Complete PoemsBook - 1990 --
It is for his poetry that A.M. Klein is best known and most warmly remembered. This collection includes all Klein's poetry, both original works and translations from Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic, and Latin. Many of them, coming from all periods of his careers, have never been published.
The poems are arranged chronologically according to date of composition. This makes possible, for the first time, an appreciation of Klein's poetic development. The editor's introduction places this development in the perspective of Klein's life and time, and in particular explores Klein's lifelong struggle to reconcile his dual vocations as both a Jewish and a modernist writer.
The textual apparatus identifies all authoritative versions for each poem and lists all emendations and all substative variants in both published and mauscript versions. The explanatory notes gloss obscure terms and references. They also provide a rich context for appreciation and interpretation by drawing connections with Klein's life, his wide reading, and his work as a whole. Wherever possible, Klein's own numerous, but scattered, comments on his poems have been cited.