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Apocryphal Lorca

Apocryphal Lorca

Robert Creeley and Jack Spicer

(p.102) 5 Apocryphal Lorca
Apocryphal Lorca
Jonathan Mayhew
University of Chicago Press

In the years immediately prior to the emergence of deep image poetry, a few American poets put Lorca to more personal and idiosyncratic uses. Jack Spicer's 1957 After Lorca is not only the most extended and complex instance of Lorquian apocrypha in any language, but also a crucial work in his own development as a poet and, consequently, one of the most significant works of postwar American poetry. Before discussing Spicer's book, this chapter briefly examines a Robert Creeley poem of the same title, written five years earlier in 1952. Creeley's “After Lorca” does not have great significance within his own literary formation: it is quite different from Creeley's poetry of the early 1950s and did not lead him in new directions for his subsequent work. “After Lorca,” nonetheless, is noteworthy both as the first apocryphal Lorca poem written in English and as an intriguing instance of experimental translation.

Keywords:   American poets, Federico García Lorca, American poetry, Lorquian apocrypha, Robert Creeley, Jack Spicer, experimental translation

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