2 Collected Critical Essay Louis Preposition Selection V Zukofsky

The following is divided into three lists of articles, reviews and dissertations. With only a few outstanding exceptions, virtually all the commentary on LZ prior to 1970 was in the form of reviews. Since the bibliography of reviews is intended to help track LZ reputation during his lifetime, I have also includes a handful of brief mentions in critical surveys of American poetry. The more substantial reviews or those by particularly significant authors are listed under both reviews and articles. The cut-off for the list of reviews is the complete edition of “A” (1978), the last work whose publication LZ oversaw.

For articles published only online, see LZ Online. Both lists of articles and reviews, but particularly that of the reviews, are indebted to the bibliographies of Bailey and Terrell, both of which are usefully annotated (See Bibliographies on LZ).

Books and Articles

Abend-David, Dror. “Louis Zukofsky and The West Wing: Metaphors of Mentorship, Yiddish and Translations at Street Level.” Forum: International Journal of Interpretation and Translation 8.1 (2010): 1-35.

Ahearn, Barry. Zukofsky’s “A”: An Introduction. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1983.

___. “About ‘A’.” [Introduction to the New Directions edition of “A” (2011)].

___. “The Adams Connection.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 479-493. Rpt. in Terrell (1979): 113-127.

___. “Notes on a Convocation of Disciplines.” Montemora 4 (1978): 251-259.

___. “Origins of ‘A’: Zukofsky’s Material for Collage.” ELH 45.1 (Spring 1978): 152-176.

___. “Two Conversations with Celia Zukofsky.” Sagetrieb 2.1 (Spring 1983): 113-131.

___. “Zukofsky, Marxism, and American Handicraft.” In Scroggins (1997): 94-111.

Albiach, Anne-Marie. “Contrepoint.” Siècle à mains 12 (1970) [with trans. of first half of “A”-9]. Rpt. Anawratha. Le Revest-des-Eaux: Spectres familiers, 1984; Romainville: Al Dante, 2006. 49-57

Altieri, Charles. “The Objectivist Tradition.” Chicago Review 30.3 (Winter 1979): 5-22. Rpt. The Objectivist Nexus, eds. Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain (1999): 25-36.

Arnold, David. Poetry and Language Writing: Objective and Surreal. Liverpool UP, 2007. 61-74.

Ashton, Jennifer. From Modernism to Postmodernism: American Poetry and Theory in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005 [chapter on “Modernism’s old literalism: Pound, Williams, Zukofsky, and the objectivist critique of metaphor”].

Baker, Peter. Obdurate Brilliance: Exteriority and the Modern Long Poem. Gainesville, FL: U of Florida P, 1991 [includes chap. “‘They’ll tell me it’s difficult’: Stein/Zukofsky].

Baldwin, Neil. “The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Louis Zukofsky: A Chronicle of Trust and Difficulty.” Library Chronicle of the University of Texas 23 (1983): 37-49.

___. “Varieties of Influence: The Literary Relationship of William Carlos Williams and Louis Zukofsky.” Credences: A Journal of Twentieth Century Poetry and Poetics, new series 2.1 (Summer 1982): 93-103.

___. “Zukofsky, Williams, and The Wedge: Toward a Dynamic Convergence.” In Terrell (1979): 129-142.

Baraban, Stephen. “Zukofsky’s ‘The Laws Can Say.’” Explicator 43.2 (1985): 40-41.

Bastos, Mário Vitor. “The Search for Clear Vision: William Shakespeare and Louis Zukofsky’s Poetics.” “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee”: Homenagem a Maria de Paiva Correia. Eds. A. Pinheiro de Sousa, et. al. Lisboa: CEAUL, 2009. 673-682.

Beach, Christopher. ABC of Influence: Ezra Pound and the Remaking of American Poetic Tradition. Berkeley: U of California P, 1992 [includes chap. “Expanding the Poundian Field: Whitman, Williams, and Zukofsky”].

Benveniste, Asa. “Poet on Poet: on Louis Zukofsky.” Ambit 79 (Summer 1979).

Bernlef, J. “Louis Zukofsky: Het ritme van ogen.” De Gids [Netherlands] 130.3 (1967): 179-181.

Bernstein, Charles. Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essay and Inventions. Chicago: Chicago UP, 2011. 134-136 [on “Poem beginning ‘The’”].

___. “Foreword” to Prepositions+: The Collected Critical Essays. Wesleyan UP, 2001. vii-xii.

___. “Introduction” to Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems. NY: Library of America, 2006. Rpt. Pitch of Poetry (U of Chicago P, 2016): 100-109. Online at Jacket 2.

____. “Louis Zukofsky: An Introduction.” Foreign Literature Studies (Wuhan, China) 28.2 (April 2006): 113-121 [in Chinese].

___. “Thought’s Measure.” L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, Vol. 4/Open Letter fifth series, no. 1 (1982): 7-22. Rpt. Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon, 1986. 61-86.

___. “Words and Pictures.” Sagetrieb 2.1 (Spring 1983): 9-34. Rpt. Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon, 1986. 114-161 [includes discussion of Bottom].

Beyers, Chris. “Louis Zukofsky in Kentucky in History.” College Literature 30.4 (2003): 71-88.

Booth, Marcella [Spann]. A Catalogue of the Louis Zukofsky Manuscript Collection. Austin: Humanities Research Center, The U of Texas, 1975.

___. “The Zukofsky Papers.” Library Chronicle of the University of Texas, 2 (1970): 48-59. Rpt. with revisions as “The Zukofsky Papers: The Cadence of a Life,” in Terrell (1979): 393-400.

Bradbury, Richard. “Objectivism.” American Poetry: The Modernist Ideal. Eds. Clive Bloom and Brian Docherty. NY: St. Martin’s P, 1995. 131-142.

Brakhage, Stan. “Note on Bottom: on Shakespeare.” Film Culture 32 (Spring 1964): 77 [brief note].

Braun, Richard Emil. “The Original Language: Some Postwar Translations of Catullus.” Grosseteste Review 3.4 (1970): 27-34.

Breslin, Glenna. “Between Niedecker and Zukofsky, An Excerpt.” HOW(ever) 2.1 (Nov. 1984): 10-11. Rpt. rev. “Lorine Niedecker and Louis Zukofsky.” Pacific Coast Philology 20.1-2 (Nov. 1985): 25-32.

Brown, Norman O. “Revisioning Historical Identities.” Tikkun 5.6 (Nov/Dec. 1990): 36-40,107-110. Rpt. Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis (Berkeley: U of California Press, 1991): 158-178 [includes discussion of “‘Mantis,’” “A”-9, Marx and Spinoza].

Bruns, Gerald L. The Material of Poetry: Sketches for a Philosophical Poetics. Atlanta: U of Georgia P, 2005. 88-92.

Bucher, Vincent. “Should We Read Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’-9? Reading, Legibility, Illegibility.” Modernism and Unreadability, eds. Isabelle Alfandary & Axel Nesme. Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2011. 89-102.

Bunting, Basil. “Lettera aperta a Louis Zukofsky.” Il Mare (1 Oct. 1932). The English version, “An Open Letter to Louis Zukofsky,” in Dale Reagan, “Basil Bunting obiter dicta,” Basil Bunting: Man and Poet, ed. Carroll F. Terrell (Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1981): 240-243 [also included are misc. remarks on LZ from interviews and letters, 265-267]; rpt. Sulfur 14 (1985): 8-10 [a critical response to LZ’s “Objectivists” theories].

___. “Pound and ‘Zuk.’” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 373-374. Rpt. New Directions 39 (1979): 149-150.

___. “Zukofsky.” Basil Bunting on Poetry. Ed. Peter Makin (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999). 151-170.

Burke, Kenneth. The Humane Particulars: The Collected Letters of William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Burke. Ed. James H. East. Columbia, SC: U of South Carolina P, 2003 [includes Burke’s epistolary remarks on “A” 1-12, 213-216].

Bush, Ronald. “Science, Epistemology, and Literature in Ezra Pound’s Objectivist Poetics (With a Glance at the New Physics, Louis Zukofsky, Aristotle, Neural Network Theory, and Sir Philip Sidney).” The Idea and the Thing in Modernist American Poetry. Ed. Christina Giorcelli. Palermo: Editrice Ila Palma, 2001. 147-172. Rpt. Literary Imagination: Review of the Association of Literary Scholars 4.2 (Spring 2002): 191-210.

Butterick, George F. “With Louis Zukofsky in Connecticut.” Credences: A Journal of Twentieth Century Poetry and Poetics, new series 1.2/3 (Fall/Winter 1981/82): 158-163.

Byrd, Don. The Poetics of the Common Knowledge. Albany: State U of New York P, 1994. 238-260 [section on “The Performance of Person: Louis Zukofsky”].

___. “Getting Ready to Read ‘A’.” boundary 2 10.2 (Winter 1982): 291-308. Rpt. rev. in Poetics of Common Knowledge.

___. “The Shape of Zukofsky’s Canon.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 455-477. Rpt. in Terrell (1979): 163-185. Rpt. rev. in Poetics of Common Knowledge.

Campbell, P. Michael. “The Comedian as the Letter Z: Reading Zukofsky Reading Stevens Reading Zukofsky.” In Scroggins (1997): 175-191.

Campos, Augusto de. “Objetivo: Louis Zukofsky.” À Margem da Margem. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1989. 113-25.

Carmody, Todd. “Requiem for Leipzig: Williams, Zukofsky, and Poetic Realism.” The Legacy of William Carlos Williams: Points of Contact. Ed. Ian D. Copestake. Cambridge Scholars Publ., 2007. 31-44.

Carruth, Hayden. “Louis Zukofsky.” Poetry 110.6 (Sept. 1967): 420-422 [review of All].

___. “The Only Way To Get There From Here.” Journal of Modern Literature 4.1 (Sept. 1974): 88-90.

Carson, Luke. Consumption and Depression in Gertrude Stein, Louis Zukofsky and Ezra Pound. NY: St. Martin’s, 1999.

Charters, Samuel. “Essay Beginning ‘All’.” Modern Poetry Studies 3.6 (1973): 241-250.

Clark, Thomas. “Zukofsky’s All.” Poetry 107.1 (Oct. 1965): 55-59.

Clinton, Alan Ramón. Intuitions in Literature, Technology and Politics: Parabilities. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 [chapter on “Louis Zukofsky and Quantum Criticism (A/One Conclusion)”].

Cole, Peter. “The Object and Its Edge: Rothko, Oppen, Zukofsky, and Newman.” Sagetrieb 5.3 (Winter 1986): 127-145.

Comens, Bruce. Apocalypse and After: Modern Strategy and Postmodern Tactics in Pound, Williams, and Zukofsky. U of Alabama P, 1995.

___. “From A to An: The Postmodern Twist in Louis Zukofsky.” Sagetrieb 10.3 (Winter 1991): 37-62. Rpt. rev. Apocalypse and After (1995).

___. “Soundings: The ‘An’ Song Beginning ‘A’-22.” Sagetrieb 5.1 (Spring 1986): 95-106. Rpt. rev. in Apocalypse and After (1995): 180-186.

Conniff, Brian. “The Modern Lyric and Prospero’s Island.” Twentieth Century Literature 34.1 (Spring 1988): 84-112 [primarily on Auden’s The Mirror and the Sea but with significant discussion of “A”-7 as an exemplary counter-example].

Conquest, Robert. “The Abomination of Moab.” Encounter 34 (May 1970): 56-63 [review of Catullus].

Conte, Joseph. Unending Design: The Forms of Postmodern Poetry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1991 [chapters “Sounding and Resounding Anew: LZ and Lorine Niedecker” 141-163; “Renovated Form: The Sestinas of John Ashbery and LZ” 167-192; “Canonic Form in Weldon Kees, Robert Creeley, and LZ” 192-213].

___. “The Intertextual Obscurity of Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’.” Journal of Language and Verbal Behaviour (St. Petersburg) 9 (2009): 26-32.

Cook, Albert. “Metrical Inventions: Zukofsky and Merwin.” College Literature 24.3 (Oct. 1997): 70-83. Rpt. Forces in Modern and Postmodern Poetry, ed. Peter Baker. Peter Lang, 2007. 89-102.

Cope, Stephen. “Objectivism.” A Companion to Modernist Poetry. Eds. David E. Chinitz & Gail McDonald. Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 281-295.

Cordes, Jocelyn. “Love’s Labor: Reading Zukofsky’s Bottom: on Shakespeare.” Sagetrieb 14.3 (Winter 1995): 77-88.

Corman, Cid. The Practice of Poetry: Reconsiderations of Louis Zukofsky’s A Test of Poetry. Brattleboro, VT and Kyoto, Japan: Longhouse and Origin, 1998.

___. “‘Anew’ Anew.” Kulchur 4 (1961): 100-102.

___. “‘A’-2: Getting On With It.” Sagetrieb 3.3 (Winter 1984): 107-114.

___. “‘A’-3: RICKY with addenda: 1-9.” Origin, fifth series 5 (Spring 1985): 38-66.

___. “‘A’-11: 1300-1950.” Line 14 (Fall 1989): 11-31.

___. “At: Bottom.” Caterpiller pamphlet 2 (May 1966): 1-36. Rpt. Word for Word: Essays on the Arts of Language, vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1977. 128-169.

___. “GAMUT/LZ.” Origin, fifth series 4 (Fall 1984): 51-54.

___. “In the Event of Words.” In Terrell (1979): 305-336 [introductory remarks followed by a selection of key “critical statements” quoted from throughout LZ’s works, including a few snippets from letters to Corman].

___. “Love—In These Words.” MAPS 5 (1973): 26-54.

___. “Meeting in Firenze.” Sagetrieb 1.1 (Spring 1982): 120-124 [an account of Corman’s first meeting with LZ in Florence].

___. “Opening Anew.” Line 11 (Spring 1988): 30-40.

___. “Poetry as Translation.” Grosseteste Review 3.4 (1970): 3-20. Rpt. in At Their Word: Essays on the Arts of Language, vol. 2. Santa Barbara, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1978. 16-30 [on Catullus].

___. “Ryokan’s Scroll” Sagetrieb 1.2 (Fall 1982): 285-289.

___. “The Transfigured Prose.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 447-453.

___. “Working in the Desert.” Sagetrieb 5.1 (Spring 1986): 53-56 [on the relationship between LZ and EP].

___. “The Z Gambit: Appendix to ‘A’-1”. Origin, fifth series 2 (Winter 1983): 70-87.

Cox, Kenneth. Collected Studies in the Use of English. London: Agenda Editions, 2001.

___. “‘A’-24.” Agenda 11.2-3 (Spring-Summer 1973): 89-91.

___. “Louis Zukofsky.” Agenda 13/14 (Winter/Spring 1976): 127-130.

___. “Louis Zukofsky.” Agenda 16.2 (Spring 1978): 11-13.

___. “Louis Zukofsky.” Collected Studies (2001): 237-247.

___. “The Poetry of Louis Zukofsky: ‘A.’Agenda 9.4-10.1 (Autumn-Winter 1971-1972): 80-89.

___. “The Poetry of Louis Zukofsky.” Montemora 5 (1979): 5-12.

___. “Relations with Pound.” Agenda (1988). Rpt. Collected Studies (2001): 247-256 [review of Pound/Zukofsky correspondence].

___. “Zukofsky and Mallarmé: Notes on ‘A’-19.” MAPS 5 (1973): 1-11. Rpt. rev. as “Tribute to Mallarmé: ‘A’-19,” Scripsi (1984); Collected Studies (2001): 256-270.

Creeley, Robert. Collected Essays of Robert Creeley. Berkeley: U of California P, 1989 [collects 5 pieces on LZ; see below].

___. “All Ears Hear Here.” New York Times Book Review (20 May 1979): 15. Rpt. in Collected Essays (1989): 66-68.

___. “Foreword” to A Test of Poetry. Wesleyan UP, 2000. vii-x.

___. “Foreword” to Complete Short Poetry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. vii-xiv.

___. “For L.Z.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 383-385. Rpt. Terrell (1979): 75-78; New Directions 39 (1979): 151-153; Collected Essays (1989): 69-71.

___. “Louis Zukofsky.” Agenda 4.3-4 (Summer 1966): 45-48; Rpt. in A Quick Graph:Collected Notes & Essays. Ed. Donald Allen. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970: 128-132; Collected Essays (1989): 54-57 [review of All 1923-1958].

___. “Louis Zukofsky: “A” 1-12 & Barely and Widely.” The Sparrow (Nov. 1962). Rpt. in A Quick GraphCollected Notes & Essays. Ed. Donald Allen. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970. 121-123.

___. “A Note,” introduction to “A”-1-12. NY: Doubleday, 1967. Rpt. in A Quick GraphCollected Notes & Essays. Ed. Donald Allen. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970: 133-142;  Collected Essays (1989): 58-65.

___. “…paradise/our/speech….” Poetry 107-1 (Oct. 1965): 52-55; Rpt. in A Quick Graph:Collected Notes & Essays. Ed. Donald Allen. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970: 124-127; Collected Essays (1989): 50-53 [review of All].

___. See Celia Zukofsky (1980).

Crisp, Peter. “Louis Zukofsky, 1904-78.” Islands 7 (1978): 89-98.

Crozier, Andrew. “Paper Bunting.” Sagetrieb 14.3 (Winter 1995): 45-74. Rpt. Crozier, Thrills and Frills: Selected Prose, ed. Ian Brinton (Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, 2013): 89-118.

___. “Zukofsky’s List.” Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain, eds. The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1999. 275-285. Rpt. Crozier, Thrills and Frills: Selected Prose, ed. Ian Brinton (Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, 2013): 190-204.

Daive, Jean. “Louis Zukofsky et le style autobiographique,” Foreword to The Writings of Guillaume Apollinaire/ Le Style Apollinaire (with René Taupin). Ed. with introduction by Serge Gavronsky. Wesleyan UP, 2003. vii-xii.

Davenport, Guy. “Zukofsky.” Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays. San Francisco: North Point, 1981. 100-113.

___. “Ferdinand.” New York Times Book Review (15 June 1969): 5, 31.

___. “Happy Birthday, William Shaxper.” National Review (6 Oct. 1964): 874-876. Rpt. in Geography of the Imagination (1981): 111-113 [review of Bottom].

___. “Louis Zukofsky.” Agenda 8.3-4 (Autumn-Winter 1970): 130-137 [review of “A” 13-21 & Catullus].

___. “Ornery Cusses.” National Review (25 March 1969): 288-290 [review of Ferdinand].

___. “Scripta Zukofskii Elogia.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 394-399. Rpt. in Terrell (1979); New Directions 39 (1979): 159-164; Geography of the Imagination (1981):107-111.

___. “Zukofsky’s “‘A’-24.” Parnassus: Poetry in Review 2.2 (Spring-Summer 1974): 15-23. Rpt. in Geography of the Imagination (1981): 100-107.

___. “Zukofsky’s English Catullus.” MAPS 5 (1973): 70-75. Rpt. in Terrell (1979): 365-370.

Davidson, Michael. “Dismantling ‘Mantis’: Reification and Objectivist Poetics.” American Literary History 3.3 (Fall 1991): 521-541. Rpt. Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word (Berkeley: U of California P, 1997): 116-134 [besides “Mantis” also includes extensive discussion of “A”-9].

Davie, Donald. “After Sedley, After Pound.” Nation 201 (1 Nov. 1965): 311-313 [review of All]. Rpt. “Louis Zukofsky.” Two Ways Out of Whitman: American Essays. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 2000. 128-130.

Dawson, Fielding. “A Memoir Louis Zukofsky.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 571-579. Rpt. Terrell (1979): 103-112.

Dembo, L.S. “Louis Zukofsky: Objectivist Poetics and the Quest for Form.” American Literature 44.1 (March 1972): 74-96. Rpt. Terrell (1979): 283-303.

Dewey, Anne Day. “History as a Force Field in Pound, Zukofsky, and Olson.” Sagetrieb 13.3 (Winter 1994): 83-116. Rpt. Beyond Maximus: The Construction of Public Voice in Black Mountain Poetry. Stanford UP, 2007. 17-43.

Diehl-Jones, Charlene. “Sounding ‘A’.” Line 14 (Fall 1989): 52-71.

Di Manno, Yves. “Centre introuvable.” Java n° 4 (été 1990): 5-6.

Duddy, Thomas A. “The Measure of Louis Zukofsky.” Modern Poetry Studies 3.6 (1973): 250-256.

Duncan, Robert. “A Critical Difference of View.” Stony Brook 3/4 (1969): 360-363; Rpt. The Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov (2004): 729-733; Collected Essays and Other Prose (2014): 195-201 [defends LZ and others against criticism by Adrienne Rich without direct discussion his work].

___. “As Testimony: Reading Zukofsky These Forty Years.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 421-427. Rpt. A Selected Prose, ed. Robert J. Bertholf (NY: New Directions, 1994): 138-144; The Collected Essays and Other Prose (2014): 339-345. Partially translated by Philippe Mikriammos, « En lisant Zukofsky ces quarante dernières années », Java n°4, été 1990, pp. 35-38.

___. “Introduction.” John Taggart. Dodeka. Membrane, 1979. Rpt. “An Introduction: John Taggart’s Dodeka,” Fictive Certainties. NY: New Directions, 1985. 211-218; The Collected Essays and Other Prose (2014): 353-360 [significantly concerned with LZ, especially “A”-22 and -23].

___. See also under Adrienne Rich.

DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. Genders, Races and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934. Cambridge UP, 2001. 166-174 [on “Poem beginning ‘The’”].

___. Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2012 59-85 [chap. “Succession and Supercession, from Z to ‘A’”].

___. “Lyric and Experimental Poems: Intersections.” Ed. J. Mark Smith, Time in Time: Short Poems, Long Poems and the Rhetoric of North American Avant-Gardism, 1963-2008. McGill-Queen’s UP, 2013. 22-50.

___. “Objectivist Poetry and Poetics.” The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry, ed. Walter Kalaidjian. Cambridge UP, 2015. 89-101.

DuPlessis, Rachel Blau, and Quartermain, Peter, eds. The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1999.

Đurić, Dubravka. “Objectivist Poetry and Its Conventions in the Context of Modernist and Postmodernist American Poetry.” The Beauty of Conventions: Essays in Literature and Culture, eds. Marija Krivokapić-Knežević & Aleksandra Nikčević-Batrićević. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. 33-50.

Eastman, Andrew. “La modernité américaine dans la poésie française: Jacques Roubaud et le ‘vers libre’ américain,” Revue Française d’Etudes Américaines, n° 80 («Traduire l’Amérique») (mars 1999): 23-32.

___. “Estranging the Classic: The Zukofskys’ Catullus.” La Revue LISA VII.2 (U of Caen, France 2009). Online.

Enslin, Theodore. “Out of a Deep Need—LZ and ‘A’.” O.ARS 2: Per/ception, ed. Don Wellman. Cambridge, MA (1982): 99-101.

Fauchereau, Serge. “Poésie Objectiviste.” Les Lettres Nouvelles (mai 1967). Rpt. “La poésie en Amérique: l’objectivisme.” Lecture de la poésie américaine, éd. augmentée et illustrée. Paris: Somogy édition d’art, 1998 (1e éd.: Paris, Ed. de Minuit, 1968). 125-140. Trans. Richard Lebowitz, “Poetry in America: Objectivism.” Ironwood 6 (1975): 43-55.

___. “Quelques aînés.” Serge Fauchereau (éd.), 41 poètes américains d’aujourd’hui, n° spécial bilingue. Les Lettres Nouvelles (décembre 1970-janvier 1971): 23-29.

___. “Louis Zukofsky: ‘A’ section 12.”La Quinzaine littéraire 16-31 (déc. 2003) nº 867, 8.

Fetzer, Glenn W. “Poésies en fin de siècle sous le signe de l’objectivisme américai.”. François Rouget, avec la collaboration de John Stout (textes réunis et présentés par), Poétiques de l’objet. L’objet dans la poésie française du Moyen-Âge au XXe siècle. Actes du- colloque international de Queen’s University (mai 1999). Paris: Honoré Champion éditeur, coll. Colloques, congrès et conferences. Epoque moderne et contemporaine, 2001. 459-469.

Finkelstein, Norman. The Utopian Moment in Contemporary American Poetry. Rev. ed. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 1993. 35-46 [chapter “What Was Objectivism?”].

___. “Jewish-American Modernism and the Problem of Identity: With Special Reference to the Work of Louis Zukofsky.” In Scroggins (1997): 65-79. Rpt. revised in Not One of Them in Place: Modern Poetry and Jewish American Identity (Albany, NY: SUNY P, 2001): 35-53.

Finley, Ian Hamilton. “In Memory.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 376.

Friedman, Alan J. and Carol C. Donley. Einstein as Myth and Muse. Cambridge UP, 1985. 74-78.

Fournier, Michael. “Complete Short Poetry, by Louis Zukofsky.” Sagetrieb 9.3 (Winter 1990): 147-150.

Franciosi, Robert. “Reading Reznikoff: Zukofsky and Oppen.” North Dakota Quarterly 55.4 (Fall 1987): 283-395. Rpt. in The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics, eds. Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1999. 257-274.

Fredman, Stephen. A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry. U Chicago P, 2001.

Gavronsky, Serge. Toward a New Poetics: Contemporary Writing in France. U of California P, 1994. 40-43 [discusses LZ’s reception in France].

___. Mallarmé spectral ou, Zukofsky au travail. La Souterraine, France: La Main courante, 1998.

___. “Borrowing Mallarmé.” Esprit Createur 40.3 (Fall 2000): 72-85.

___. “Con / vers / ation: Louis Zukfosky et Francis Ponge.” Ponge, résolument. Ed. Jean-Marie Gleize. Lyons: ENS Editions, 2004. 145-164.

___. “Guillaume Apollinaire Subsumed Under Louis Zukofsky’s Gaze: ‘…listening receptively…,” introduction to The Writings of Guillaume Apollinaire/Le Style Apollinaire (with René Taupin). Wesleyan UP, 2003. xiii-l.

___. “Mallarmé visible et invisible.” TTR (Traduction Terminologie Rédaction) 12.1 (1999): 115-130.

___. “The object is (in) poetics.” Pequod 34 (1992): 145-59.

___. “Translating Zukofsky.” Golden Handcuffs Review 1.5 (Summer-Fall 2005).

Géfin, Laszlo K. Ideogram: History of a Poetry Method. Austin TX: U of Texas P, 1982. 49-67 [chap. on the Objectivists, “Sincerity and Objectification”].

Gilonis, Harry, ed. Louis Zukofsky, Or Whomever Someone Else Thought He Was: A Collection of Responses to the Work of Louis Zukofsky. Twickenham & Wakefield, UK: North & South, 1988.

___. “Dark Heart: Conrad in Louis Zukofsky’s A,” The Conradian 14.1-2 (1989): 92-101.

___. “The Forms Cut Out of the Mystery: Bunting, Some Contemporaries, and Lucretius’s ‘Poetry of Facts.’” Durham University Journal Supplement: Basil Bunting Special Issue, ed. Richard Caddel (1995): 146-162 [includes discussion of Lucretius in “A”-12].

Ginsberg, Allen. See Celia Zukofsky (1980).

Giorcelli, Cristina. “A Stony Language: Zukofsky’s Zadkine.” The Idea and the Thing in Modernist American Poetry. Ed. Christina Giorcelli. Palermo: Editrice Ila Palma, 2001. 109-139.

___. “Parole in musica, musica di parole: sull’Autobiography di Louis Zukofsky.” Letterature d’America 22 (1984): 67-93.

Golden, Seán. “‘Whose morsel of lips will you bite?’” Some Reflections on the Role of Prosody and Genre as Non-Verbal Elements in the Translation of Poetry.” Nonverbal Communication and Translation. Ed. Fernando Poyatos. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins, 1997. 217-245 [includes discussion of LZ’s homophonic translations, particularly from Welsh in Little].

Golding, Alan. “The ‘Community of Elements’ in Wallace Stevens and Louis Zukofsky.” Wallace Stevens: The Poetics of Modernism. Ed. Albert Gelpi. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. 121-40.

___. “Louis Zukofsky and the Avant-Garde Textbook.” Chicago Review 55.3-4 (Sept 2010): 27-36.

Golston, Michael. Poetic Machinations: Allegory, Surrealism,Postmodern Poetic Form. Columbia UP, 2015 [chapter on “Entomologies: Louis Zukofsky and Lorine Niedecker”].

___. “Petalbent Devils: Louis Zukofsky, Lorine Niedecker, and the Surrealist Praying Mantis.” Modernism/Modernity 13.2 (April 2006): 325-347. Rtp. in above.

Goodman, George, Jr. “Louis Zukofsky, 74, a Major Poet of Objectivist School and Novelist.” New York Times (14 May 1978): sec. 1: 28 [obituary].

Gordon, David. “A Note on LZ’s Catullus LXI: Theme and Variations.” Sagetrieb 2.2 (Fall 1983): 113-121.

___. “Three Notes on Zukofsky’s Catullus.” In Terrell (1979): 371-381.

___. “Zuk and Ez at St. Liz.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 581-584. Rpt. New Directions 39 (1979): 178.

___. “Zuk on His Toes.” Sagetrieb 1.1 (Spring 1982): 133-141 [primarily about Catullus].

Greene, Jonathan. “Zukofsky’s Ferdinand.” MAPS 5 (1973): 131-136. Rpt. Terrell (1979): 337-341.

Grenier, Robert. “Notes on Coolidge, Objectives, Zukofsky, Romanticism, And &.” Situation 5 (Winter 1978). Rpt. In the American Tree, ed. Ron Silliman (Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1986):530-343.

___. “Meditation on two lines from Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’-22” (2006). Eclipse [facsimile of 3 page hand-written note].

Grim, William E. “Form and the Long Poem: The Music of Zukofsky’s A.” Pembroke Magazine 24 (1992): 141-146.

__. “The Use of Medieval Music in Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’.” Studies in Medievalism 6, supplement (1996): 176-182.

Hamilton, Colleen J. “History as Medium, Media as History: Louis Zukofsky’s A Test of Poetry.” New Definitions of Lyric: Theory, Technology, and Culture. Ed. Mark Jeffreys. NY: Garland Publ., 1998. 77-98.

Harmon, William. “Eiron Eyes.” Parnassus 7.2 (1979): 5-23. Rpt. Parnassus: Twenty Years of Poetry in Review, ed. Herbert Leibowitz (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1994): 45-63; Twentieth-Century American Literature, vol. 5, ed. Harold Bloom (Chelsea House, 1988). 

Hass, Robert. “Zukofsky at the Outset.” American Poetry Review 34.5 (Sept.-Oct. 2005): 59-70. Rpt. in What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination and the Natural World. NY: HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012. 219-250.

Hatlen, Burton. “Art and/as Labor: Some Dialectical Patterns in ‘A’-1 through ‘A’-10.” Contemporary Literature 25.2 (Summer 1984): 204-234.

___. “Catullus Metamorphosed.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 539-545. Rpt. rev. as part of “Zukofsky as Translator,” see below.

___. “From Modernism to Postmodernism: Zukofsky’s ‘A’-12.” Sagetrieb 11.1/2 (Spring/Fall 1992): 21-34. Rpt. in Scroggins (1997): 214-229.

___. “A Poetics of Marginality and Resistance: The Objectivist Poets in Context.” In Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain, eds. The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1999.

___. “Re Reno Odlin: A Riposte.” Paideuma 9 (1980): 579-582.

___. “Stalin and/or Zukofsky: A Note.” Paideuma 8.1 (1979): 149-151.

___. “Zukofsky’s ‘A’: An Introduction, by Barry Ahearn” [review]. Sagetrieb 2.1 (Spring 1983): 147-150.

___. “Zukofsky as Translator.” In Terrell (1979): 345-364.

___. “Zukofsky, Wittgenstein, and the Poetics of Absence.” Sagetrieb 1.1 (Spring 1982): 63-93.

Heller, Michael. Conviction’s Net of Branches: Essays on the Objectivist Poets and Poetry. Southern Illinois University Press, 1985 [two chapters on “LZ’s Objectivist Poetics: Reflections and Extensions” and “The Poetry of LZ: To Draw Speech”].

___. “Objectivists in the Thirties: Utopocalyptic Moments.” The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Eds. Rachel Blau DuPlessis & Peter Quartermain. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1999. 144-159. Rpt. Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Works of George Oppen. Cambridge: Salt Publ., 2008. 13-28.

___. “The Objectivists: Some Discrete Observations.” Ohio Review 26 (1981): 85-95. Rpt. Conviction’s Net of Branches (1985): 1-15.

___. “The Poetry of Louis Zukofsky: To Draw Speech.” Origin 5.1 (1983): 44-55. Rpt. Conviction’s Net of Branches (1985): 22-35.

___. “Some Reflections and Extensions: Zukofsky’s Poetics.” MAPS 5 (1973): 22-25. Rpt. rev. in Conviction’s Net of Branches (1985): 16-21.

___. “‘Writing Occurs’: Reflections on Oppen, Zukofsky and Objectivist Poetics.” Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Works of George Oppen. Cambridge: Salt Publ., 2008, 29-39.

Helmling, Steven. “Louis Zukofsky.” Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Poets Since World War II, Part 2. Ed. Donald J. Greiner. Detroit: Gale Research, 1980. 422-434.

Henderson, Cathy. “Supplement to Marcella Booth’s ‘A Catalogue of the Louis Zukofsky Manuscript Collection.’” In Oliphant and Dagel: 107-181.

Hennessy, Michael. “Louis Zukofsky, Charles Tomlinson, and the ‘Objective Tradition.’” Contemporary Literature 37.2 (Summer 1996): 333-45.

Hickman, Ben. Crisis and the US Avant-Garde: Poetry and Real Politics. Edinburgh UP, 2015 [chapter on “‘Longing for perfection’: History and Utopia in Louis Zukofsky”].

Hilson, Jeff. “‘It Makes an Indebtedness’: Louis Zukofsky Translating Catullus.” interstice 3 (Autumn 1999).

___. “From A-Z and Bach again: Getting a Handel on ‘A’-24.” Golden Handcuffs Review 14 (Winter-Spring 2011): 260-269.

Holmes, Janet. “Zukofsky vs. Syntax: Reading ‘Gamut.’” American Poet 33 (Fall 2007): 3-6.

Homberger, Eric. “The Invention of the Objectivists.” American Writers and Radical Politics, 1900-39: Equivocal Commitments. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1986. 176-186.

___. “Communists and Objectivists.” The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Eds. Rachel Blau DuPlessis & Peter Quartermain. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1999. 107-125.

Hooley, Daniel M. “Tropes of Memory: Zukofsky’s Catullus.” Sagetrieb 5.1 (Spring 1986): 107-123. Rpt. in The Classics in Paraphrase: Ezra Pound and Modern Translators of Latin Poetry (London/Toronto: Associated UP, 1988): 55-69.

Horáček, Josef. “Pedantry and Play: the Zukofsky Catullus.” Comparative Literature Studies 51.1 (2014): 106-131.

Howarth, Peter. The Cambridge Introduction to Modernist Poetry. Cambridge UP, 2012. 202-209 [section on “Zukofsky and the Objectivists”].

Hunt, Erica. “Beginning at ‘Bottom.’” Poetics Journal 3 (May 1983): 63-66. Rpt. Poetics Journal Digital Archive, eds. Lyn Hejinian & Barrett Watten (Wesleyan UP, 2014): 805-809.

Ignatow, David. “Louis Zukofsky—Two Views.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 549-51.

Irby, Kenneth. [Review of] Bottom: on Shakespeare. Kulchur 16 (Winter 1964-65): 98-103.

___. “Some Notes on Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers and Michele J. Leggott’s Reading Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers.” Sulfur 34 (1994): 234-249.

Ivry, Jonathan. “‘[A]ll / things began in Order to / end in Ordainer’: The Theological Poetics of Louis Zukofsky from ‘A’ to X.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 51.2 (Summer 2009): 203-222.

Jenkins, G. Matthew. Poetic Obligation: Ethics in Experimental American Poetry. U of Iowa P, 2008. 23-31 [chap. On “Objectivist Poethics”].

Jennison, Ruth. The Zukofsky Era: Modernity, Margins and the Avant-Garde. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2012.

___. “Combining Uneven Developments: Louis Zukofsky and the Political Economy of Revolutionary Modernism.” Cultural Critique 77 (Winter 2011): 146-179.

Johnson, Kent. “A Fractal Music: Some Notes on Zukofsky’s Flowers.” In Scroggins (1997): 257-275.

Johnson, Ronald. “L.Z.” L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 4 (Aug. 1978) 2-3 [brief note].

Jones, Alan. “The Zukofsky-Zadkine Files.” Arts Magazine 66.5 (Jan. 1992): 25-26.

Jones, Peter. “Louis Zukofsky.” Poetry Nation (London) 5 (1975): 109-114.

Kadlec, David. “Early Soviet Cinema and American Poetry.” Modernism/Modernity 11.2 (2004): 299-331.

Kalck, Xavier. “Formalism as Mysticism: Reading Jewish American Poets Louis Zukofsky and Charles Reznikoff.” Anglophonia/Caliban 35 (2014): 117-132. Online.

Kasemets, Udo. Z for Zuk for Zukofsky: A Celebration of 80 Flowers. Toronto: Sun, 1995.

Kelly, Louis. The True Interpreter. NY: St. Martins, 1979 [includes discussion of Catullus].

Kelly, Robert. “A Book of Solutions.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 400.

___. “Song? / After Bread: Notes on Zukofsky’s A 1-12.” Kulchur 3.12 (Winter 1963): 33-63. Rpt. A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly. Eds. Pierre Joris & Peter Cockelbergh (Contra Mundum Press, 2014): 18-41.

Kenner, Hugh. A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers. New York: William Morrow, 1975.

___. “Bottom on Zukofsky.” Modern Language Notes 90.6 (Dec. 1975): 921-922 [introduction to short excerpt from Bottom].

___. “Foreword” to Prepositions: The Collected Critical Essays of LZ, expanded ed. Berkeley: U of California P, 1981. vii-x.

___. “Loove in Brooklyn.” Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 413-420. Rpt. in New Directions 39 (1979): 166-175; Historical Fictions: Essays on Literature (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990): 122-132.

___. “Louis Zukofsky: All the Words.” New York Times Book Review (18 June 1978). Rpt. in Paideuma 7.3 (Winter 1978): 386-89; New Directions 39 (1979): 154-157; Mazes: Essays (SF: North Point, 1989): 312-316.

___. “Of Notes and Horses.” Poetry 111.2 (Nov. 1967): 112-121. Rpt. in Terrell (1970): 187-194 [review of “A” 1-12].

___. “Oppen, Zukofsky, and the Poem as Lens.” Literature at the Barricades: The American Writer in the 1930s. Eds. Ralph Bogardus and Fred Hobson. Tuscaloosa, AL: U of Alabama P, 1982. 162-171.

___. “Too Full for Talk: ‘A’-11.” MAPS 5 (1973): 12-21. Rpt. in Terrell (1979): 195-202.

Kimball, Jack. “William Bronk and Family.” The Body of This Life: Reading William Bronk, ed. David Clippinger. Jersey City, NJ: Talisman House Publs., 2001. 94-103 [much of this article makes comparisons between Bronk and LZ].

Lang, Abigail. Le Monde, compte rendu. Lectures de Louis Zukofsky. ENS Editions, 2011.

___. “How to End a Life-Work: Louis Zukofsky’s Indexes.” American Poetry: Whitman to the Present. Eds. Robert Rehder & Patrick Vincent. Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2006. 127-138.

___. “Louis Zukofsky et la mémoire des mots.” Mémories perdues, memories vives. Eds. Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Carle Bonafous-Murat & André Topia. Paris: Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2006. 131-145.

___. “The Ongoing French Reception of the Objectivists.” Transatlantica: American Studies Journal 1 (Revolution of the Word) (2016): Online.

___. “‘Reading slipperwort’: des articulations syntaxiques dans 80 Flowers de Louis Zukofsky.” Revue française d’études américaines, n° 103, «Poètes américains: architectes du langage» (février 2005): 93-103.

___. “Sur Louis Zukofsky. Index.” Action poétique n° 176, juin 2004, pp. 64-69.

Laughlin, James. The Way it Wasn’t: From the Files of James Laughlin. Eds. Barbara Epler and Daniel Javitch. NY: New Directions, 2006. 336 [very brief autobiographical note on LZ].

Lefevre, André. Translating Poetry: Seven Strategies and a Blueprint. Assen/Amsterdam: Jan Gorcum, 1975. 20-26 [includes discussion of Catullus].

Leggott, Michele J. Reading Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989.

___. “‘See How the Roses Burn!’ The Epigraph of Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers.” Sagetrieb 4.1 (Spring 1985): 115-136.

___. “Sharing airs and booting the loot: Duncan and Zukofsky, H.D. in the wings.” Boxkite: a journal of poetry and poetics (Sydney) 2 (Aug. 1998): 13-26.

Levertov, Denise. “A Necessary Poetry.” Poetry 97.2 (Nov. 1960): 102-109 [review of “A” 1-12].

Levi Strauss, David. “Approaching 80 Flowers.” Code of Signals: Recent Writings in Poetics. Ed. Michael Palmer. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1983. 79-102.

___. “On Duncan and Zukofsky on Film, Traces Now and Then.” Poetry Flash 135 (1984).

___. “Zukofsky—‘It’s the music that’s important.’” Temblor 10 (1989): 213-214.

Lewis, Leon. “Aural Invention as Floral Splendor: Louis Zukofsky’s Vision of Natural Beauty in 80 Flowers.” The Writer’s Chronicle 40.4 (Feb. 2008): 24-29.

Ma, Ming-Qian. “A ‘no man’s land!’: Postmodern Citationality in Zukofsky’s ‘Poem beginning “The”’.” In Scroggins (1997): 129-153. Rpt. in Poetry as Re-Reading: American Avant-Garde Poetry and the Poetics of Counter-Method. Northwestern UP, 2008.

Maerhofer, John W. Rethinking the Vanguard: Aesthetic and Political Positions in the Modernist Debate, 1917-1962

Louis Zukofsky (January 23, 1904 – May 12, 1978) was an Americanpoet. He was one of the founders and the primary theorist of the Objectivist group of poets and thus an important influence on subsequent generations of poets in America and abroad.


Zukofsky was born in New York City's Lower East Side to Lithuanian Jewish parents, father Pinchos (ca. 1860-1950) and mother Chana (1862–1927), both religiously orthodox, a tradition against which Zukofsky reacted early. Pinchos immigrated to the United States in 1898, working as a pants-presser and night watchman in New York’s garment district until he could send for his wife and children in 1903.

The only one of his siblings born in America, Louis Zukofsky grew up speaking Yiddish and frequented Yiddish theatres on the Bowery, where he saw works by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, and Tolstoy performed in Yiddish translations. He read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha and Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound in Yiddish, too. His first real contact with English was when he started school, but, being a fast learner, he had read all of Shakespeare's works in the original by the age of eleven.

Although Zukofsky’s family was poor, and though he could have gone to the City College of New York for free, his parents sent him to the expensive Columbia University where he studied philosophy and English; some of his teachers and peers were to become important figures of culture, namely Mark Van Doren, John Dewey, John Erskine and Lionel Trilling. He joined the Boar's Head Society and wrote for the Morningside literary journal.[1] Having failed to complete the institution's undergraduate physical education requirement, Zukofsky graduated with a M.A. in English in 1924.

Zukofsky's master's thesis was the earliest version of his long essay "Henry Adams: A Criticism in Autobiography"; his fascination with Henry Adams was to persist through much of his career. Adams's late and rather recondite ideas about the progression of "phases" in history would greatly influence Zukofsky, and the form of his Adams essay, the vast majority of which is quotation from Adams's works, looks forward to Zukofsky's mature compositional methods in both criticism and poetry, where collaging of quotation lies at the heart of his writing.

Zukofsky began writing poetry at university and joined the college literary society, as well as publishing poems in student magazines like The Morningside. One early poem was published in Poetry but never reprinted by Zukofsky. He considered Ezra Pound the most important living poet of his youth. In 1927, he sent his poem Poem beginning "The" to him. Addressed mostly to the poet's mother, the poem was in part a parody of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. In contrast to Eliot's pessimistic view of the modern world, The suggests a bright future for Western culture, based in Zukofsky's belief in the energy the new immigrants brought to the United States and in the October Revolution.

Pound was impressed by the poem and published it a year later in the journal Exile. Zukofsky further impressed Pound by writing the first analyses of Pound’s Cantos in 1929, when they were still unfinished. Pound then persuaded Harriet Monroe, Chicago founder of Poetry, to allow Zukofsky to edit a special issue for her in February 1931.

In 1934, Zukofsky got a research job with the Works Projects Administration (WPA), where he worked on the Index of American Design (a history of American material culture) until the project's dissolution in 1942. In 1933, he met Celia Thaew whom he married six years later; their child, Paul Zukofsky (born in 1943), went on to become a prominent avant-garde violinist and conductor. Following brief stints as a substitute public school teacher and lab assistant at Brooklyn Technical High School in the aftermath of the WPA layoff, Zukofsky edited military-oriented textbooks and technical manuals at the Hazeltine Electronics Corporation (1943–44), the Jordanoff Corporation (1944–46), and the Techlit Corporation (1946–47) through the remainder of World War II and its immediate aftermath. In 1947, he took a job as an instructor in the English Department of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he retired at the rank of associate professor in 1965. A reticent teacher, Zukofsky (who was frequently denied the expected perquisites of raises, promotions, and sabbaticals) characterized many of his students as "kids... who cannot sit on their asses" and castigated the engineering majors who dominated the student body as "my plumbers"; nevertheless, he advised the university's poetry club and introduced the modicum of artistically inclined students to "then-obscure works of his friends Niedecker and Reznikoff."[2]

In October 1973, the Zukofskys moved from Brooklyn Heights (where they had resided for three decades) to Port Jefferson, New York, where he completed his magnum opus"A" and other works, most notably the highly compressed 80 Flowers (a sequence inspired by his wife's garden). When Zukofsky died there on May 12, 1978 he had published 49 books, including poetry, short fiction, and critical essays. He had won National Endowment for the Arts Grants in 1967 and 1968, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Grants in 1976, and an honorary doctorate from Bard College in 1977.

The difficulty of Zukofsky's later poetry alienated many critics and even some of his former friends. Zukofsky quarrelled bitterly with George Oppen after Oppen accused Zukofsky of using obscurity as a tactic. But the 1960s and 1970s also brought Zukofsky a degree of public recognition that he had never before received. The influential scholar Hugh Kenner became a close friend of Zukofsky and an advocate of his work. Such major poets as Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley testified to Zukofsky's importance as the creator of daring experimental writing.


In his early years, Zukofsky was a committed Marxist. While studying at Columbia, his friend, Whittaker Chambers, sponsored him for membership in the Communist Party, though it is unclear whether he actually joined. While he associated with Party members and published in Party-associated magazines, his poetry, which while strongly political was resolutely avant-garde and difficult, found little favor in Party circles. Though Zukofsky considered himself a Marxist at least through the end of the 1930s, the focus of his work after 1940 turned from the political to the domestic. Much later, he would claim that reading Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire finally turned him away from Marx.



Pound was impressed by Zukofsky's Poem beginning "The" and promoted his work, putting him in contact with other like-minded poets, including William Carlos Williams. The two poets influenced each other's work significantly, and Williams regularly sent his new work to Zukofsky for editing and improvement. Zukofsky was one of the founders of the Objectivist group of poets and of To Publishers, later The Objectivist Press, along with Charles Reznikoff and George Oppen. Thanks to Pound's insistence, he was able to edit an Objectivist issue of Poetry, in which he coined the very term and defined the two main characteristics of Objectivist poetry: sincerity and objectification. Other poets associated with this group included Williams, Basil Bunting, Lorine Niedecker, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff and Kenneth Rexroth.


Zukofsky's major work was the epic poem "A"—he never referred to it without the quotation marks—which he began in 1927 and was to work on for the rest of his life, albeit with an eight-year hiatus between 1940 and 1948. The poem was divided into 24 sections, reflecting the hours of the day.[3] The first 11 sections contain a lot of overtly political passages but interweave them with formal concerns and models that range from medieval Italian canzone through sonnets to free verse and the music of Bach. Especially the sections of "A" written shortly before World War II are political: Section 10 for example, published in 1940, is an intense and horrifying response to the fall of France.

The tone of the poem changes for good with Section 12, which is longer than the first 11 sections combined. Zukofsky introduces material from his family life and celebrates his love for his wife Celia and his son Paul. From here on "A" interweaves the political, historical and personal in more or less equal measure. The extensive use of music in this work reflects the importance of Zukofsky's collaborations with his wife and son, both professional musicians. "A" grew frequently difficult and even eccentric (section 16 is only four words long). The complete poem, 826 pages long, beginning with the word "A" and ending with "Zion", was published in 1978.

The problem of assimilation[edit]

A theme that was especially close to Zukofsky's own heart as the child of immigrants was the problem of assimilation, both cultural and poetical. In his poem Poem beginning ‘The’, Zukofsky refers to the Yiddish-American poet Yehoash (Solomon Bloomgarden). The poem raises the problem of the educated, socialist and atheist poet losing connection with his religious familial culture. This theme also appears in the poet's poignant address to his mother in the fifth movement of the poem Autobiography:

If horses but could sing Bach, mother, – / Remember how I wished it once – / Now I kiss you who could never sing Bach, never read Shakespeare.

The final lines of Autobiography express Zukofsky's fear of permanent alienation from his upbringing and tradition as a bitter triumph of successful assimilation: "Keine Kadish wird man sagen". The lines are a variation on lines from Heinrich Heine’s poem "Gedächtnisfeier" (Memorial): "Keine Messe wird man singen, / Keinen Kadosch wird man sagen, / Nichts gesagt und nichts gesungen / Wird an meinen Sterbetagen". ("No Mass will anyone sing / Neither Kaddish will anyone say, / Nothing will be said and nothing sung / On my dying days")[4]

Shorter poems, translations, and other writings[edit]

In tandem with "A", Zukofsky continued writing shorter poems throughout his life. Many of these shared the political and formal concerns of the longer poem, but they also include more personal lyrics, including a series of Valentines addressed to Celia. The first book publication of these shorter poems was 55 Poems (1941). Zukofsky continued to write and publish shorter poems which were eventually collected in All: The Collected Short Poems, 1923-1964 (1971).

Zukofsky also wrote critical essays, many of which were collected in Prepositions: The Collected Critical Essays of Louis Zukofsky (1968) and the book-length study Bottom: On Shakespeare (1963) which was accompanied by a second volume containing a setting by Celia Zukofsky of Shakespeare's play Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

His prose fiction includes Ferdinand (1968) and the novel Little: For Careenagers (1970) about a youthful violin child prodigy modelled on his son. He also wrote a play Arise, Arise (1962/1973) and, in 1969, an extraordinary set of homophonic translations of Catullus that attempted to replicate the sound rather than the sense of the originals in English. For Zukofsky, translation provided occasion not for modest apprenticeship but rather for a technical tour de force.[5]

Zukofsky's A Test of Poetry (1948) was a teaching anthology with critical commentary, after the manner of Pound's ABC of Reading.


Despite the attention Objectivism received as a major poetic movement of the 1930s, Zukofsky’s own work never achieved much recognition outside literary circles since his poetry was seen as obscure, too experimental, and dryly intellectual. Zukofsky, along with the other Objectivists, was rediscovered by the Black Mountain and Beat poets in the 1960s and 1970s. Largely responsible here was the poet and editor Cid Corman who published Zukofsky's work and critical comments on it in his magazine Origin and through Origin Press from the late 1950s onward. In the 1970s, Zukofsky was a major influence on many of the Language poets, particularly in their formalism.

The Zukofsky revival continued into the twenty-first century. In 2000 Wesleyan University Press, honoring Zukofsky's birth in 1904, began publishing The Wesleyan Centennial Edition of the Complete Critical Writings of Louis Zukofsky. Editions of "A" continue to be published and sell quickly; the Chicago Review (Winter 2004/5) devoted an issue to Zukofsky; his correspondence with William Carlos Williams was published in 2003. In 2007, Shoemaker & Hoard published Mark Scroggins' The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky, a full-length analysis of the poet's career derived from extensive archival research and interviews with Zukofsky's friends, acquaintances, and family members.

In 2009, Louis Zukofsky's son Paul Zukofsky, the owner of Zukofsky's copyrights, wrote an open letter telling graduate students and scholars that "In general, as a matter of principle, and for your own well-being, I urge you to not work on Louis Zukofsky, and prefer that you do not." [6] In the letter, Paul Zukofsky required that graduate students ask him for permission to quote from his father's works in their dissertations (an unusual practice), and made it clear that he might withhold such permission. Quoting from E. E. Cummings (presumably without permission), he indicated that he believed that scholars write chiefly from self-interest and that their claims that their scholarship would help enhance Louis Zukofsky's artistic legacy were offensive:

I can perhaps understand your misguided interest in literature, music, art, etc. I would be suspicious of your interest in Louis Zukofsky, but might eventually accept it. I can applaud your desire to obtain a job, any job, although why in your chosen so-called profession is quite beyond me; but one line you may not cross i.e. never never ever tell me that your work is to be valued by me because it promotes my father. Doing that will earn my lifelong permanent enmity. Your self-interest(s) I may understand, perhaps even agree with; but beyond that, in the words of e.e.cummings quoting Olaf: “there is some s I will not eat”.[6]

Paul Zukofsky wrote in the letter that his chief concern was to derive income from his possession of copyrights in his father's work, not to censor what might be said, but it might well be the case that the unusual difficulty and expense of writing about Louis Zukofsky will affect the poet's legacy.


Poetry, prose, plays[edit]

  • The Writing of Guillaume Apollinaire/Le Style Apollinaire (1934), with René Taupin, Sasha Watson, Jean Daive and Serge Gavronsky, Univ Pr of New England, ISBN 0-8195-6620-9
  • First Half of "A" 9 (privately printed, 1940)
  • 55 Poems (1941)
  • Anew (1946)
  • Some Time: Short Poems (1956)
  • Statements for Poetry (1958)
  • Barely & Widely (1958)
  • It Was (1959)
  • "A" 1-12 (1959, 2nd edition 1966 (UK), 1967 (US))
  • Louis Zukofsky: 16 Once Published (1962)
  • Arise, Arise (1962/1973)
  • Bottom: On Shakespeare two volumes (Volume 2 is Celia Zukofsky's musical setting of Shakespeare's play Pericles) (1963)
  • I's (Pronounced Eyes) (1963)
  • Found Objects: 1962-1926 (1964)
  • After I's (1964)
  • Finally a Valentine: A Poem (1965)
  • I Sent Thee Late (1965)
  • Iyyob (1965)
  • Little: An Unearthing (1965)
  • All: The Collected Short Poems,1923-1958 (1965)
  • All: The Collected Short Poems,1956-1964 (1966)
  • "A" 14 (1967)
  • Fragment for Careenagers (1967)
  • Ferdinand, Including "It Was" (1968)
  • "A" 13-21 (1969)
  • Catullus Fragmenta (with music by Celia Zukofsky) (1968)
  • Prepositions: The Collected Critical Essays of Louis Zukofsky (1968)
  • Catullus (1969)
  • The Gas Age (1969)
  • Autobiography (poems set to music by Celia Zukofsky) (1970)
  • Little: For Careenagers (1970)
  • Initial (1970)
  • All: The Collected Short Poems, 1923-1964 (1971)
  • "A" 24 (1972)
  • "A" 22 & 23 (1975)
  • 80 Flowers (1978)
  • "A" (1978)
  • Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky (edited by Barry Ahearn) (1987)
  • Collected Fiction (1990)
  • Complete Short Poetry (1991)
  • Selected Poems (edited by Charles Bernstein) (2006)

Centennial Edition of the Complete Critical Writings[edit]

  • A Test of Poetry (Foreword by Robert Creeley) Complete Critical Writings-Vol.I (Wesleyan University Press, 2000)
  • Prepositions+: The Collected Critical Essays (Foreword by Charles Bernstein; Additional Prose edited & introduced by Mark Scroggins) Complete Critical Writings-Vol.II (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)
  • Bottom: On Shakespeare (with Celia Thaew Zukofsky) Complete Critical Writings-Vol.III & IV (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
  • A Useful Art: Essays and Radio Scripts on American Design (Edited with an introduction by Kenneth Sherwood; afterword by John Taggart Complete Critical Writings-Vol.VI (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
  • Le Style Apollinaire:The Writing of Guillaume Apollinaire(Edited with introduction by Serge Gavronsky; foreword by Jean Daive) Complete Critical Writings-Vol.V, bilingual edition (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)

Letters and correspondence[edit]

  • Pound/Zukofsky: Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky (edited by Barry Ahearn) (Faber & Faber, 1987)[7]
  • Niedecker and the Correspondence with Zukofsky 1931-1970 (edited by Jenny Penberthy) (Cambridge University Press, 1993)
  • The Correspondence of William Carlos Williams & Louis Zukofsky (edited by Barry Ahearn) (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)

As editor[edit]

  • An 'Objectivists' Anthology (1932, together with Var Le Beausset)
  • Test of Poetry (1948/1964)

Select Translations[edit]

The following were translated into French by Serge Gavronsky and François Dominique:

See also[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • Perelman, Bob. The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.
  • Louis Zukofsky Papers at the University Archives at Kansas State University.
  • Scroggins, Mark. Louis Zukofsky and the Poetry of Knowledge, University of Alabama Press, 1998.
  • Scroggins, Mark (editor). Upper Limit Music: The Writing of Louis Zukofsky, University of Alabama Press, 1997.
  • Scroggins, Mark. The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky, Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007.

External links[edit]

  1. ^Ahearn, Barry (1983). Zukofsky's "A": An Introduction. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 12. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  2. ^"A Biographical Essay on Zukofsky by Mark Scroggins". Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  3. ^Taylor, Justin (2011-06-09). "Things, Boundlessly: Is it finally time for Louis Zukofsky's "A"?". Poetryfoundation.org. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  4. ^see Bernstein, op.cit.
  5. ^This virtuosity, inventiveness, and humor are all in full dazzle with "A Foin Lass Bodders Me," his translation of Guido Cavalcanti's "Donna Me Prega," a 13th-century canzone which Ezra Pound had translated several times. Pound had muted the poem's intricate rhyme scheme, reasoning that English was rhyme-poor next to Italian, and that lines "with the natural swing of words spoken" in the latter would sound stilted and artificial in the former. Zukofsky's solution was to substitute a Brooklynvernacular for standard English, and transform a philosophical lyric into a dramatic monologue. In this way he managed to preserve every aspect of the poem's technical intricacy, down to the leap-frogging internal rhymes; what might otherwise have seemed an excess of artifice is resolved within the boozy virtuosity of the poem's swaggering speaker.
  6. ^ abZukosfky, Paul (17 September 2009). "Copyright Notice by PZ". Z-site. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  7. ^Pound/Zukofsky: Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky, Retrieved November 10, 2010

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