Kunitz, Stanley (Jasspon)
Stanley (Jasspon) Kunitz 1905–2006
American poet, essayist, editor, translator, and journalist.
Hailing from the generation of poets that came of age under the influence of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, Kunitz is considered an important, if somewhat critically neglected, voice in contemporary American poetry. He exercised a subtle influence on such major poets as Theodore Roethke and Robert Lowell, and has provided encouragement to hundreds of younger poets as well. Kunitz's career is generally divided into two phases. While his early poetry collections, including Intellectual Things (1930) and Passport to the War (1944), earned him a reputation as a technically accomplished metaphysical poet, his later work, beginning with The Testing-Tree (1971), showed Kunitz writing a simpler, more emotional poetry that embraced the physical world. Although Kunitz has always been admired by his peers, especially since the publication of Selected Poems, 1928-1958 (1958), which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1959, the classification of his work into two, easily defined categories and his reputation as a "poet's poet" have tended to deter critical interest in his work. While Kunitz's style changed over the years, the subjects of his poems have remained constant. He is known for his sensitive exploration of such themes as the simultaneity of life and death, the search for the lost father, love, generation and decline, and the movement from the unknown to the known. Consistently praised for his skillful craftsmanship, Kunitz incorporates the rhythms of natural speech in his poetry and displays a fine ear for the musical cadence of phrases.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Kunitz was the third and last child of Russian-Jewish parents. His father, Solomon, a dress manufacturer, committed suicide just months before his birth, and his mother, Yetta, who took over the family business, would not allow Kunitz to mention his father's name. Kunitz received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Harvard, where he was recognized as a promising poet and awarded the coveted Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal for Poetry. In 1927, when Kunitz was denied a teaching appointment at Harvard because of the school administration's concerns about his religious ancestry, he rejected the academic life as a profession but continued writing poetry in private. He worked briefly as a reporter for the Worcester Telegram before beginning a long association with the W. H. Wilson Publishing Company of New York, where he served as editor of the Wilson Library
Bulletin from 1928 until 1943 and worked on eight biographical dictionaries about famous authors between 1931 and 1980. In the late 1920s, Kunitz contributed poems to a variety of magazines, including the Dial, the Nation, and the New Republic, and by early 1929, his first collection, Intellectual Things, was accepted by the largest publishing house in the country, Doubleday, Doran. While most of the reviews of Intellectual Things and Kunitz's second collection of poems, Passport to the War, were complimentary, it was not until the publication of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Selected Poems, 1928-1958 that Kunitz began to elicit any substantial critical attention. In 1946, as a result of his friendship with Roethke, Kunitz began teaching at Bennington College in Vermont, and he continued to teach at a number of American colleges, including Yale and Columbia, until 1985. In the 1960s and 1970s Kunitz also gained recognition for his translations of the works of several Russian poets, among them Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Voznesensky, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. In addition, he became well known as an advocate of poetry and the arts; he directed the YM-YWCA Poetry Workshop in New York, was general editor of the prestigious "Yale Series of Younger Poets," headed the poetry section at the Library of Congress, and traveled as a cultural exchange lecturer to Poland, Israel, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, and the former Soviet Union.
Kunitz's early poetry collections, Intellectual Things, Passport to the War, and Selected Poems, 1928-1958, earned him a reputation as an intellectual poet. Reflecting Kunitz's admiration for the English metaphysical poets John Donne and William Blake, these intricate poems, rich in metaphor and allusion, were recognized more for their craft than their substance. The Testing-Tree, with its conversational tone, looser forms, and shorter lines, marked a departure to a simpler, more open style. In a Publishers Weekly article, Kunitz commented on his two styles: "My early poems were very intricate, dense and formal…. They were written in conventional metrics and had a very strong beat to the line…. In my late poems I've learned to depend on a simplicity that seems almost nonpoetic on the surface, but has reverberations within that keep it intense and alive…." Elsewhere he remarked, "Since my Selected Poems I have been moving toward a more open style, based on natural speech rhythms. The Testing-Tree embodied my search for a transparency of language and vision. Maybe age itself compels me to embrace the great simplicities, as I struggle to free myself from the knots and complications, the hang-ups, of my youth. I keep trying to improve my controls over language, so that I won't have to tell lies." The change in Kunitz's style is reflected in his treatment of his most common themes. As critics have noted, Kunitz has been more inclined to expose his feelings in his later work, particularly with regard to the suicide of his father. Such poems as "The Portrait," "Open the Gate," and "Father and Son," which concern a son's quest for his father, show Kunitz to be more willing to confront his personal trauma than in his earlier verse. Critics have also focused on Kunitz's interest in the idea of the simultaneity of life and death, which Kunitz described as "a rather terrifying thought that is at the root of much of my poetry." Kunitz's exploration of such serious themes has prompted critics to applaud his courage and to describe him as a risk taker, although they also note that his tone is more optimistic in such later collections as Next-to-Last Things (1985) and Passing Through (1996).
The highly crafted nature of Kunitz's initial works stalled critical attention, and it was not until he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize that critics began to take any significant interest in his poetry. Still, academic critics have been much less receptive to Kunitz than his peers. For many years the standard critical view was that Kunitz was too imitative, lacking any recognizable style of his own. As this argument runs, in his early works Kunitz was a derivative practitioner of the modernist-metaphysical mode, and in his later works he switched to the confessional mode made popular by such poets as Lowell and John Berryman. In addition, Kunitz's poetry has not achieved the wide readership many believe it merits, largely because of his reputation as a "poet's poet," which he earned because of his technical virtuosity and his work as an ambassador of his art. Most critics have preferred the later work to the earlier, and in recent years Kunitz has been consistently praised for the power and intensity of his lyric poems, while continuing to be admired for his meticulous attention to the subtleties of sound and sense. Kunitz has also continued to be recognized by his peers as an important voice in contemporary American poetry. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1984, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1987, and, in the same year, the Walt Whitman award citation of merit, with designation as State Poet of New York.
Intellectual Things 1930
Passport to the War: A Selection of Poems 1944
Selected Poems, 1928-1958 1958
The Testing-Tree: Poems 1971
The Coat without a Seam: Sixty Poems, 1930-1972 1974
The Terrible Threshold: Selected Poems, 1940-1970 1974
The Lincoln Relics 1978
Poems of Stanley Kunitz: 1928-1978 1979
The Wellfleet Whale and Companion Poems 1983
Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (poetry and essays) 1985
Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected 1996
Other Major Works
Living Authors: A Book of Biographies [editor, as Dilly Tante] (biography) 1931
Authors Today and Yesterday: A Companion Volume to "Living Authors" [editor, with Howard Haycraft and Wilbur C. Hadden] (biography) 1933
British Authors of the Nineteenth Century [editor, with Howard Haycraft] (biography) 1936
American Authors, 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of American Literature [editor, with Howard Haycraft] (biography) 1938
Twentieth-Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature [editor, with Howard Haycraft]...
(The entire section is 213 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
SOURCE: "Prelude to Adventure," in Poetry, Vol. 36, No. 4, July, 1930, pp. 218-23.
[In the following review of Intellectual Things, the critic states that Kunitz shows promise as a poet, praises his gift for melody but cautions him against stylization.]
Enough of the probing seriousness and curiosity of a keen poetic intelligence is exhibited in [Intellectual Things] to warrant a considerable confidence in the talents of the author, and in his future work. With a public career little more than a year old, he has issued a collection marked by unquestionable faults and insecurities, but one in which a trait of real lyric individuality emerges.
Mr. Kunitz shares his faults with a large company of contemporaries, and they may be traced largely to an attempt, in many ways laudable, to develop a new lyric fashion. In his case certain merits indicate that genuine style will result, provided the poet is willing to cultivate his positive assets at the cost of real labor and with the sacrifice of those superficial devices which result from mere vanity. These weaknesses grow from an effort at stylization not always justified by its results. Mr. Kunitz is fond of making a conventional idea accept new dimensions and uses within the poems. These dimensions, however, are not very successfully described since the traditional stanzaic forms and contours abound, and the uses are never too...
(The entire section is 880 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
SOURCE: A review of Passport to the War, in The New York Times Book Review, March 26, 1944, p. 26.
[In the following review of Passport to the War, Schorer comments that Kunitz's "'metaphysical' style" has become less imitative since the publication of his first volume of poetry.]
[Stanley Kunitz] made a … cautious selection of influences and, from the beginning, showed himself to be a first-rate rather than a second-rate poet by integrating those influences with his own vision of experience to produce what may be called a style. Half of his present book. [Passport to the War] consists of selections from his first book, Intellectual Things published in 1930, and comparison is gratifying. For it shows clearly, in the first place, that many of his early poems were exactly as good as they were men taken to be; poems like "Organic Bloom" and "In a Strange House" have lost none of their splendor.
Comparison shows, in the second place, how the poet has developed. From the beginning he was a "metaphysical" poet in the triple sense that he was interested in the analysis of, not the mere submission to experience; that that analysis was made by means of imagery predominantly intellectual in its manipulation; and that the images were drawn from every corner of the poet's experience. But he was also "metaphysical" in the less satisfactory sense that he echoed, quite...
(The entire section is 391 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
SOURCE: "The Thirty Years' War," in Poetry, Vol. 93, No. 3, December, 1958, pp. 174-78.
[In the following essay, Wagoner predicts that the publication of Selected Poems, 1928-1958 will bring an end to critical neglect of Kunitz's poetry.]
One of the most depressing literary curiosities of the past three decades has been the neglect of Stanley Kunitz's poetry. His earlier books—Intellectual Things (1930) and Passport to the War (1944)—received uniformly high praise from reviewers (for the single exception, see his poem "A Choice of Weapons," but serious critical attention appeared to stop there. Now, at last, the Selected Poems 1928-1958 marks what will surely be the end of Kunitz's quiet Thirty Years' War for a place among the very best poets of our time. Let us hope that the Peace of Westphalia will be celebrated in anthologies and perhaps even on the most important prize lists.
The eighty-five poems in the book exhibit a simultaneously delightful and frightening mind. Its ways are intricate, surprising, and clear; but they occasionally lead so deep or so far forward that the reader performing Pound's "dance along the intellect" discovers himself in a country where he is his own most dangerous enemy, where he is forced to choose sides at the bottom of his own mind. This is, therefore, "difficult" poetry in the true sense: most people do not take kindly...
(The entire section is 1270 words.)
SOURCE: "The Generation of Auden," in Sound and Form in Modern Poetry: A Study of Prosody from Thomas Hardy to Robert Lowell, University of Michigan Press, 1965, pp. 279-82.
[In the following excerpt, Gross focuses on meter and sound in Kunitz's poetry, praising him for his technical accomplishments.]
… Kunitz' acknowledged masters are Donne, Baudelaire, and Eliot. He pays each the formal compliment of allusion or translation; in the blank-verse poem "The Class Will Come to Order" a celebrated line from The Relique,
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone
appears in witty paraphrase:
Absurd though it may seem,
Perhaps there's too much order in this world;
The poets love to haul disorder in,
Braiding their wrists with her long mistress hair,
And when the house is tossed about our ears,
The governors must set it right again.
How wise was he who banned them from his state!
A great variety of movement and tone shades the feeling in these lines. The only outstanding metrical departure is the shortened first line (trimeter rather than pentameter), but Kunitz' ear for quantity and monosyllabic harmonies is nearly unmatched among American poets. The quality of sinuous beauty which inheres in the fourth line,
Brai ding |...
(The entire section is 765 words.)
SOURCE: "The Poetry of Stanley Kunitz: An Introductory Essay," in Poets in Progress, Northwestern University Press, 1967, pp. 38-58.
[In the following essay, Hagstrum identifies major themes in Kunitz's poetry and traces the development of his technique, examining poems from Intellectual Things, Passport to the War, and Selected Poems, 1928-1958.]
Stanley Kunitz provides his readers with the excitement, rarely encountered in modern poetry, of exploring both the guilty and the joyful recesses of the personality. Of guilt alone, we have perhaps had more than our share, and the pilgrimage from sin to salvation has become—who would have believed it a generation ago?—almost fashionable. But relatively few have moved, as Mr. Kunitz has in his thirty-year poetic career, from darkly morbid psychic interiors to a clean, well-lighted place, where personality is integrated through love and art—love that draws nourishment from the unabashedly physical and art that, though complex, rests on the honest simplifications of life.
Though Kunitz's literary life and manner are difficult, one of his central ideas is extremely simple. He has said, "Let life happen to you … Life is right," and he believes that modern neurosis in part stems from the morbid separation of art from life that characterizes our culture. The naked prose statements will impress only those who...
(The entire section is 4824 words.)
SOURCE: "Man with a Leaf in His Head," in Nation, Vol. 213, No. 8, September 20, 1971, pp. 250-51.
[Praising the artistry and maturity of The Testing-Tree, Moss considers some of Kunitz's major themes, including the opposition of life and death, the search for the unknown father, religion, and nature.]
In his Selected Poems, published in 1958, Stanley Kunitz gave us some dozen poems that are likely to guide people guided by poetry, as long as English is read. He has "suffered the twentieth century," confronted tragic experience, given it form—in the course of the poems, triumphed over it. Now we have thirty additional poems. I have spent a month with The Testing-Tree in my pocket or within reach, blessed and tortured by its artistry. The new book brings a new open style; complications have been made apparently simple. When passionless, open simplicity is the crab grass of our literature, Kunitz's poems often begin with the naked truth. The new style faces that exacting passion.
In The Testing-Tree Kunitz's language ruthlessly prods the wounds of his life. His primordial curse is the suicide of his father before his birth. The poems take us into the sacred woods and houses of his 66 years, illuminate the images that have haunted him. Yet nowhere in the fiber of this book is there a thread of malice, anger, hatred, envy, pique; not a sneer, not a "sidelong...
(The entire section is 1849 words.)
SOURCE: An interview with Stanley Kunitz, in Contemporary Literature, Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter, 1974, pp. 1-14.
[In the following interview, which was conducted on March 9, 1972, at Kunitz's home in New York, Kunitz comments on a number of subjects pertinent to his work, including the relationship between poetry and myth, his poetic development, the function of intellect and passion in poetry, the poet's position in society, his influences, his aversion to being called a "confessional poet," and the themes of guilt, love, and life and death in his verse.]
[Davis]: Mr. Kunitz, you said once to a group of students studying your poetry that no one has the "right answers" in interpretation, and that after it's published the poem belongs as much to them as to you. Are you generally reluctant to explain your poems?
[Kunitz]: I often don't really know what a poem means, in rational terms. There are so many currents that flow into the poem, of which the poet himself can't be totally aware. Years after you have written a poem, you come back to it and find something you didn't know was there. Sometimes, I grant, a poet can be helpful about a specific image or an obscure portion of his poem.
Do you think it's helpful to talk about the circumstances that led to your writing a poem?
If they can be recalled, they may, in some cases, prove illuminating....
(The entire section is 4725 words.)
SOURCE: "'Imagine Wrestling with an Angel': An Interview with Stanley Kunitz," in Salmagundi, No. 22/23, Spring/Summer, 1973, pp. 71-83.
[In the following interview, which is an edited transcript of a public interview conducted at Skidmore College in April, 1972, Kunitz discusses, among other subjects, trends in contemporary poetry, the process of composing verse, the function of poetry, the work of up-and-coming poets, his influences, and the practice of labeling poets.]
[Boyers]: Whenever I go and visit people who are interested in poetry, there seems to be constant reference to Stanley Kunitz as the "poets' poet." Have you heard yourself described in this way? What do you think these people mean?
[Kunitz]: When it was said of Spenser, it was meant to be a compliment. Nowadays it would depend on the inflection. I'm a bit leery of it.
I was wondering if the fact that people speak of you in these terms suggests that they have in mind another kind of poetry which is more immediately contemporary, more popular among the young on college campuses, and whether this isn't the poetry, this other poetry, that the best poets themselves consider inferior, perhaps not poetry at all?
That may be so, but it's dangerous to think of poetry as being divided into two kinds—a high art and a low art. No poet can afford to be out of touch with the...
(The entire section is 4444 words.)
SOURCE: "Stanley Kunitz: The Stubborn Middle Way," in Modern Poetry Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 49-73.
[In the following essay, Weisburg relates Kunitz's poetry to that of his contemporaries and discusses his major themes as they emerge in Selected Poems, 1928-1958: disease: generation, or the past: and monstrosity.]
"The easiest poet to neglect is one who resists classification" [quoted from "Imagine Wrestling with an Angel: An Interview with Stanley Kunitz," in Salmagundi (Spring Summen 1973); all subsequent quoted comments of Kunitz are also extracted from this interview]. Had he spoken of himself, Stanley Kunitz might rather have said that we neglect the poet who becomes classified too early and too narrowly. Since a brief, if sympathetic, article by Jean Hagstrum in 1958, Kunitz's impressive canon has aroused no critical interest. Instead, he has been dubiously honored, by almost universal agreement, as a strange phenomenon called the "poet's poet," and the only recent study of him, by Marjorie Perloff in the Iowa Review, explicitly sustains this official view. In what sense is Kunitz "the poet's poet"? The title first assumes that his verse is of minor interest in itself, but that his literary relationships as peer and mentor have merited him a grateful, if condescending, nod from the historians of contemporary poetry. More specifically, the title has generally implied fixed...
(The entire section is 6658 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Poems of Stanley Kunitz: 1928–1978, in The Hudson Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring, 1980, pp. 131–50.
[Cotter reviews Poems of Stanley Kunitz: 1928–1978, briefly remarking on Kunitz's poetic development.]
[In The Poems of Stanley Kunitz, 1928–1978, Kunitz] arranges his poems in reverse chronological order, but the strategem cannot hide the nature of his poetic development. His early poems launch a direct assault on the Self, using myth ("For Proserpine"), rhetoric ("O Sion of my heart"), and melancholy ("I wept for my youth") as the traditional arsenal for one's siege. No wonder Kunitz decided not to begin his book with such rusty stuff; too bad it had to be included at all. Kunitz began to find his idiom in his second volume, published in 1944, with poems like 'Father and Son," although here too the Self-conscious rears its easy head: "At the water's edge, where the smothering ferns lifted / Their arms, 'Father!' I cried, 'Return!'" The exclamation may work, but the metaphor does not. In his 1958 Selected Poems, flashes of humor and humanity enliven "The Thief," "The War Against the Trees," and "Rover." Where early Kunitz sounded like late Yeats, the poet discovered his own story and image in the autobiographical "A Testing-Tree," a poem that merits a place in any anthology of modern verse. A late bloomer, Kunitz has fashioned some of his finest...
(The entire section is 377 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Poems of Stanley Kunitz: 1928–1978, in American Poetry Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, July/August, 1980, pp. 36–41.
[Orr explores what he identifies as Kunitz's major theme: the son's quest for the father.]
If Stanley Kunitz is a major poet, then he must have a major theme. What is that theme? Something that for the moment I'll call "the son's quest for the father." As all authentic major themes of this century must, it represents a fusion of personal crisis with an impersonal, universal significance. For the process of fusing personal and impersonal, the phrase Kunitz uses in relation to his own work is "to convert life into legend." I would assert that there must be a certain balance between the personal and impersonal in such an endeavor. In terms of the father-quest theme, Kunitz's early work (Selected Poems) is weighted toward the impersonal, and it is only in The Testing Tree that the poems approach the unadorned personal source. With the extra-ordinary simplicity and understatement that is his genius in the later work, he tells us the most essential tale of his life and his work:
My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
when I was waiting to be born …
(The entire section is 4317 words.)
SOURCE: "The Layers," in Ironwood, Vol. 24, Fall, 1984, pp. 71-4.
[In the following essay, Kunitz discusses poetic imagination and explains the genesis of his poem "The Abduction."]
A few months ago a graduate student at a Midwestern university sent me an elaborate commentary on an early poem of mine, requesting my seal of approval for his interpretation. Since I could scarcely recall the lines in question—they had been produced in my twenties—I needed first of all to reacquaint myself with them, almost as if they had been written by a stranger. Something quite disturbing happened to me. As I began to read, the apparent subject-matter crumbled away, and what I heard was a cry out of the past, evoking images of an unhappy time, the pang of a hopeless love affair, in a rush of memory that clouded the page. When I turned to my correspondent's thesis, I found that a large portion of it was devoted to an analysis and classification of prosodie devices, fortifying his perception of the poem as an example of metaphysical wit. Such discrepancies are not isolated occurrences. The readers of a poem perceive it as a verbal structure, about which they are free to speculate; whereas the poet himself is irrevocably bound to the existential source.
Even with the advantage of inside knowledge, including specific information about the occasions and intentions of what he has written, the poet is less...
(The entire section is 1622 words.)
SOURCE: An interview with Stanley Kunitz, in The Gettysburg Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring, 1992, pp. 193-209.
[In the following excerpt from his interview with Stitt, which occurred on May 3, 1990, Kunitz discusses his childhood, his education, his early aspirations to be a poet, the publication of his first book, his relationship with Theodore Roethke, and the physicality of language.]
[Stitt]: What sort of childhood did you have?
[Kunitz]: As I look back on it, my main impression is of how lonely I was. Aside from school, where of course I did have a degree of companionship, it was a childhood without much company outside the household itself, largely because, for so much of that time, we were living far out at the edge of the city without any neighbors. My main refuge was the woods that lay behind the house, where I wandered every day. That is where I invented the game I write about in "The Testing-Tree." I would throw three rocks at the tree, and the results would determine my fate. In retrospect I realize that those three throws of the stone against the patriarchal oak reveal much of the meaning of my life, at that point and in die future. If I hit the target with only one stone, somebody would love me. If I hit it twice, I should be a poet. And if I hit it three times, I should never die. That was the game, and I think it expresses my deepest yearnings.
(The entire section is 3614 words.)
SOURCE: "A Visionary Poet at Ninety," in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 277, No. 6, pp. 113-16, 118-20.
[In the following excerpt from a review of Passing Through, Barber marvels at Kunitz's "exemplary resilience" and "inexhaustible " curiosity.]
Here, in a trim volume that nobody could wish shorter, [Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected], is virtually the entire windfall of Kunitz's "later" poetry: the selected contents of The Testing-Tree (1971), "The Layers" (the constellation of new poems that led off his 1979 edition of The Poems of Stanley Kunitz), and Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (1985), along with nine poems appearing for the first time in a book. Not a lifetime's work but something more seasoned and concentrated and surpassing—work with a lifetime steeped in it. In contrast to The Poems of Stanley Kunitz, a more substantial compilation that showed Kunitz over a span of some fifty years moving beyond his clenched and seething early style, Passing Through allows readers to follow the clean arc of Kunitz's late three decades of composition in splendid isolation.
It is, above all, a book of revelations. From the beginning Kunitz's was a poetry consecrated to transfiguring moments of insight and rapture, and it is startling to discover how active that core of exaltation has remained. For Kunitz, as for no...
(The entire section is 722 words.)
Guston, Philip. A Celebration for Stanley Kunitz on His 80th Birthday. New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 1986, 159 p.
A collection of reminiscences and testimonials by friends and other admirers of Kunitz.
Claire, William F. Review of A Kind of Order, a Kind of Folly, by Stanley Kunitz. The American Scholar 45, No. 4 (Autumn 1976): 598.
Notes Kunitz's many varied interests, including his knowledge of the visual arts and involvement in the work of younger poets.
Davis, Cynthia A. "Stanley Kunitz and the Transubstantial Word." The Literary Review 24, No. 3 (Spring 1981): 413-26.
Studies the development of Kunitz's use of language in relation to the dominant archetypal patterns in his poetry: death and rebirth, the quest, the night journey, and the lost father.
Henault, Marie. Stanley Kunitz. Boston: Twayne, 1980, 164 p.
A comprehensive biography and critical assessment of Kunitz's life and works.
Lieberman, Laurence. Review of The Testing-Tree, by Stanley Kunitz. The Yale Review (Autumn 1971): 82-5.
Praises the poetic...
(The entire section is 421 words.)