During the year Wallace Stevens died—as unostentatiously as he had lived—and with this businessman-poet went one of the most notable lyric voices. In contrast, Welshman Dylan Thomas was not allowed to rest even in the grave. Every available scrap of his prose was exhumed. Trading on an association with a poet who had caught the popular fancy, Minor Poet John Malcolm Brinnin wrote Dylan Thomas in America, which was intimate to the point of tastelessness.

The Poems of Emily Dickinson, by Thomas H. Johnson, was a monumental work of such precise scholarship that only new discoveries will justify further inquiries concerning the...

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