Bogan, Louise

Bogan, Louise

▪ American poet and literary critic
born August 11, 1897, Livermore Falls, Maine, U.S.
died February 4, 1970, New York, New York

      American poet and literary critic who served as poetry critic for The New Yorker (New Yorker, The) from 1931 until 1969.

      Bogan was born in a mill town, where her father was a clerk in a pulp mill. Her mother was given to having extramarital affairs and to disappearing for lengthy periods. The family moved often, seeking happiness and prosperity. Bogan attended a convent school and Boston's Girls' Latin School, where she received a classical education and faced prejudice against the Irish (she was told that she could never be editor of the school magazine). She then attended Boston University but left school after a year, in 1916, to marry a soldier. He was posted to Panama late in World War I, and after a brief, unhappy sojourn there Bogan and her daughter returned to the United States and moved in with her parents. Four years later she was left a widow. She married again in 1925, but the marriage ended in divorce in the mid-1930s. Afterward she had a brief, happy love affair with the poet Theodore Roethke (Roethke, Theodore). Bogan became his mentor on lyric poetry, and they were to remain friends.

      Bogan's poems were first published in The New Republic, and in 1923 her first volume appeared under the title Body of This Death. She continued to contribute both verse and criticism to The New Republic, The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, and other periodicals while publishing Dark Summer (1929), The Sleeping Fury (1937), and Poems and New Poems (1941). Her verse has been frequently compared to that of the English Metaphysical poets in its restrained, intellectual style, its compressed diction and imagery, and its formal concerns. Yet it is modern, both deeply personal and immediate. Bogan was accounted one of the major American poets of her time, and she is still considered one of the country's premier lyric poets. She received many prestigious awards. In 1944 she was a fellow in American letters at the Library of Congress, and in 1945–46 she held the chair of poetry (now poet laureate consultant in poetry) there. In 1968 Bogan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a frequent lecturer or visiting professor at American colleges and universities.

      As a critic, Bogan was known for her fairness and generosity, and she focused on the strengths of authors in works such as Achievement in American Poetry, 1900–1950 (1951) and Selected Criticism: Prose, Poetry (1955).

      Bogan's later works include The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923–1968 (1968) and A Poet's Alphabet (1970). She translated The Journal of Jules Renard (1964) and Goethe's Elective Affinities (1963) and The Sorrows of Young Werther (1971). Her letters to literary figures such as Roethke, Edmund Wilson (Wilson, Edmund), and May Sarton (Sarton, May) appear in What the Woman Lived: Selected Letters of Louise Bogan, 1920–1970 (1973), edited by Ruth Limner, who also structures various writings and conversations of Bogan in Journey Around My Room: The Autobiography of Louise Bogan: A Mosaic (1980).

Additional Reading
Elizabeth Frank, Louise Bogan: A Portrait (1985).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bogan,Louise — Bo·gan (bōʹgən), Louise. 1897 1970. American poet whose subtle, spare works are metaphysical in tone. * * * …   Universalium

  • Louise Bogan — (August 11, 1897 February 4, 1970) was an American poet.LifeLouise Bogan was born in Livermore Falls, Maine, where her father Daniel Bogan worked for various paper mills and bottling factories. She spent most of her childhood years with her… …   Wikipedia

  • Louise Bogan — (* 11. August 1897 in Livermore Falls, Maine; † 4. Februar 1970 in New York City) war eine US amerikanische Dichterin und Literaturkritikerin. Biografie Nach dem Besuch der Boston’s Girls’ Latin School studierte sie ein Jahr an der Boston… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bogan (disambiguation) — Bogan can refer to:*Bogan, a pejorative term used in Australia and New Zealand *Boggart or bogan, a creature in Celtic mythology *Bogan, a term used by George Lucas in his early Star Wars drafts that refers to the dark side of the Force *Bogan… …   Wikipedia

  • Bogan — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Louise Bogan (1897–1970), US amerikanische Dichterin und Literaturkritikerin Lucille Bogan (1897–1948), US amerikanische Vaudeville und Bluessängerin, Songwriterin und Gitarristin Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Louise (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Louise imagesize= caption= pronunciation= loo eez gender = female meaning = warrior region = nickname = origin = German related names = footnotes = Louise and Luise are, respectively, French and German feminine… …   Wikipedia

  • Bogan — /boh gan , boh geuhn/, n. Louise, 1897 1970, U.S. poet. * * * …   Universalium

  • Mehldau, Brad — ▪ 2008 Bradford Alexander Mehldau  born Aug. 23, 1970, Jacksonville, Fla.  In January 2007 an enthusiastic cover story in Down Beat magazine featuring Brad Mehldau characterized him as perhaps the most influential jazz artist of his generation.… …   Universalium

  • American literature — Introduction       the body of written works produced in the English language in the United States.       Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it. For almost a century and a… …   Universalium

  • Poets laureate of the United States — ▪ Table Poets laureate of the United States Joseph Auslander (Auslander, Joseph) 1937–411 Allen Tate (Tate, Allen) 1943–44 Robert Penn Warren (Warren, Robert Penn) 1944–45 Louise Bogan (Bogan, Louise) 1945–46 Karl Shapiro (Shapiro, Karl) 1946–47… …   Universalium