reads "Poetry like Tu Fu's answers the question 'What is the purpose of art?'".

5-0 out of 5 stars Rexroth captures a variety of moods and feelings which are quite profound.
Since I returned from my first trip to China, I have become fascinated with Chinese culture and history.

I don't know much about poetry except that I like what I like (what moves and inspires me).

Something tells me that these translations are as much Kenneth Rexroth as they are the Chinese masters, which is fine with me because it is obvious that Rexroth captures a variety of moods and feelings which are quite profound.

I think it does justice to the integrity of this body of literature.

Particularly moving to me are the translations of Mei Yaochen whose poems dealing with his dead wife reveal a passion and respect for wamnhood that bellies our general notion of woman's treatment and subserviant place in China; and the poems of Madame Chu Shu Chen who is also very passionate in her feeling as a woman in China.

Comparisons: translations by Greg Wincup; Xu Yuan Zhong; Tony Barnstone

5-0 out of 5 stars Rexroth helped usher in a new era of great translations
This highly portable collection demonstrates the posture a translator must take when approaching the rich body of ancient Chinese poetry. Rexroth masterly retains the playfulness and humanity that allow these poems to endure through the centuries and yet he regards these rare artifacts with reverence.

These poems are a great introduction to several key poets, both male and female, from several Chinese dynasties.

5-0 out of 5 stars A genuine delight
You *NEED* this book. Every library ought to have a heart. And this book is an excellent place to start. ... Read more

17. Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems of Kenneth Rexroth
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 156 Pages (1997-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$399.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556590806
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
one third of the book devoted to his translations ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear as spring water reflecting the night sky
There's no mistaking a Kenneth Rexroth poem -- intelligence, erudition, intensity, and precise beauty are always present. These qualities are demonstrated to magnificent effect in this collection of love poems ... but forget about any vapid associations the phrase "love poems" might have, because these pages are a contained universe of life & emotion. This is adult work in the best sense of the word, intended for a thoughtful & passionate audience.

All of Rexroth's learning is in these lines, but he never flaunts it or calls attention to it. No, it's simply there, like the grain in a fine piece of carved wood. The tone is both observant and intensely engaged, reminiscent of the Chinese & Japanese poets he loved & translated so superbly. Yet it's always his own distinctive voice we hear, never just a pale imitation of those other poets. These are poems about nature, about love, sexuality, the modern world, literature, spirituality -- all woven together into an intricate golden braid, apparently without any effort.

If you're looking for "nice," obvious greeting card verse, you'll have to look elsewhere. But if you want poetry that's as rich & complex as love itself, then you'll find it in this volume -- most highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books of love poetry ever published
Rexroth's poems are expansive, lucid, and human.His is a great heart, a great mind, and a consummate poetic talent.These are poems for the ages and the fact that they are in print 20 years after his death attests to that fact.

5-0 out of 5 stars At the heart of Rexroth is Rexroth's heart
Rexroth's relationships with women were equal parts passion and turmoil.He was married four times. In addition, both during and between marriages he indulged in numerous affairs.Interestingly, his love poetry stands in stark contrast to the rather painful bent of his personal romantic life."Sacramental Acts" culls the best of Rexroth's love poetry from his entire career.The result is an ode to a romantic ideal.Given the accessible style of Rexroth's love poetry, this title makes a wonderful library addition for even the most casual poetry fan.On a more scholarly plane, Rexroth viewed human awareness and interaction asthreefold concetric circles.At the center was the individual.The next ring was the "beloved".Outermost was society et al."Sacramental Acts" is the heart and voice of the second ring. ... Read more

 Unknown Binding: Pages (1970-01-01)

Asin: B003KCQAPO
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19. Poems from the Greek Anthology: Expanded Edition (Ann Arbor Paperbacks)
Paperback: 152 Pages (1999-10-15)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$15.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0472086081
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"The first translation from the Greek that I ever did was the apple orchard of Sappho in my fifteenth year. It left me so excited with accomplishment that I couldn't sleep well for nights. Since that time, on the freight trains of my youthful years of wandering, in starlit camps on desert and mountain ranges, in snow-covered cabins, on shipboard, in bed, in the bath, in love, in time of loneliness and despair, in jail, while employed as an attendant of the insane, and on many other jobs and in many other places, the Anthology and the lyric poets of Greece have been my constant companions." --Kenneth Rexroth from the Foreword
Friend to the Beats, organizer of the Six Gallery poetry reading in 1955, and iconoclastic poet extraordinare, Kenneth Rexroth here turns his imagination to a selection of verses from the Greek Anthology. In his lively style he successfully captures the spirit of the originals by such poets as Sappho, Anyte, Glykon, Antipatros, Leonidas, Askelpiades, and Ammianos. Students of the classics as well as poets and translators will welcome this collection for the insight and dexterity of its unconventional editor.
Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982), poet, critic, and translator, is also noted for his translations from the Chinese and Japanese. Widely prolific, he helped usher in the Beat movement in the 1950s and is widely considered to have invented the idea of San Francisco as a center of literary innovation. David Mulroy is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the translator of Early Greek Lyric Poetry and Horace's Odes and Epodes.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greek Anthology Revisited.
Go tell the King: The daedal
Walls have fallen to the earth
Phoibos has no sanctuary,
No prophetic laurel, no
Speaking spring. The garrulous
Water has dried up at last.


This is one of my favorite poems in this collection.

Friend to the Beats, organizer of the Six Gallery poetry reading in 1955, and iconoclastic poet extraordinary, Kenneth Rexrothturned his imagination in the early sixties to a selection of verses from The Greek Anthology. In his characteristically lively style he successfully captured the spirit of the originals by such poets as Sappho, Anyte, Glycon, Antipatros, leonidas, Asclepiades, and Ammianos.
Students of the classics as well as poets and translators welcome this collection for the insight and the dexterity of its unconventional editor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poems from the Greek Anthology, Expanded Ed.
Of the more than 100 feet of bookshelves in my home Poems from the Greek Anthology translated by Kenneth Rexroth with introduction by David Mulroy represents the most cherished 3/8 inch.I am not literate in Greek nor do I have a background in literary analysis.I lost my original copy of this work by lending it to a faithless wretch (read former girlfriend).I am delighted that it has been reissued.The original 1962 edition has been amplified with "The Last Utterance of the Delphic Oracle" and an introduction and source data by David Mulroy that I found quite valuable as a guide both to Rexroth's approach to the translations and to the subtle techniques used to render the translations relaxed and readable.But the success is Rexroth's and the poets he treats; the winner is the reader.(I have my copy again and can now forgive the girlfriend....)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deceptively Simple... Potent and Beautiful
I came across an original edition of this collection in a small used bookstore, and having enjoyed Rexroth's other works picked it up immediately.

This may be one of my best finds, ever, and I'm so glad to see it reproduced in this edition.

Each of these poems, most no more than six to ten lines, does what so much poetry fails to... it says something. It is a complete, vivid, passionate thought. I read this book as if I were sipping a glass of wine, slowly, a handful of verses each day. Let your mind linger on them awhile.

I'll admit to a level of ignorance--I know very little about the "scholarly history" of the Greek Anthology, so I cannot compare these translations to those that came before. But reading Rexroth's personal takes (his introduction is wonderful in itself), I can hardly imagine how they could be improved.

Rexroth is at his finest here. Any lover of poetry will be glad to receive this into their library.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite English translation
I've read all the English translations (and even some of these poems in the original Greek).This collection, while small, is the best English "Greek Anthology" going.Quick check: in "The Norton Book of Classical Literature" the Rexroth excerpts shine compared to the other (highly respected) translators.

In terms of directness and emotional resonance Rexroth, "the father of the beats," triumphs again and again.For those who want to explore one of the world's greatest collections of poetry, this is a good place to start.For those interested in translation, there is much to learn from this volume.

The real Greek Anthology is massive and not all the poems are winners.Rexroth has boiled it down to his favorites and in so doing created perhaps the best poems he ever wrote.Those who want a deeper exploration should go to the library.To those who want to add to the bookshelf, this is the essential volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worthy to Stand with Ben Jonson
Kenneth Rexroth is the best translator of the Greek Anthology since the Renaissance.The Greek Anthology has suffered big ups and downs in reputation, depending on whether the sensibility is available in one time or another to approach it.Rexroth gets it right on.For further information, you may take a look at the online review in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ... Read more

20. World Outside the Window
by Kenneth Rexroth
Paperback: 340 Pages (1987-05-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$15.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811210251
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