Paul Hoover regarded James Schuyler as “one of the most accomplished and insightful of the New York School poets”. A judgement which is adequately reflected in his 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry award for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem.
Schuyler’s New York life, closely connected to other poets like Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery and a variety of visual artists such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers, and Fairfield Porter gives the impression of a true urban, bohemian soul – he even lived in the Chelsea Hotel for a period of time. But as Hoover puts it: “Paradoxically [he is] one of the finest nature poets in contemporary American poetry.” His attention to the little, overlooked details and his “accurate ear for the cadences of speech and the rhythms of consciousness” (David Lehman) give his poetry something that transcends the urban surroundings they might originate from.
I highly recommend having a look around the resources on EPC and PennSound. It’s great stuff!
My own response takes inspiration from Schuyler’s “Letter To A Friend: Who Is Nancy Daum?” – but then I guess it goes a bit of a different route after the first line or two…
Letter to a digital jay (Who is JW?)
Remembering James Schuyler