Who is the most prolific American poet?

Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 12:31 am
see question above.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,693 • Replies: 17
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Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 10:14 pm
"Prolific" does not mean "good". It simply means the poet writes a lot. I don't know the answer.
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Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 10:26 pm
who cares?
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Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 10:36 pm
I would say Robert Frost.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 06:57 am
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 02:30 pm
CalamityJane wrote:
I would say Robert Frost.

Are you sure? There are still many Frost works yet to be published, to be sure, but his complete published poetry still fits into just one volume. I have no idea how one measures prolificness in poetry, but John Ashbery (to take just one example) has published twice as many books (to take just one measure) as Frost.
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Tai Chi
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 02:42 pm
Walt Whitman?
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 02:46 pm
Butrflynet wrote:

he's got my vote too
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 03:59 pm
Ogden Nash. He seemed to have a verse for every occasion and situation; for example . . . .

The Termite

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good!
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 04:50 pm
ossobuco wrote:
who cares?

Well, this is for you, but as ye'd tak' it as a fact of little worth, I won't be after tellin' ye who writ it.

I love the sound of the bone against the plate
and the fortress-like look of it
lying before me in a moat of risotto,
the meat soft as the leg of an angel
who has lived a purely airborne existence.
And best of all, the secret marrow,
the invaded privacy of the animal
prized out with a knife and swallowed down
with cold, exhilarating wine.

I am swaying now in the hour after dinner,
a citizen tilted back on his chair,
a creature with a full stomach--
something you don't hear much about in poetry,
that sanctuary of hunger and deprivation.
You know: the driving rain, the boots by the door,
small birds searching for berries in winter.

But tonight, the lion of contentment
has placed a warm, heavy paw on my chest,
and I can only close my eyes and listen
to the drums of woe throbbing in the distance
and the sound of my wife's laughter
on the telephone in the next room,
the woman who cooked the savory osso buco,
who pointed to show the butcher the ones she wanted.
She who talks to her faraway friend
while I linger here at the table
with a hot, companionable cup of tea,
feeling like one of the friendly natives,
the reliable guide, maybe even the chief's favorite son.

Somewhere a man is crawling up a rocky hillside
on bleeding knees and palms, an Irish penitent
carrying the stone of the world in his stomach;
and elsewhere people of all nations stare
at one another across a long, empty table.

But here, the candles give off their warm glow,
the same light that Shakespeare and Izaak Walton wrote by,
the light that lit and shadowed the faces of history.
Only now it plays on the blue plates,
the crumpled napkins, the crossed knife and fork.

In a while, one of us will go up to bed
and the other one will follow.
Then we will slip below the surface of the night
into miles of water, drifting down and down
to the dark, soundless bottom
until the weight of dreams pulls us lower still,
below the shale and layered rock,
beneath the strata of hunger and pleasure,
into the broken bones of the earth itself,
into the marrow of the only place we know.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 04:58 pm
You're a clever one, Debacle!
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 07:38 pm
I love that poem, Debacle! I see that it is by Billy Collins...

I do care about that, just not about who wrote or published the most.

A fine evening to you all, by the way.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 08:18 pm
Yep, osso, it's Billy Collins, our erstwhile poet laureate. Having published only six or so slim collections, he's not voluminous in the way of a Longfellow or a Lowell; not prolific, simply terrific.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 10:43 pm
According to Google, E.E. Cummings is the most prolific American poet.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 10:53 pm
I wonder how the Google source quantified Cummings's poetry? If it's by the number of individual poems (which is of course not a very useful standard), then Cummings clocks in at about half the amount penned by, say, Emily Dickinson--about 900 and 1,800, respectively, according to Wikipedia.
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Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 11:53 pm
In order to be "prolific" one must simply do a lot of what one does. I am sure there are people that write a several poems a day. Thus, at the end of a year they may have written several thousand poems. That would qualify them as prolific - not good.
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Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 07:40 am
What if I told you I have written over 840 poems.
Region Philbis
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 08:27 am

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