Other literary forms
Frederic Prokosch (proh-KAWSH) published five books of poetry. Some of his poems enjoyed a transitory popularity and appeared in anthologies, notably those of Oscar Williams. In addition, he translated the love sonnets of Louise Labé in 1947, some of the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin in 1943, and Euripides’ Medea (431 b.c.e.) in 1947.
Many of the poems in Prokosch’s first collection, The Assassins (1936), celebrate places and journeys and aspire to create an exotic mood. The collection also contains one of his most anthologized poems, “The Dolls,” where Prokosch writes at his musical best of the sweet, crescent-eyed shapes that, reaching into the poet’s “secret night,” become the “furies” of his sleep. Dylan Thomas later parodied this poem, giving to his own poem the title “The Molls.”
Prokosch’s second volume of poems, The Carnival (1938), depends less on the dazzling imagery of geography and more on the ordinary things of life and was an attempt, according to the author, to convey the darkness of the prewar decade, as in “Fable,” where the “rippled snow is tracked with blood,/ And my love lies cold in the burning wood.” The volume contains a long, autobiographical “Ode” that describes the phases of Prokosch’s first thirty years of life and his various discoveries (of fairy tales, his body, the past, Asia). His “Nocturne,” beginning “Close...
(The entire section is 403 words.)