The Paris Review has posted a new essay on their blog, the Daily, telling the story of American poet Hyam Plutzik and the new attention his work is receiving during this Centennial year. The piece is co-written by Edward Moran and Phillip Witte. Plutzik never had work published by the Paris Review, which, founded in 1953, had only been in existence nine years when he died. Published quarterly, it has since become one of the nation’s most respected literary journals. The Daily posts several pieces each day including a wide variety of interesting literary items.
Here is the opening of Moran and Witte’s essay, titled “A Great Stag, Broad-Antlered: Rediscovering Hyam Plutzik”:
The conclusion of Hyam Plutzik’s 1962 poem, Horatio, provide an apt commentary on Plutzik’s own unobtrusive presence in the world of American letters:
A great stag came out of the woods,
Broad-antlered, approaching slowly on the moonlit field,
And looked about him like a king and re-entered the dark.
The seismic shifts in American culture since 1960 have made footing precarious indeed for those broad-antlered poets who wrote in a hieratic and philosophic diction. Eschewing the more vernacular excursions of the Beats or the confessional poets of the 1970s, Plutzik published three full collections of poems, the last, Horatio, an eighty-nine-page dramatic poem in which Hamlet’s friend grapples with the charge to “report me and my cause aright.”