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The collected poetry of Malcolm Lowry : a critical edition with a commentary Scherf, Kathleen Dorothy


Although his literary reputation rests primarily on his novels, Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957) considered himself a poet, and he composed an extensive poetic canon. No reliable edition of Lowry's poetry exists; increasing critical interest in all aspects of Lowry's life and work prompted the preparation of this complete edition of his poetry, in which the poems are located, identified, dated, arranged, collated, annotated, and explicated in biographical, critical, and textual introductions. The sections of Lowry's text are chronologically arranged to reflect his artistic development, and are preceded by short essays describing the specific issues raised by those poems. The opening section—Lowry's poetic juvenilia—reflects his fascination for the sea, as does the ensuing section, The Lighthouse Invites the Storm, his first collection of poetry, a sequence of related semi-autobiographical poems, which depicts the adventures of the characters Peter Gaunt and Vigil Forget. Lowry composed most of the Lighthouse in Mexico; following it in this edition is a small group of uncollected Mexican poems. The next two sections of text—"Dollarton 1940-54: Selected Poems 1947" and "Dollarton 1940-54: Uncollected Poems"—reflect and record the experience of Lowry's sojourn on the lower mainland, and its deep effect on him. A remarkably coherent group of love poems written between 1949 and Lowry's death in 1957 follows the Dollarton texts, and the appendices contain sections of song lyrics and undated fragments. This edition provides Lowryans with ready access to the latest determinable authorial versions of, and the textual histories for, the canon's four hundred and sixty-five poems, which range in date from 1925 to 1957.

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