Karl Shapiro (2788 words)

Diederik Oostdijk (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
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Shapiro is mostly known as a poet who had a stellar early career in the 1940s which subsequently quickly faded, but also as a witty yet controversial critic of high Modernism. His unpredictability and his contrariness are partly to blame for the lack of attention he has received in the last few decades, although his poetry also became less vivid and more puzzling from the 1950s onwards. Yet Shapiro continues to be one of the most intriguing poets of his generation. His attraction to formal and free verse, his uneasiness about and later embrace of his Jewish identity, the influence of World War II on his poetry, and his love-hate relationship with his poetic elders, especially W.H. Auden and T.S. Eliot, make him a fascinating but also t…

Citation: Oostdijk, Diederik. "Karl Shapiro". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2009 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4041, accessed 07 August 2022.]

4041 Karl Shapiro 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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