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March 15, 2015
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About the Author
John Crowe Ransom (1888-1974), poet, critic, and teacher was born in Pulaski, Tennessee. He entered Vanderbilt University at the age of fifteen, received his undergraduate degree in 1909, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and crowned his academic career at Kenyon College where he founded and edited the Kenyon Review. His criticism - The New Criticism - was revered and feared. His poems are at once ancient and modern while never modernist (T.S. Eliot: I have probably a higher opinion of your verse than you have of mine). They won high esteem and deep delight for their fineness, their humor, their individuality of manner and movement, and their unforced poignancy. Poems About God (1919), Chills and Fever (1924), and Two Gentlemen in Bonds (1927) led in due course to his Selected Poems (1947), of which the revised reissue was to win the National Book Award in Poetry in 1964. Robert Graves: The sort of poetry which, because it is too good, has to be brushed aside as a literary novelty. Howard Nemerov: His verse is in the best sense 'private', the judgment upon the world of one man who could not, properly speaking, be imitated. Robert Lowell: so many lyrics that one wants to read over and over.
Ben Mazer is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently January 2008 and Poems.