Cover: In the Heart’s Last Kingdom: Robert Penn Warren’s Major Poetry, from Harvard University PressCover: In the Heart’s Last Kingdom in E-DITION

In the Heart’s Last Kingdom

Robert Penn Warren’s Major Poetry

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674733138

Publication Date: 11/26/1984

250 pages


Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In the long poem Audubon (1969) Robert Penn Warren, in his mid-sixties, found his authentic poetic voice and persona. No longer merely a good poet, from then on he has been in his best work a great one. So argues Calvin Bedient in this eloquent and persuasive book.

Bedient, like Warren himself, regards criticism as properly a creative act. He captures the forces that energize the major poetry—Warren’s craving for experience, action, beauty, magnificence, his love of the natural world, his quest for self-knowledge, his hunger for truth and glory. For Bedient, Warren is that rare thing, a poet of tragic joy. Singling out the poems that rank in his judgment as masterpieces, he explores their psychological and metaphysical nuances and probes the sources of their power.

Vision and voice are inseparable, and Bedient gives appreciative attention to the poet’s language, his style, syntax, and diction, including details of prosody such as pauses, line breaks, and wrenchings of meter. Both through illustrative examples and in the context of his readings of individual works, he identifies the distinctive characteristics of Warren’s mature verse. In this book as in his last, Eight Contemporary Poets, which was nominated for a National Book Award, Bedient writes about poetry with rare insight and sensitivity.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene