1945 in poetry

in?=in poetry
in2?=in literature
cp=19th century
c=20th century
cf=21st century



* Benjamin Britten's opera "Peter Grimes", based on George Crabbe's "The Borough"
* Vladimir Nabokov becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States
* March 4 — Pablo Neruda elected a Communist party senator in Chile. He officially joined the Communist Party of Chile four months later.
* April — Ilona Karmel and Henia Karmel, sisters from the Kraków Ghetto and together Polish Jewish prisoners of the Nazis, were on a forced death march when Germans in tanks crushed them and then shoved them, still living, into a mass grave. Soon after, a group of prisoners passed them, including a cousin of theirs. From their hiding place in her clothes, Henia Karmel ripped out some poems she and her sister had written and handed them to her cousin to give to her husband, Leon, back in Krakow. The cousin did deliver the poems, and the sisters were also saved by a nearby farmer who took them to a hospital. Henia wrote in 1947, "these poems are real, not just scribblings. [they] came about when I was still creating myself, experiencing the pain of separation. How I could have survived, you might ask? If so, sir, you know nothing of life. It lasted, that’s all." Henia wrote in her poem, "Snapshots": "My name is Number 906. / And guess what? I still write verse." [ [http://www.vqronline.org/articles/2008/spring/book-notes/ "Book Notes" column] , "The Virginia Quarterly Review", Spring 2008, accessed April 17, 2008, a capsule review by Lilah Hegnauerof "A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Kraków to Buchenwald and Beyond", by Henia Karmel and Ilona Karmel, adapted by Fanny Howe, University of California Press, 2007]
* May 2, 1945, Ezra Pound was arrested by Italian partisans, and taken (according to Hugh Kenner) "to their HQ in Chiavari, where he was soon released as possessing no interest." The next day, he turned himself in to U.S. forces. He was incarcerated in a United States Army detention camp outside Pisa, spending 25 days in an open cage before being given a tent. Here he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown. While in the camp he drafted the "Pisan Cantos", a section of the work in progress which marks a shift in Pound's work, being a meditation on his own and Europe's ruin and on his place in the natural world. The "Pisan Cantos" won the first Bollingen Prize from the Library of Congress in 1948.
* June — Australia's most celebrated literary hoax takes place when "Angry Penguins" is published with poems by the fictional Ern Malley. Poets James McAuley and Harold Stewart created the poems from lines of other poems and then sent them as the purported work of a recently deceased poet. The hoax was played on Max Harris, then a 22-year-old avant garde poet and critic who had started the modernist magazine, "Angry Penguins". Harris and his circle of literary friends agreed that a hitherto completely-unknown modernist poet of great merit had come to light in suburban Australia. The Autumn 1944 edition of the magazine with the poems came out in mid-1945 due to wartime printing delays. An Australian newspaper uncovered the hoax within weeks. McAuley and Stewart loved early Modernist poets but despised later modernism and especially the well-funded "Angry Penguins" and were jealous of Harris's precocious success.

Works published

* W. H. Auden, "Collected Poems"
* Gwendolyn Brooks, "A Street in Bronzeville"
* Allen Curnow, editor, "A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923–45" (Caxton), New Zealand [ [http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/curnowa.html Allen Curnow Web page] at the New Zealand Book Council website, accessed April 21, 2008]
* H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), "Tribute to the Angels", second part of "Trilogy" (1944–46) about the experience of the Blitz in wartime London
* T. S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"
* Denis Glover, "The Wind and the Sand", New Zealand [http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/L/LiteraturePoetry/DenisGlover/en "Denis Glover" article] in "The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 1966 website, accessed April 21, 2008]
* Elizabeth Smart, "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept" (prose poem)
* Randall Jarrell, "Little Friend, Little Friend", including "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner", New York: Dial PressM. L. Rosenthal, "The New Poets: American and British Poetry Since World War II", New York: Oxford University Press, 1967, "Selected Bibliography: Individual Volumes by Poets Discussed", pp 334-340]
* Philip Larkin, "The North Ship", London: Dent
* Alun Lewis, "Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets", posthumously published


* Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (later the post would be called "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress"): Louise Bogan appointed this year. She would serve until sometime in 1946.

* Pulitzer Prize for poetry: Karl Shapiro, "V-Letter and Other Poems"


* January 14 — Stephen Morse, American poet
* February 23 — Robert Gray, Australian poet
* April 2 — Anne Waldman, American poet
* April 30 — Annie Dillard, American poet and 1975 Pulitzer Prize winner
* June 21 — Adam Zagajewski Polish poet, novelist, and essayist
* July 21 — Wendy Cope, English poet
* August 13 — Tom Wayman, Canadian poet and academic
* August 31 — Van Morrison, OBE, Irish poet, singer, songwriter, author, and multi-instrumentalist.
* date not known:
** Terry Blackhawk
** Marianne Bluger
** Syl Cheyney-Coker
** W. S. Di Piero
** Norman Dubie, American poet
** Calvin Forbes
** Ellen Jaffe
** Bernadette Mayer, American poet
** J.D. McClatchy, gay American poet, literary critic, and editor of the Yale Review.
** Carol Muske-Dukes
** Alice Notley, American poet


* January 15 — Ursula Bethell, New Zealand
* January 22 — Else Lasker-Schuler, 75, poet
* March 20 — Lord Alfred Douglas, poet and former lover of Oscar Wilde
* May 15 — Charles Williams, British writer and poet, and a member of the loose literary circle called the Inklings
* June 8 — Robert Desnos, was a French surrealist poet.
* July 20 — Paul Valéry, French philosopher, author and Symbolist poet
* August 26 — Franz Werfel (born 1890), Austrian-Bohemian novelist, playwright, and poet who wrote in German
* December 14 — Maurice Baring, versatile English man of letters: a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator, essayist, travel writer, and war correspondent
*date not known:
** Capel Boake

ee also

* Poetry
* List of poetry awards
* List of years in poetry


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