A Year in Books/Day 112: Louise Bogan A Portrait

  • Title: Louise Bogan A Portrait
  • Author: Elizabeth Frank
  • Year Published: 1985 (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Year Purchased: 2000
  • Source: The Book Harbor, Westerville, Ohio
  • About: Louise Bogan was the fourth Poet Laureate of the United States. That’s probably news to all but the most passionate poetry fans. This needs to change*; although more than a quarter century old, this biography is a fine start for anyone wanting to learn more. This fascinating, meticulous study was my crash course on the life and work of the New England poet. Prior to that, she was merely a name and a footnote to the more famous greats of twentieth century literature. Whatever your approach to the subject-as a fan of poetry, literary or social culture, history, women’s studies-you will find much to admire in the sad yet triumphant voice and life of this too-neglected talent.
  • Motivation: At the time I bought this book, I was just beginning to write about one of my now-favourite subjects: female wordsmiths of the first half of the last century.
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 5: “In 1884, when May was only nineteen, a son, Charles Joseph, was born. The years between his birth and Louise’s are a blank, except that in between there was a second boy, named Edward, born nobody knows what year, who died at the age of four or five months.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10
    Louise Bogan (1897–1970), US-american Poet

    Louise Bogan (1897–1970), US-american Poet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    *Nameberry.com recently listed their choices for the best poet-based names for 2012 babies. First on the list? Bogan.

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