He was devoted to world literature and brought public attention to poetry in translation through his "Classics Revisited" column in the Saturday Review and through his anthologies, One Hundred Poems from the Japanese and One Hundred Poems from the Chinese.
In his collection The Phoenix and the Tortoise appeared. By the late s, Rexroth was laying the groundwork for what would become the San Francisco Renaissance.
He kept company with like-minded left-wing poets such as George Oppen and Louis Zukovskyand with them aimed to rescue poetry from its supposed downslide into formalist sentimentality.
He produced additional volumes of poetry, notably The Signature of All Things and In Defense of the Earth, as well as verse drama in Beyond the Mountainsand collections of translated French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese poetry.
His other early works are all similarly marked by intellectual force, length, and daring experimentation with language.
At age nineteen, he hitchhiked across the country, taking odd jobs and working a stint as a Forest Service trail crew hand, cook, and packer in the Pacific Northwestat the Marblemount Ranger Station. Kenneth Rexroth died in and is buried in Santa Barbara on a cliff above the sea.
His classes were quite popular with his students; they usually began with him expounding good-naturedly on whatever subject took his fancy at the time, Rexroth taking the mantle of favored Uncle to a collection of appreciative "nieces and nephews".
Containing three previously published collections, including the sequence that Rexroth pretended was translated from the Japanese The Love Songs of Marichikothe book offers a "directness and clarity" not usually associated with Western art, according to David Kirby in the Times Literary Supplement.
Toward the end of his life he was more and more interested in Asian poetry, and translated several volumes from both Japanese and Chinese.
They had had 2 daughters Mary and Katherine bywhen Rexroth's divorce from Marie finally came through. He was a regular at meetings of the Washington Park Bug Club, a loose assemblage of various intellectuals and revolutionaries.
These poems of love and protest, of meditation and remembrance, stand out as some of his most deeply felt poems.
Their marriage deteriorated, however, and the couple was divorced near Rexroth's 35th birthday. Rexroth organized and emceed the legendary Six Gallery reading on October 7,at which Ginsberg introduced the world to "Howl.
His poetic styles are so disparate that it is difficult to encapsulate the totality of his work. Offered a year-to-year teaching job at the University of California in Santa Barbara beginning inRexroth, wanting a little financial security for the first time in his life, accepted, and with Carol Tinker left San Francisco.
She met and fell in love with the poet Robert Creeley, and made no effort to conceal her feelings. He resided in Santa Barbara until suffering a fatal stroke in He corresponded with other leftist poets, such as Louis Zukofsky and George Oppen, who wanted to save poetry from sentimentality and impressionism.
In Rexroth shifted his political attention to an ecologically based pacifism. Now the body of his work was in print and could be read as a whole. While he refused to consider himself a Beat poet, his influence as champion of anti-establishment literature paved the way for others to write poems of social consciousness and passionate political engagement.
Rexroth never completed high school, yet he was enormously erudite, and translated poems from French, Spanish, Greek, Chinese and Japanese with great skill and compassion. He organized a weekly salon and invited friends and other poets to come and share their philosophical and poetic theories.Nov 23, · Kenneth Rexroth, Introduction to D.H.
Lawrence's Selected Poems "As long as we are lost in the world of purpose we are. Introduction to Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems of Kenneth Rexroth; A biography of Kenneth Rexroth - focussing on his anarchist and working class politics; Kenneth Rexroth, from the Anarchist Encyclopedia; Communalism, Seaburye-text; Liinois' Modern American Poetry, Kenneth Rexroth page.
Rexroth blog. Introduction. This section of the BPS website is devoted to writings by and about the great poet, essayist, social critic and Renaissance man, Kenneth Rexroth ().
May 30, · Kenneth Rexroth – American poet, translator, critic, essayist, editor, dramatist, and autobiographer. The following entry presents an overview of Rexroth.
Introduction. This section of the BPS website is devoted to writings by and about the great poet, essayist, social critic and Renaissance man, Kenneth Rexroth (). In response to the letter of Lise King Couchot (June 2): Were Linda Hamalian's "A Life of Kenneth Rexroth" just a book of literary criticism, I would have confined my review (May 5) solely to the subject of Kenneth Rexroth's writing.Download