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The Book of the Green Man by Ronald Johnson

The Book of the Green Man by Ronald Johnson


Ronald Johnson described The Book of the Green Man as his “attempt, as a brash American, to make new the traditional British long seasonal poem.” This Poundian endeavor to “make it new” stemmed from a visit that he and fellow poet Jonathan Williams made to the United Kingdom in the autumn of 1962, in search of all things “most rich, most glittering, most strange.”

The first edition of the poem, published in 1967, describes how The Book of the Green Man “encompasses a year, October to October: on foot for a month in the Lake Country; a walk in Spring from the mouth of the Wye, up its winding valley, to its source on Wales high on the flanks of Plynlimmon; and various excursions to gardens, follies and grottoes, to Gilbert White’s Selborne, and the carved foliage and green men of the Chapter House at Southwell Minster.”

This long-awaited new edition has an afterword by Ross Hair, Lecturer in American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and author of Ronald Johnson’s Modernist Collage Poetry.

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