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James Agee: Selected Poems (American Poets Project)

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Edited with an introduction by Andrew Hudgins

James Agee's poetry takes us into the heart of his unique genius, what Robert Fitzgerald called his "sense of being . . . a raging awareness of the sensory field in depth and in detail." Winner of the Yale Younger Poets competition in 1934 for Permit Me Voyage, Agee always saw himself as essentially a poet.

Steeped in the metaphysics and music of Elizabethan verse, alert to the nuances of the American vernacular, Agee's poetry is eloquent and wide-ranging. It exhibits, writes Andrew Hudgins, "a variety that we expect from the protean mind that excelled in so many different kinds of writing." Agee's passionate exploration of religious themes—"his struggle," in Hudgins' words, "to comprehend his place in God's vision"—is especially evident in the stunning sequence of 25 sonnets that some consider his most notable verse creation, poems that take us into the heart of his most abiding concerns.

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