Poetry. In the mountain villages of the remote French Basque Country in the early years of the twentieth century, Francis Jammes was writing poems, plays, and novels. Praised by his French contemporaries, Stéphane Mallarmé, André Gide, and Paul Claudel, among others, Jammes would become known among the American Modernists as one of their most essential influences. And then, thanks to the vagaries of time and taste, he and his works were forgotten. Known for his masterful imagery and charming frankness, Jammes' influence can be seen on the New York School and Deep Image poets. In addition to its significance to literary history, Jammes' work remains as surprising and resonant as when it was first published with acclaim. In this fifth volume of the Unsung Masters Series, published by Pleiades Press at the University of Central Missouri, editors Kathryn Nuernberger and Bruce Whiteman have selected more than seventy pages of representative poetry and prose by Jammes, and they have brought together essays by poets and critics who admire his work. Essays and appreciations by Jaswinder Bolina, Janine Canan, John Gallaher, Christopher Howell, Benjamin Johnson, and Kathryn Nuernberger demonstrate Jammes' influence on the development of twentieth century poetics and reintroduce readers to an astonishing literary voice worth reading in any time.
Patrick James Dunagan @ New Pages