Henri Coulette Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Henri Coulette (kew-LEHT) edited or coedited several volumes, including Midland: Twenty-five Years of Fiction and Poetry from Writing Workshops of the State University of Iowa (1961; with Paul Engle), The Unstrung Lyre: Interviews with Fourteen Poets (1965), and Character and Crisis: A Contemporary Reader (1966; with Philip Levine).


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Henri Coulette’s collections of poetry have received considerable critical if not popular recognition. Throughout his career, he wrote in traditional meters and beautifully crafted lyrics; in addition, he had a deft touch with the satiric epigram. The lyrics are very unusual because they are not mere description but investigations of the imagination that stretch the boundaries of reality. For Coulette, the imagination is supreme; it creates and refines the world of appearance.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Anthony, Mary. “Some Translations by Henri Coulette.” Western Humanities Review 21 (Winter, 1967): 67-71. Anthony rates Coulette’s translations of Catullus, Heredia, and Jaccottet very highly. She states that Coulette is not a literalist but a creative translator who preserves the poetry. Coulette’s “rightness” in the poems, she says, is remarkable.

Clements, Robert J. “The Muses Are Heard.” Saturday Review 49 (May 21, 1966): 30-31. In this brief review of The War of the Secret Agents, and Other Poems, Clements dismisses Coulette as a “Californian” poet. He does acknowledge that the poems are “contemporary” but sees little value in the book.

Coulette, Henri. Interview by Michael S. Harper. Iowa Review 13 (Spring, 1982): 62-84. In this intriguing interview, Coulette reveals some of his influences and sources. Some of his poems are shown to be directly based on his life. The Family Goldschmitt, for example, came out of Coulette’s trip to Europe in 1967. The father in the poems is Coulette’s own musician father.

Donoghue, Denis. “The Long Poem.” Review of “The War of the Secret Agents.” The New York Review of Books 6 (April 14, 1966): 18-21. A brief and neutral review of Coulette’s long poem. Explaining that he does not know the book Coulette used as a source for the poem, Donoghue admits to some puzzlement.

Fitts, Dudley. “Quartet in Varying Keys.” Review of The War of the Secret Agents, and Other Poems. The New York Times Book Review, April 17, 1966, 46-47. A very positive review. Praises Coulette’s “technical adroitness” in many of the short poems in the collection. Fitts calls Coulette “a poet to watch.”

Glaser, Elton. “Alias, Alas.” Review of The Collected Poems of Henri Coulette. Parnassas: Poetry in Review 26, no. 1 (2001): 217-230. A favorable review of Coulette’s book that expresses disappointment that his work is not better known.

Santos, Terry. “Remembering Henri Coulette.” Kenyon Review 14, no. 1 (Winter, 1992): 137. A brief biographical profile of the poet.