Author: Louis Zukofsky
Publisher: New Directions (2011)
The new, authoritative edition of “A”: the monumental lifepoem by one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century, Louis Zukofsky.
River that must turn full after I stop dying
Song, my song, raise grief to music
Light as my loves’ thought, the few sick
So sick of wrangling: thus weeping,
Sounds of light, stay in her keeping
And my son’s face – this much for honor
―from “ ‘A’-11”
At long last, here is the whole of Louis Zukofsky’s epic masterpiece “A” back in print with misprints corrected and a new, fresh introduction by the noted scholar Barry Ahearn. No other poem in the English language is filled with as much daily love, light, intellect, and music. As William Carlos Williams once wrote of Zukofsky’s poetry, “I hear a new music of verse stretching out into the future.”
"‘A’ ’s place is in the great line of American personal epic begun in Song of Myself and stretching through the Cantos, Paterson, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, and The Dream Songs. It should be read."
― The Nation
"Zukofsky’s art, in this work, is without equal. No poet of our time can sound the resources of language, so actuate words to become all that they might be thought otherwise to engender."
― Robert Creeley
"'A' belongs in the company of the major modernist epics such as Pound's Cantos or Williams' Patterson. It will repay as much attention as it is given."
― Bob Perelman
"The poem is “of a life,” but the life that it presents is closer to life-as-experienced than life as narrated or told. And that, in the final analysis, is precisely the essence of Zukofsky’s genius."
― Mary Wilson