Pioneers of Modern Poetry. Robert Peters, George Hitchcock.
Pioneers of Modern Poetry
Pioneers of Modern Poetry

Pioneers of Modern Poetry

San Francisco, CA: Kayak, 1967. First Edition. Stapled Wrappers. Inscribed & Signed by Robert Peters. "In this slender anthology we present a number of hitherto little-known folk writers who have in their individual ways contributed to our poetic heritage and who specifically anticipate the more popular open-verse forms of today. It has been our intention to explore the roots of the modernist movement in poetry." (from editors' Preface, pg. 5) A short compendium of poetry that might be considered the literary equivalent of "Outsider Art," serendipitously foreseeing the free-form developments of famous modern poets. This collection seems to have one foot in tongue-in-cheek satire, & the other sincerely regarding these forgotten (if ever known) amateur poets of the late 19th- early 20th century as pioneers of the avant-garde. A thoughtful preface & many scholarly footnotes contribute to both perspectives. The editors of this strange but compelling production are Robert Peters & George Hitchcock. Peters (1924-2014), referred to here as "Dr. Robert L. Peters" in his capsule bibliography (pg. 68), was at the end of his early phase as an academic writer, & began to publish the same year (1967) the works that established him as one of the great American poets, playwrights & critics, as if among those "inspired" by these naive poems. Hitchcock (1914-2010) was an esteemed American man of letters who single-handedly produced the acclaimed literary Journal Kayak for two decades (1964-1984). This booklet was published by his Kayak imprint. With illustrations, five in vivid color including front cover, reproduced from a 1902 British volume about batteries, in the same esoteric spirit as the poems. On the title page, Peters has hand-inscribed & signed: "For Mike (illegible)/ we are out of the/ words/ (signed) Bob Peters." Surely among the most obscure early rarities in the Peters oeuvre, but with its place therein, enriched by his inscription & signature. In fine condition with only mild rubbing, occasional spotting & browning esp. at-near blank edges of front, back covers & stapled spine; very light wear & a few tiny bumps at edges & corners of same; staples in process of rusting with moderate bleeding therefrom at esp. spine & interior; mild-to-moderate browning & spotting to edges of text block, esp. upper edge. Interior very fine with only rusting at inner edges of page leaves noted above; tiny bumps at upper corners of same. Fine. [Item #3251]

Price: $35.00