Paul Blackburn: Contribution as American Poet

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      Paul Blackburn (1926-1971) was born in St Albans, Vermont. He the son of the poet Frances Frost and was educated at the University of Wisconsin and then attended the University of Toulonse from 1954-55 on the Fulbright scholarship. Dissolving Fabric (1955) Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (1960) and The Nets (1961) are his early poetical works. His poems of the middle period are collected in The Cities (1967) A stibstantial number of later poems appeared in 1985. Before his early death, he established a reputation as a translator of the Provencal and Antonio Jimenez Landi. Joel Oppenheimer, Jonathan Williams and Larry Eigner are minor compared to the other mentioned.

      There was also work of the San Francisco School - which includes most West Coast poetry in general - owes much to Eastern philosophy and religion, as well as to Japanese and Chinese poetry. This is not surprising because the influence of the Orient has always been strong in the U.S. West. The land around San Francisco - the Sierra Nevada mountains and the jagged seacoast - is lovely and majestic, and poets from that area tend to have a deep feeling for nature. Many of their poems are set in the mountains or take place on backpacking trips. The poetry looks to nature instead of literary tradition as a source of inspiration.

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