Samuel Greenberg: American Poet
the poet seeks an earth in himself

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For Further Reading

Books
 
Simon, Marc.
Samuel Greenberg, Hart Crane, and the Lost Manuscripts. Humanities Press. 1978. ( May still be available.)


Simon uses four chapters to provide a fairly detailed biography of Greenberg, four to present an analysis of his influence on Crane, and one to unravel the history of how Greenberg's manuscripts weathered the years before they were deposited in the Fales Collection at New York University in 1964. He includes an appendix that reproduces the typescript copy that Crane made of forty-one poems from Greenberg's original manuscripts.
Simon is also the editor of the reader's edition (published by Liveright) of the Complete Poems of Hart Crane.

 

 
Holden, Harold and Jack McManis, editors.
Poems by Samuel Greenberg: A Selection from the Manuscripts. Henry Holt. 1947.


Holden and McManis selected and edited 150 poems for this edition, the most comprehensive collection. It likely represents the best of Greenberg's work. His prose autobiography, "Between Historical Life", a facsimile of his handwritten poem "Spirituality", and a frontpiece self-portrait are also included.
Their introduction contains biographical information and some details about the history of the manuscripts. Marc Simon has expanded on the work they did in both areas.
 
Allen Tate, in his short preface, is not entirely appreciative: he judges Greenberg's Sonnets of Apology to be, on the whole, "turgid and bathetic."

 

 
Laughlin, James, editor.
Poems from the Greenberg Manuscripts.
New Directions. 1939.


Laughlin includes about twenty poems, a facsimile of Greenberg's handwritten poem "Conduct", a short sketch for a play, and a comparison of Crane's "Emblems of Conduct" to Greenberg's original lines. The book also contains a striking poem, "The Pale Impromptu" , that isn't in any of the other sources.



 

Articles and Essays
 
Murrel, William [William Murrell Fisher].
"Fragments of a Broken Lyre: A Note on a Dead and Unpublished Poet: With Ten Selected Poems Following." The Plowshare. Woodstock. January 1920. pages 4-21.


Fisher (as mentioned in this site's biography page) knew Greenberg personally and encouraged him to write. He was the first to see Greenberg's poetry into print, and it was he who introduced Hart Crane to Greenberg's work.
Along with 10 poems, he offers some anecdotal reminiscences of Greenberg.

 

McManis, Jack and Harold Holden.
"Poet From Oblivion." Mademoiselle. November 1946. pages 62-163, 268-270.


The authors describe how they tracked down the manuscripts that were the source for their book. They also included a self-portrait (shown on this site's home page), and biographical sketches of Greenberg and Hart Crane.

 

Horton, Philip.
"The Greenberg Manuscript and Hart Crane's Poetry."
The Southern Review. Summer 1936. pages 148-159.
"Identity of S. B. Greenberg." The Southern Review. Autumn 1936. pages 422-424.

In these articles, which appeared just after Crane's typescript copy of forty-one Greenberg poems turned up, Horton attempts to assess Greenberg's influence on Crane. (For a more insightful assessment, see Marc Simon's meticulous study.) One article includes the following disappointing evaluation of Greenberg's poetry:
"The Greenberg MS is on the whole, and in spite of rifts of pure illumination, very bad poetry, impossible and tortuous jungles of language where little or no meaning shines."

 

 
Rosemont, Franklin.
"An Introduction to the Poetry of Samuel Greenberg." Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion 4. Black Swan. 1989. pages 149-154.

Rosemont includes a selection of three short prose pieces, some excerpts from a long list of poem ideas (words and phrases) that Greenberg kept in one of his notebooks, and several poems (including "The Tusks of Blood" and a few previously unpublished short poems). The appreciative and insightful introduction ends with these words:
"All too typically, the few critics who have written on Greenberg have been eager to absolve him of any suspicion that he might have been, in any sense, a surrealist. The fact remains that today it is only the surrealists who are prepared to salute his vital and admirably subversive presence.
"For many of us, indeed, Sam Greenberg is, in the 'American Language,' the most decisive of the forerunners on the very path that later selected us to advance upon it."

 

 
Web Sites

Hart Crane
Lucas, Brad. Brad Lucas's Hart Crane Home Page. Available: <http://unr.edu/homepage/brad/hart/crane.html>.
Hishikawa, Eiichi. Hart Crane. Available: <http://www.lit.kobe-u.ac.jp/~hishika/crane.htm>.

Lucas's site contains a bibliography, links to Web renditions of Crane's poetry, and a variety of other links. Hishikawa's page is a part of his Twentieth-century Poetry in English site, which has a links page <http://www.lit.kobe-u.ac.jp/~hishika/otherpoet.htm> listing more than 140 sites devoted to individual poets.

 

Elizabeth Bishop
Page, Barbara. Elizabeth Bishop: American Poet. Available: <http://iberia.vassar.edu/bishop/EB_title_page.html>.

Page's site contains a biography and bibliography.




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From the Web site Samuel Greenberg: American Poet at  http://www.logopoeia.com/greenberg/

Copyright 2000 by Michael Smith aka Logopoeia.  Address questions and comments to mike@w3.org

The banner quote at the top of the page ("the poet seeks an earth in himself") is from Greenberg's poem "Fred".