For Robert Duncan the poem is a universe in itself, and a soul…
Time Magazine

Selected Poems of Robert Duncan

Poetry by Robert Duncan

“Robert Duncan had the finest ear this side of Dante,” wrote Lawrence Ferlinghetti after Duncan’s death in 1988. And Duncan, like Dante, was a poet of cosmic imagination, intensely aware of his and poetry’s role in the ever-expanding logos of creation. His Selected Poems, first published in 1993, is a “useful and portable compilation,” says critic Tom Clark, that “provides the most comprehensive available look at the career of the Bay Area’s greatest lyric poet.” Editor Robert J. Bertholf has enlarged the original collection to include eleven additional poems and excerpts. The second edition of the Selected Poems fully fleshes out the retrospective of works chosen from the whole of Duncan’s writing life. From his early poems through his final Ground Work volumes, as well as his serial poems, “Structures of Rime” and “Passages,” composed over the course of thirty years, there emerges a prophetic voice of great perception. “Duncan insisted,” wrote Bertholf, “on the value of the poem, the force of love in the human community, and the revelation of mythological presences in everyday dreams.”

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Robert Duncan

20th century American poet affiliated with the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement.

For Robert Duncan the poem is a universe in itself, and a soul…
Time Magazine
…he is and will be always the magister, the singular Master of the Dance.
—Robert Creeley
Bertholf’s selections are so attuned to the essentials of Duncan’s writing… that even those familiar with the whole body of Duncan’s work will become more sensitized to his recurring imagery and consistency of thought pattern through this collection.
Publishers Weekly