Poets in Their Youth

A Memoir by Eileen Simpson

  • Published: Aug 22, 2020

In 1942, Eileen Simpsonthen Eileen Mulliganmarried John Berryman. Both were in their twenties; Eileen had just graduated from Hunter College and John had but one slim volume of poetry to his name. They moved frequentlyfrom New York to Boston, then... read more

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Details of Poets in Their Youth

Exact title of the book
Poets in Their Youth
Book author
Eileen Simpson
ISBN
9780374713003
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Oct 21, 2014
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
2592 kB

Some brief overview of book

In 1942, Eileen Simpsonthen Eileen Mulliganmarried John Berryman. Both were in their twenties; Eileen had just graduated from Hunter College and John had but one slim volume of poetry to his name. They moved frequentlyfrom New York to Boston, then Princetonchasing jobs, living simply, relying on the hospitality of more successful friends like Robert Lowell and Jean Stafford, or R.

P. Blackmur and his wife, Helen. Rounding out their circle of intimates were other struggling poets like Randall Jarrell and Delmore Schwartz.

Berryman alternately wrote and despaired of writing. Everyone stayed up late arguing about poetry. Poets in Their Youth is a portrait of their marriage, yes, but it is also a portrait of a group of spectacularly intelligent friends at a particular time, in a particular place, all aflame with literature.

Simpson's recollections are so tender, her narrative so generous, it is almost possible to imagine the story has a different endingeven as Schwartz's marriage crumbles, as Lowell succumbs to a manic episode, as her own relationship with Berryman buckles under the strain of his drinking, his infidelity, his depression. Filled with winning anecdotes and moments of startling poignancy, Simpson's now classic memoir shows some of the most brilliant literary minds of the second half of the twentieth century at their brightest and most achingly human.

About author

Simpson (19182002) was a writer and psychologist. Her books include The Maze, a novel; Reversals A Personal Account of Victory over Dyslexia; Orphans Real and Imaginary; and Late Love A Celebration of Marriage After Fifty.

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