Bradford Morrow met Kenneth Rexroth, nearly fifty years his senior, at a bookshop in Santa Barbara, California in the late 1970s and the two quickly became closest of friends. After the poet died in 1982, having asked Morrow to become his literary executor, the latter made it his first task to edit a selection of some of Rexroth’s finest and most representative poems covering nearly sixty years’ of work including substantial passages from his longer poems, as well as his shorter love poems, erotic lyrics, and poems that celebrate nature and denigrate war. Includes a major critical introduction that sets out biographical and conceptual context of Rexroth’s work.
“Peripateticism and a spirit free of prejudice, rather than a focus on the local, are the twin bases of Rexroth’s fundamentally American personality. It is a combination that would in the 1950s influences members of the Beat generation who gathered around him and made of him that Movement’s unwilling father figure.”
—From the Introduction