XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century eBook µ for the



10 thoughts on “XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century

  1. Ken Ken says:

    A poem for each year of the XXth century Quite an undertaking and, as you might imagine, inconsistent to the core Quirky character selections, many of the topics famous XXth century writers as you d expect Anna Akhmatova, Apollinaire, Virginia Woolf, Kafka, Sylvia Plath Hubby Ted, Rilke, John Ashbery Still, there are manyartists here, too, and often repeat poems about artists, most notably Pablo Picasso I gather, then, that P Squared is a favorite of the author s Some of the poems A poem for each year of the XXth century Quite an undertaking and, as you might imagine, inconsistent to the core Quirky character selections, many of the topics famous XXth century writers as you d expect Anna Akhmatova, Apollinaire, Virginia Woolf, Kafka, Sylvia Plath Hubby Ted, Rilke, John Ashbery Still, there are manyartists here, too, and often repeat poems about artists, most notably Pablo Picasso I gather, then, that P Squared is a favorite of the author s Some of the poems didn t even rate as poems, I fear Not even prose poems, at least in my mind More just factual info on a particular year s high andlikely lowlights If you want to improve your vocabulary, though, McGrath is your man Lots and lots of words to keep both Merriam and Webster jumping Me, too I ve marked them and, some century, maybe the XXIst plan to look them up for the betterment of my sorry self


  2. Joshua Buhs Joshua Buhs says:

    Too limited, I think.Campbell McGrath s collection of poems documents the twentieth century, a poem per year, usually told in the voice of someone alive that year It begins with Picasso, who remains a presence long into the book the twentieth century as the birth of modernism, the collection of poems as cubist facets on the century And, indeed, French modernism m dominates the early parts of the volume, Matisse and Stein joining Picasso.There are other voices, as well We hear much from Mao a Too limited, I think.Campbell McGrath s collection of poems documents the twentieth century, a poem per year, usually told in the voice of someone alive that year It begins with Picasso, who remains a presence long into the book the twentieth century as the birth of modernism, the collection of poems as cubist facets on the century And, indeed, French modernism m dominates the early parts of the volume, Matisse and Stein joining Picasso.There are other voices, as well We hear much from Mao as he grows up, joins the revolutionary army, suffers his setbacks, and works his way back, his triumphs China s pain By a third or maybe midway through, the center of gravity shifts away from Europe to America this is, as Henry Luce sad, America s century Even if some of those voices are critical of what America is Woody Guthrie is present in a number of poems And, later, Bob Dylan Zora Neale Hurston, John Coltrane, Orson Welles And also Simon de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf, Jane Goodall Frida Kahlo.Even the voiceless, given a voice the last passenger pigeon, Voyager I and II, The Berlin Wall, Dolly the cloned sheep, watches, and clocks, and the planet Modernism giving way to post Modernism, radical subjectivity to post humanism McGrath s voice comes in with the later poems, too, his own life with those of the figures he is inhabiting, an authorial intrusion into the text.The book is ambitious, then, and smart There was a great dal of reading and thinking that went into it There are lines of connections between the poems, ideas spreading and moving across them, drawing the collection tight One hears the echoes of other writers E L Doctorow and his historical fiction, Kenneth Rexroth s roughly metered verse Apollinaire, Mi osz And back of it all, authorizing the collection, Walt Whitman I contain multitudes The voices that McGrath gives to the various characters are credible And he can be funny in a dry way, at times The Death of Edward Hopper 1967 evokes Hopper s most well known work of art without using the title in the first few lines Night after night the foghornlike a great horned owl watching over the harbor, though in this case the bird is an owl and not a hawk Other times, though, his attempts fall flat there is the ridiculous faux philosophical debate between Gates and Jobs at the end of the book that, rather than highlight and puncture the silliness of the fin de siecle, embodies it And yet for all its ambition, the book seems too tame The list of names are not exactly the who s who of the 20th century there are few politicians but neither to they really get us below the superficial view of 20th century It is art history 101 The planet is slowly being killed by humans Capitalism devours dissent, and television presents the spectacle on screens in everyone s home Rock and roll cannot really save the world, but it s going to try And after a while, the voices become repetitive Picasso with some new woman, his misogyny, his desire to create art Mao in some new revolutionary circumstance, his ruthlessness, his epigrammatic summation of same.This is very much a collection of poems by a baby boomer The attempts to stretch beyond the expected are, in themselves, fairly expected John Coltrane, Zora Neale Hurston, Robert Bola o, Nelson Mandela Very few of the choices surprise, or offerthan the conventional history of the 20th century The authorial intrusion after 1962 puts McGrath on equal footing to these others, which doesn t really bring them down as raise him up, part of the axis of the world.Which is fine, I guess, and what McGrath seemed to want to do It is too cruel to say that this is his We Didn t Start the Fire, but there s family resemblance between Billy Joel s song and this collection And I wanted something , a wider expanse, a messier view of this century, one that captured adiverse set of voices That s my own problem McGrath did the work, and presented what he wanted here, the ambition of the idea clipped by the conventionality of its enactment


  3. Kim Wozencraft Kim Wozencraft says:

    I was completely engrossed from page one This book is a year by year journey through the twentieth century, each poem written from the viewpoint of a major cultural icon in a specific year Different poetic forms, too, are part of the structural strategy of the book The poems are stunningly beautiful, imaginative, and thought provoking Reading them was like taking a trip through time while looking through a kaleidoscope myriad viewpoints, different voices, various poetic styles I emerged wi I was completely engrossed from page one This book is a year by year journey through the twentieth century, each poem written from the viewpoint of a major cultural icon in a specific year Different poetic forms, too, are part of the structural strategy of the book The poems are stunningly beautiful, imaginative, and thought provoking Reading them was like taking a trip through time while looking through a kaleidoscope myriad viewpoints, different voices, various poetic styles I emerged with a heightened sense of how quickly an entire century passes, and of the amazing kindness and cruelty of human beings in different situations, whether those circumstances be incredible or mundane If you want to know and understand what the twentieth century was like, and how close to the past we actually are, skip the history textbook and check out these poems You are in for a treat.This book was a runner up for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for poetry


  4. BooksRgood BooksRgood says:

    100 poems one for each year of the 20th century pretty enjoyable read.


  5. Steven Peck Steven Peck says:

    4.5 stars This shouldn t have worked It seemed too gimmicky Even so, it did work For several reasons First, the poems are varied and well wrought Most are finely crafted and the poetry shined throughout A few exceptions, but for the most part, the poems were first rate McGrath is a poet s poet Second, while the people and events chosen 1 per year for each year of the 20th Century seemed almost arbitrary, I liked that it avoided focusing on a certain typecast there was variety, from i 4.5 stars This shouldn t have worked It seemed too gimmicky Even so, it did work For several reasons First, the poems are varied and well wrought Most are finely crafted and the poetry shined throughout A few exceptions, but for the most part, the poems were first rate McGrath is a poet s poet Second, while the people and events chosen 1 per year for each year of the 20th Century seemed almost arbitrary, I liked that it avoided focusing on a certain typecast there was variety, from indisputable masters Picasso to the lowly the last passenger pigeon Third, the book was rich with ideas and insight into the human condition Overall an exceptional collection with a number I will return to again


  6. Nick Moran Nick Moran says:

    What do we make of how McGrath devotes only one or two poems to each World War, while at the same time giving us eight poems about Picasso and three about Frida Kahlo Is this the way a masterful poet subverts our expectations about what the 20th century was, or is the book s packaging to blame Maybe it saccurate to call these 100 poems one for each year poems for the twentieth century s art Maybe that s the point that within the limits of a single century s current events we are What do we make of how McGrath devotes only one or two poems to each World War, while at the same time giving us eight poems about Picasso and three about Frida Kahlo Is this the way a masterful poet subverts our expectations about what the 20th century was, or is the book s packaging to blame Maybe it saccurate to call these 100 poems one for each year poems for the twentieth century s art Maybe that s the point that within the limits of a single century s current events we are inflexibly bounded, but in an exploration of that century s art we grow boundless Either way, you ll have to forgive me I ve been a bit out of sorts since McGrath s Elvis poem made me tear up


  7. Tristan Tristan says:

    Actual rating 3.5 starsThis was a difficult book to come to an opinion about On the one hand, the idea is really cool and the execution is often good, on the other hand, the poems are pretty wildly variable in quality, tone, and type Of course, some variation in tone and type is good a book gets dull if every poem feels exactly the same This book however is truly wild it has pieces like Andy Warhol Waterfall of Dollar Signs 1987 which is literally what the title describes and noActual rating 3.5 starsThis was a difficult book to come to an opinion about On the one hand, the idea is really cool and the execution is often good, on the other hand, the poems are pretty wildly variable in quality, tone, and type Of course, some variation in tone and type is good a book gets dull if every poem feels exactly the same This book however is truly wild it has pieces like Andy Warhol Waterfall of Dollar Signs 1987 which is literally what the title describes and noalongside simple lyric and narrative poems of varying quality I largely didn t like poems that dealt extensively in rhyme or rigid meter I felt that they were forced and lacking both the formal cleverness of some of theexperimental moments like Jacques Derrida 1970 which is two t s, two e s, and two x s arranged around a dot, or Hiroshima 1945 which graphically represents an explosion in a s, o s and asterisks and the natural storytelling and quality of metaphor of the other,open, poems I also felt that some of those most experimental moments, Hiroshima 1945 and Andy Warhol Waterfall of Dollar Signs 1987 in particular, were not adequately prepared for The book is not, on balance, a book of experimental poetry and I as a reader was not really prepared to switch into the frame of mind necessary to appreciate these artworks that are at least as much visual as they are linguistic because they are not readable in a conventional sense Similarly, there were several concrete poems that were composed of readable words, but they usually didn t have a narrative or grammatical logic to them and I couldn t always figure out what all of the component parts had to do with the ostensible topic, which raises the question of why these words and not others and of course, in poetry, that question should be answerable.There were also, however, several very good poems scattered throughout the book I really liked all of the Frida Kahlo poems Guernica 1937 the Virginia Woolf poems the Apollinaire poems The Pulse of the Planet 1962 Georgia O Keefe 1983 Lee Atwater s Apocalyptic Dream 1991 , and Digital Clocks 1992 All of these poems had some real brilliance to them, but they also got buried a little bit in the rest of the 102 poems that made up the collection


  8. Eugenea Pollock Eugenea Pollock says:

    Reading this collection of poetry is like flipping through a scrapbook of notable 20th century markers people, places, artifacts, events that conjure the essence of the times It cannot be comprehensive and should not be criticized for that Others might quibble with McGrath s choices, but so what This represents a viable selection, and I thoroughly enjoyed it A few of my favorite years are Apollinaire 1908 , Kafka 1924 , Woody Guthrie Rusty Bedspring Blues 1929 , Matisse Tahiti 1930 , G Reading this collection of poetry is like flipping through a scrapbook of notable 20th century markers people, places, artifacts, events that conjure the essence of the times It cannot be comprehensive and should not be criticized for that Others might quibble with McGrath s choices, but so what This represents a viable selection, and I thoroughly enjoyed it A few of my favorite years are Apollinaire 1908 , Kafka 1924 , Woody Guthrie Rusty Bedspring Blues 1929 , Matisse Tahiti 1930 , Guadalcanal 1942 , Picasso 1973 , Orson Welles The Life 1985 , Lee Atwater s Apocalyptic Dream 1991 , and Digital Clocks 1992 Warning The last of these is a tear jerker in which Jane, a great grandmother confined to a retirement home, is visited by members of her family, who have brought her great grandson Sam with them As she holds him on her lap, she recalls a memory from her childhood of her escape in 1903 from a forest fire You could feel history crowding the room with its shadows, history embodied in the child of a horse drawn past and the child of a technologically unimaginable futuretogether in the only place we ever inhabit the present tense, the human instant


  9. Jean Jean says:

    ExcellentI m ashamed to say, as a lover of poetry, I was unfamiliar with Campbell McGrath Well I am familiar now and this poetry is excellent A century of poems as different and encompassing as the century it encompasses Absolutely spellbinding.Whether or not you love poetry, you will appreciate the beauty of these verses Each one diverse and distinct I d think I found my favorite then as I read on, I d say no, this one is my favorite until at least half of them are my favorites I highl ExcellentI m ashamed to say, as a lover of poetry, I was unfamiliar with Campbell McGrath Well I am familiar now and this poetry is excellent A century of poems as different and encompassing as the century it encompasses Absolutely spellbinding.Whether or not you love poetry, you will appreciate the beauty of these verses Each one diverse and distinct I d think I found my favorite then as I read on, I d say no, this one is my favorite until at least half of them are my favorites I highly recommend this treasure to one and all


  10. Anne Anne says:

    I love the concept A century of topics Some were really as if written by the person like Elvis or Picasso while others were about events Very clever and well done My one beef, as this may have to do with my ignorance, some of the poems were about people I ve never heard of before and there were no clues in the poems about what they did or stood for.


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XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century A poetic history of the twentieth century from one of our most beloved, popular, and highly lauded poets a stirring, strikingly original, intensely imagined recreation of the most potent voices and searing moments that have shaped our collective experienceXX is award winning poet Campbell McGrath s astonishing sequence of one hundred poems one per year written in a vast range of forms, and in the voices of figures as varied as Picasso and Mao, Frida Kahlo and Elvis Presley Based on years of historical research and cultural investigation, XX turns poetry into an archival inquiry and a choral documentary Hollywood and Hiroshima, Modernism and propaganda, Bob Dylan and Walter Benjamin its range of interest encompasses the entire century of art and culture, invention and struggleElegiac and celebratory, deeply tragic and wickedly funny, XX is a unique collection from this acknowledged master of historical poetry, and his most ambitious book yet [EPUB] ✼ The End (The 30-Day Collective Book 1) ✿ Ellen A. Easton – 9facts.co.uk popular ➽ [Download] ✤ The Light Over London By Julia Kelly ➲ – 9facts.co.uk and highly lauded poets a stirring [Ebook] ➣ Cell By Robin Cook – 9facts.co.uk strikingly original ❰Download❯ ➺ Braving the Wilderness Author Brené Brown – 9facts.co.uk intensely imagined recreation of the most potent voices and searing moments that have shaped our collective experienceXX is award winning poet Campbell McGrath s astonishing sequence of one hundred poems one per year written in a vast range of forms [Ebook] ➣ Lightning / Midnight / The Bad Place By Dean Koontz – 9facts.co.uk and in the voices of figures as varied as Picasso and Mao ❴Read❵ ➳ A Cidade Das Trevas (Dean Koontzs Frankenstein, Author Dean Koontz – 9facts.co.uk Frida Kahlo and Elvis Presley Based on years of historical research and cultural investigation [BOOKS] ⚣ Iron Council (New Crobuzon, By China Miéville – 9facts.co.uk XX turns poetry into an archival inquiry and a choral documentary Hollywood and Hiroshima [KINDLE] ❅ Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert – 9facts.co.uk Modernism and propaganda [BOOKS] ✭ Bloody Acquisitions (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, By Drew Hayes – 9facts.co.uk Bob Dylan and Walter Benjamin its range of interest encompasses the entire century of art and culture ❁ [EPUB] ✹ Dangerous By Amanda Quick ➚ – 9facts.co.uk invention and struggleElegiac and celebratory [Read] ➬ Succeed and Grow Rich through Persuasion Author Napoleon Hill – 9facts.co.uk deeply tragic and wickedly funny ➺ [Reading] ➼ Agile Software Requirements By Dean Leffingwell ➯ – 9facts.co.uk XX is a unique collection from this acknowledged master of historical poetry ➠ [Epub] ➚ The Last Kids on Earth By Max Brallier ➪ – 9facts.co.uk and his most ambitious book yet