Published by Harper & Brothers in 1949, Aspects of Proteus was Hyam Plutzik’s first collection of poetry issued by a major publisher.  It includes 55 poems, including the long narrative poem “Death at the Purple Rim” which won the Yale Poetry Prize in 1941.

Aspects of Proteus was one the finalists considered for the Pulitzer Prize in 1950.

Table of Contents:

To the Predynastic Egyptian Who Rests Within the Entrance of The Metropolitan Museum

Mr. Ingleshot of Dereham

An Equation

The Kain of Ai


Seeking Always the Word Nearest to Silence

The Strange City

The Begetting of Cain


John Offut

Mr. Pollington Remembers a Poet

Sprig of Lilac


The Chinaman and The Florentine

Harlowe Young

The Uneasy Hedonist


The Women in the City of Towers

Dostoevski, Proust, and the Others

Abner Bellow



My Sister

George Hobbs

Patterns of Earth

The Miracle

The Symposium

He Inspects His Armory

Absurd Cycle

Ahitai Ben Neriah


Bomber Base

The Camorra

Connecticut November

The Poetic Process

The Bug with a Nose like an Awl

Drinking Song



Dante in our Time

Argumentum Ad Hominem

Elaboration on a Phrase of Rabelais


Those Who Write After Freud

Instructions to an Architect

To Those Who Look Out of the Window

On the Photograph of a Man I Never Saw

Et Après Lui, le Déluge

Exhortation to the Artists

I Have Read in the Book of the Butcher Boy (In Time of War)

Drumming My Window The Rain

The Birth, Life and Death of a Culture Hero

A Letter to Someone at Mt. Palomar

The Event on the Upland


Aspects of Proteus
By Hyam Plutzik