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Dreaming Against the Quotidian: Cogswell's Poetry and Poetics

One of the things that, frankly, astonishes me about you - as a poet - is that you are one of the very few people whose work sounds better, instead of worse, on re-reading. I mean that as a compliment. I've read some of your stuff - not the poems in The Stunted Strong, because I liked them from the first glance - but some of your other work and when I first read it, it seemed casual and even superficial. Then, when I looked at it again three weeks later, I caught the real implications... a chain reaction of emotions orbiting around a core of the only-seemingly simple.

(Alden Nowlan, Letter to Fred Cogswell, 23 January 1959)

Tho I maintain the same opinion of your poems as they appear on the page which I gave you with excessive frankness several years ago; since hearing you read ( a grand experience ) last year; I have begun to think that the spirit, the authentic spirit, a man puts into his reading, is not to be discounted... At any rate, after having heard you read, I acknowledge you as an authentic poet.

(Milton Acorn, Letter to Fred Cogswell, 16 July 1970)

 

I. Editorial Principles

Selection of Poems

Borealis Press

Textual/Authorial Variants

Grouping

Translations from French Poets

II. Cogswell's Poetics

Introduction

Traditional Metres and Form

"Behind the veil of things"

Conclusion

III. Poems

Selected Poems

List of Cogswell Poem Titles Published by Borealis