Samuel Greenberg

The Pale Impromptu: Samuel Greenberg poems

American second wave modernist Greenberg was born in 1893 and died in 1917

The first publication of Samuel Greenberg's poetry was Poems from the Greenberg manuscripts: a selection from the work of Samuel B. Greenberg, ed. James Laughlin (New Directions, 1939). Laughlin carefully transcribed from Greenberg's  notebooks the best – as he put it – of Greenberg's poems. He also including a holograph reproduction of "Conduct." Laughlin called Greenberg's work "pure poetry":"The poetry of Greenberg is not great poetry, and it is not even important minor poetry ... and yet ... poetry it is, pure poetry, to the extent equal to few other writers."

In a 2010 issue of Larry's Fagin's Sal Mimeo no. 9, there was a selection of poems by Greenberg. Fagin explains: "I had collected some of the Greenberg poems in the past, having run across the New Directions [1947] annual, Spearhead, in an U.S. military library in Frankfurt in 1954. Laughlin kept the original spellings and forms. Like many, I was disappointed in the Holt edition and generally avoided it." Spearhead contains an almost exact republication of Poems from the Greenberg manuscripts, from nine years ealier. I include here the poems published by Fagin, following Laughlin's versions, that are not already on the web at the Greenberg site.

I have had to approximate the shape of "Ruins of Prince Qulachrim" for this HTML version. And I have redone "The Pale Impromptu" based on the manuscript, which is provided befow, thanks to Marvin Taylor at NYU's Fales Collection.

Syndicate content