Charles Reznikoff

Charles Reznikoff

Charles Reznikoff (1894–1976) was born in Brooklyn, New York. One of the Objectivists of the thirties, he authored several books of poetry, novels and a volume of verse plays.


Published in 1965, Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony: The United States 1885-1890 Recitative is a unique and historical document. This extraordinary poetic work, the first volume of a projected series of five, reflects in verse the social, economic, cultural, and legal history of the United States and its people from 1885 to 1890. Drawing on actual court records of this period, Charles Reznikoff, who was an attorney, produced a superb portrayal of life in our nation.…
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By the Waters of Manhattan

By the Waters of Manhattan was published by New Directions in 1962. In the introduction C.P Snow writes, “[Reznikoff] is a deep, sarcastic, lonely writer. So far as I know, he is a writer quite on his own. His poems have moved me deeply and have engrossed me. They stand on their own…. I am anxious that people should read them.”
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Testimony: The United States 1885-1890 is a culmination of the Objectivist movement in poetry and tremendously impressive. As I kept reading, the feeling grew on me that an American classic was in the making.
—David Ignatow
Reznikoff’s poems project an attitude which has uncanny significance for us today. Even those that are now 20 or 30 years old are peculiarly contemporary, being solely concerned with lucidity of vision. Naked of ornament, clean of illusion, they show us ‘the iron scythe in the grass that stops for no flower.’
—May Swenson
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