Hayden Carruth Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Hayden Carruth (kar-REWTH) edited The Voice That Is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century (1970), a highly regarded and widely taught anthology of modern American poetry, and The Bird-Poem Book (1970). Working Papers: Selected Essays and Reviews (1982) and Effluences from the Sacred Caves: More Selected Essays and Reviews (1983) collect essays and reviews, mainly of modern and contemporary poetry. Sitting In: Selected Writings on Jazz, Blues, and Related Topics (1986) collects Carruth’s music criticism.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Versatile, independent, and prolific, Hayden Carruth had a long and distinguished career as poet, editor, critic, and teacher. He was poetry editor of Poetry (1949-1950) and Harper’s (1977-1982) and the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships (1965, 1979) and a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1988). He received honorary degrees from New England College (1987) and Syracuse University (1993). His many honors include the Bess Hokin Prize (1964) and the Levinson Prize (1958) from Poetry magazine, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1973), the Shelley Memorial Award (1979), the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (1979), the Whiting Writers Award in poetry (1986), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1990), the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry (1992) for Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry (1995), the National Book Award in Poetry (1996) for Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey, and the Arthur Rense Poetry Prize (2008). The Selected Poetry of Hayden Carruth was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1987.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Booth, Philip. “On Brothers, I Loved You All.” American Poetry Review 8 (May/June, 1979): 13-16. Fellow poet Booth praises Carruth’s immediacy and vitality, the “tensile strength” of his use of abstractions, and his willingness to risk direct statement. Not compelled by the Frostian poems in Brothers, I Loved You All, Booth is cogently appreciative of the rest of the book.

Feder, Lillian. “Poetry from the Asylum: Hayden Carruth’s The Bloomingdale Papers.” Literature and Medicine 4 (1985): 112-127. Feder gives a brief account of the writing and publication history of The Bloomingdale Papers and a rather stiff but useful analysis of its depiction of the poet’s struggle to remake his self. She also notes connections with later works, including Brothers, I Loved You All and The Sleeping Beauty, and calls particular attention to the ongoing search for self-realization through love.

Flint, R. W. “The Odyssey of Hayden Carruth.” Parnassus 11, no. 1 (1983): 17-32. Flint praises The Sleeping Beauty as one of the most important poems of the 1980’s. He commends Carruth’s tough-minded sanity, comparing The Sleeping Beauty to Robert Lowell’s long poems and John Berryman’s The Dream Songs (1969), he finds that Carruth’s poem has a much better...

(The entire section is 437 words.)