Edited By: Douglas Robillard
This collection of poetry is edited by Melville scholar Robillard, author of the book-length study Melville and the Visual Arts as well as a number of periodical articles. It presents the complete texts of "Battle-Pieces," "John Marr and Other Sailors," and "Timoleon," as well as additional manuscript poems. Also presented are excerpts from the long narrative poem Clarel to give the reader a taste of the style and content of this work. The editor's introduction, as well as his notes at the end of each section, are informative as well as appreciative of Melville's status as a poet. The reader who admires the writer's novels will discover that, especially in the Civil War and sea poems, Melville was as adept in poetry as he was in prose. The forthcoming Northwestern-Newberry volume of poetry in its collected works of the author will eventually replace all other editions, but until that comes out the reader will find this collection to be a good introduction to the craft of Melville the poet. Recommended for all library collections, especially those that lack a selection of this writer's poetry.