Karl Shapiro

Karl Shapiro

About Karl Shapiro

Karl Shapiro was a known american poet and author of 16 poetry collections. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1945, while Shapiro was still in the military. Shapiro was also appointed american Poet Laureate in 1946 and 1947. In 1963, Randall Jarrell about his work: 'Karl Shapiro's poems are fresh and young and rash and live; their hard clear outlines, their flat bold colors create a world like that of a knowing and skillful neoprimitive painting, without any of the confusion or profundity of atmosphere, of aerial perspective, but with notable visual and satiric force. The poet early perfected a style, derived from Auden but decidedly individual, which he has not developed in later life but has temporarily replaced with the clear Rilke-like rhetoric of his Adam and Eve poems, the frankly Whitmanesque convolutions of his latest work. His best poem--poems like 'The Leg', 'Waitress', 'Scyros', 'Going to School', 'Cadillac' have a real precision, a memorable exactness of realization, yet they plainly come out of life's raw hubbub, out of the disgraceful foundations, the exciting and disgraceful surfaces of existence. He died on May 14, 2000.
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