Before Willa Cather went on to write the novels that would make her famous, she was known as a poet, the most popular of her poems reprinted many times in national magazines and anthologies. Her first book of poetry, April Twilights, was published in 1903, but Cather significantly revised and expanded it in a 1923 edition entitled April Twilights and Other Poems. This Everyman’s Library edition reproduces for the first time all the poems from both versions of April Twilights, along with a number of uncollected and previously unpublished poems by Cather, as well as an illuminating selection of her newly released letters.
In such lyrical poems as “The Hawthorn Tree,” “Winter at Delphi,” “Prairie Spring,” “Poor Marty,” and “Going Home,” Cather exhibits both a finely tuned sensitivity to the beauties of the physical world and a richly symbolic use of the landscapes of myth. The themes that were to animate her later masterpieces found their first expression in these haunting, elegiac ballads and sonnets.
About the Author
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Willa Cather's work was profoundly influenced by her upbringing in rural Nebraska. During her young adulthood Cather proved herself intelligent and capable, initially training for a career as a medical doctor, but discovered a love of, and talent for, writing while attending the University of Nebraska. Following graduation, Cather worked as a journalist for several women's magazines before becoming a high school teacher; an opportunity work as an editor at McClure's provided Cather with her first chance to publish as the magazine serialized her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, to critical acclaim. This was soon followed by works that have since become best-loved American classics, including My ?ntonia, The Song of the Lark, and her Pulitzer-Prize winner, One of Ours. Cather died in 1947 at the age of 73.
Dr. Robert Thacker is the editor of The American Review of Canadian Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.