Frederick Morgan (1922–2004), a native New Yorker and graduate of Princeton University, served during WWII in the US Army’s Tank Destroyer Corps. A founder of The Hudson Review in 1947, he edited it for fifty years, remaining affiliated until his death as Founding Editor. He published eleven books of poems, two collections of prose fables, and two books of translations. In 1984, he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In 2001, he won the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry. Morgan lived in New York City, with summers in Blue Hill, Maine.
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
In his poems, Frederick Morgan explores the discovery, or recovery, of the true Self—the Self that abides within and survives the changes of time, memory, and circumstance.
In Epilogue: Selected and Last Poems, Frederick Morgan reworks and amplifies, in his extraordinary poetic range, the fundamental human themes that preoccupied him—love, death, pain, the nature and transcendence of the Self. In interweaving his many themes, he recaptures the past, the confrontation with the external world of nature and the internal world of dream, the oppositions and ambiguities of body and spirit, and the reduplications of meaning in legend and fable. Assembled from eight previous collections, and including his final poems, this profoundly moving book transcends individual expression to provide a powerful insight into universal human experience.
In one of the late poems included in this generous selection of his work, Frederick Morgan refers to “life’s daily chances.” Every preceding page in the book proves that from first to last, Morgan was fully alive to those chances and able to respond to them in ways that turned vigilance into a form of self-affirmation. In the more reserved formalities of his early work, and the comparative freedoms of his later poems, readers will find a consistently marvelous generosity of spirit—one that allows the work to explore personal matters as dexterously as it investigates matters in the wide public world. Epilogue may collect a lifetime’s writing, and therefore inevitably contain a good deal of remembering, but one of its many distinctions is to retain a strong appetite for beginning—for seizing on those “daily chances” and turning them into brightly-seen and durable actualities. —Andrew Motion, UK Poet Laureate (1999–2009)
Two features tie all the poems in Epilogue together: their limpidity of style and their tireless effort, through memory, dream, story, and fable, to tell the truth. The candid clarity of Morgan’s voice, consistent through changes of experience and mood, is precisely what enables the poet and his readers to apprehend that truth.—Rachel Hadas, author of Poems for Camilla