“A poet of our common human existence” – Edmund Wilson
Genevieve Taggard is recognized as one of the finest American poets of the 20th century. Her work appears in every major anthology of American poetry. Yet this is the first comprehensive collection of her work ever to appear.
To Test the Joy collects the best of Genevieve Taggard’s poetry, fiction, memoirs, and criticism, providing a superb overview of her remarkable life and career. Taggard constantly challenged herself as a woman, as a citizen, and as an artist. She strove constantly to find deeper meanings – in herself, in her times, and in the world around her. The result is a poetry of exceptional power and precision: “a product of fine discipline, a complete and unusual blending,” as one reviewer put it.
Genevieve Taggard’s life and work embraced issues and experiences at the core of 20th Century history: the oppression of colonialism; the fight for the rights of women; the struggle of labour against capitalism; the destruction of nature by industrialization. Issues and experiences that are still relevant today.
To Test the Joy weaves Taggard’s poetry and prose with critical commentary by Anne Hammond that leads the reader through Taggard’s life, from her childhood days in Hawai’i to the Bohemian world of 1920s New York City to the strikes and protests of the 1930s and her return to the green world of her Vermont farm in the 1940s.
“The laughter of your lines, Your dancer's solid ease, Your majesty of womankind.” – Eve Merriam, To the Memory of Genevieve Taggard
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