Collected Poems, 1930-83
"Miles's work is one of the finest and most solid bodies of poetry to be found in this country." - A. R. Ammons. Acclaimed as a poet and scholar, revered as a teacher, Josephine Miles was widely recognized as a shrewd and eloquent observer and a perceptive critic. Among numerous awards and honors for her work, Miles received the Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry (1935), the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry (1956), the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize (1975), the Academy of American Poets fellowship (1978), and the first Fred Cody Memorial Award for excellence of a body of work from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association (1984). Spanning a creative life of more than half a century, "Collected Poems" is unified by the poet's abiding concern with the human condition. The volume received seven awards when it was initially published, including the prestigious Lenore Marshall/Nation Poetry Prize for the best book of the year, selected by Josephine Jacobsen, Donald Justice, and Alfred Corn. One of the three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, "Collected Poems" marks the culmination of a master poet's long and distinguished career.
- Paperback | 280 pages
- 151.4 x 227.3 x 20.1mm | 462.81g
- 01 Jan 1999
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
"A master of colloquial style, Miles is fascinated by the phenomenon of speech, by what it communicates and what it obscures. Her apparently offhand observations are too compact in utterance, too alert and perky in their syntax to stem from any but a disciplined and perceptive intelligence."- Robert B. Shaw, New York Times Book Review "Tough, colloquial, and wise, Josephine Miles has always resisted the pressures of literary fashion. A striking consistency-of tone, of diction, of purpose- characterizes her life's work... It has been a life well spent."- Publishers Weekly "This ample volume illuminates the singularity of the author's eccentric, confiding voice. Whether she is writing about the perfect shoe salesman or the presence of evil in the natural world, Miles pries into the recesses of daily experience with the curiousity of a wise child, coaxing out the light ironies within... While Miles's quirky colloquialism influenced the Beat poets, the range of agile, knowing lyrics collected here - from satire to metaphysical abstraction - is a testament to the broader accomplishment of her work." - The New Yorker "I can concur with Helen Vendler in finding the 'ring of moral truth' in Miles's poetry, a poetry based on 'strict expectations of the world' and 'a stern judgment of her own failings.' Also with Denis Donoghue when he says: 'the poems of Josephine Miles offer evidence that contemporary poetry houses intelligence, magnanimity, humor, and excursive power.' Hers is a diverse achievement, original and singular."- Alfred Corn, The Nation "Miles is a poet of the first rank whose work might well be compared with that of William Carlos Williams or Marianne Moore... Collected Poems is a treasury of poetic wit and human understanding that belongs in all poetry collections."- Library Journal "An uncompromising, quirky individualist whose courageous 'coming to terms with the world' informs her poems with enduring strength."- San Francisco Chronicle Review "This book contains some of the finest and most original poetry of our century."- Leonard Nathan, California Monthly "Published over a fifty-year period, Miles's poems, some 250 pages of them printed here, reveal a poet who is alert, affectionate, and distanced. Rather than appearing as an actor in her own poems, she is perhaps by necessity primarily someone who sees, and thinks about what she sees." - Richard Tillinghast, The Hudson Review "Miles was one of the great ones - a marvelous poet, critic, gifted educator, mentor to the Beats, originator, and remarkable woman." - Richard Peabody, Poet Lore