Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems
The poems in this substantial new volume were found in James Schuyler's papers at the University of California, San Diego, and mark a significant addition to his body of work. The book spans the early 1950s to his death and makes references to weather and nature, his New York School peers (Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara are subjects of several poems), and the everyday. There are moments of deep sadness and weight in this collection, yet, they are countered by a determined sweetness that feels hopeful and, perhaps most of all, engaged. As always when reading Schuyler's work, one gets a sense of the poem as experience rather than an examination of experience. John Ashbery writes of this work: "Schuyler's poems are seldom 'about' anything in the way poetry traditionally is; they are the anything. To reread him is to live."
This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.