This book recovers the work of a major American poet, the quality of which will reward years of reading and reflection.
This long-overdue collection, which gathers together more than two hundred poems written over a span of six decades, along with an extended biographical analysis by Fred Whitehead, permits a comprehensive assessment of the work of a man Thomas McGrath described as "one of the very best of the revolutionary poets."
Don Gordon made his name in the 1930s as a passionate and outspoken political poet, his work being published in the most prestigious American journals. In spite of his growing literary reputation he was called before the Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. House or Representatives in September, 1951. Due to his openly communist views and his reluctance to give the committee names of fellow radical writers, Gordon was blacklisted from employment in the film industry. He devoted his time to writing poems, despite the difficulty of finding a wide audience for them.
Many of Gordon's poems are suffused with themes of revolution and political activism, but this collection showcases the breadth of the subjects he addressed in his sixty years of writing, expressed with a rigorous aesthetic sensibility in a style that incorporates diverse influences, including modernism and surrealism.
"Don Gordon is great," Meridel LeSueur wrote, "because he shows the vigorous and wondrous strength of the people." With this complete collection of his poems, readers can at last experience the full range of this vigorous and challenging writer.
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Edited by Cary Nelson