Louis Simpson: At the End of the Open Road (2280 words)

Jiri Flajsar (Palacky University Olomouc)
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Although American poet Louis Simpson (1923-2012) published twenty books of poetry, the best-known of these is still the fourth, At the End of the Open Road (1963). The volume’s visibility is a result of its topical criticism of postwar suburbanization and consumerism, its radical departure from the academic formalism of his earlier three books, and by the fact that the book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964, securing Simpson’s reputation as a major American poet.

The title refers to a poem by Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road”, in which the nineteenth-century pioneer of modern American poetry suggests that the young sever old affiliations and pursue a new frontier:

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Citation: Flajsar, Jiri. "At the End of the Open Road". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 December 2020 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6480, accessed 16 August 2022.]

6480 At the End of the Open Road 3 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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