This essay reviews the publication of Larry Eigner’s selected poems and provides an introduction to Eigner (1927–96) and his place in US poetry. It gives an account of his life, describing his lifelong disability from cerebral palsy and the trajectory of his poetic career, which ended with over three thousand poems and great acclaim from US innovative poetic communities. It then relates Eigner to those communities, specifically Black Mountain in the 1950s and 1960s and the Language writers decades later. Eigner’s poetry is glancingly compared with that of Keats and of Dickinson, but the main juxtaposition is with Pound’s Pisan Cantos, where the rushed, typewritten quality of the lines is shown to have been foundational for Olson in his influential “Projective Verse.” Eigner’s work, while it shares characteristics, calls for different manners of reading. The latter part of the essay demonstrates this, by a close reading of a number of Eigner poems.
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Research Article| November 01 2020
Performance Typing: Larry Eigner’s Selected Poems
boundary 2 (2020) 47 (4): 139–156.
Bob Perelman; Performance Typing: Larry Eigner’s Selected Poems. boundary 2 1 November 2020; 47 (4): 139–156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-8677863
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