April Twilights

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April Twilights
AprilTwilights.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorWilla Cather
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenrePoetry
PublisherThe Gorham Press
Publication date
1903

April Twilights is a 1903 collection of poems by Willa Cather. It was reedited by Cather in 1923 and 1933.[1] The poems were first published in many literary reviews,[2] often under pen names.[3]

Literary significance and criticism[edit]

Cather's influences for the poems were, among others, Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner, Virgil's Georgics, William Shakespeare, François Villon, Pierre-Jean de Béranger, John Keats's Endymion and Hyperion, Alphonse Daudet's Kings in Exile, Heinrich Heine's The Gods in Exile and The North Sea, and Edward Coley Burne-Jones.[4]

Cather's favourite poems were Grandmither, Mills of Montmartre and The Hawthorn Tree.[5]

At the time of publication, the collection received mixed reviews; the Pittsburgh Gazette, the New York Times Saturday Review, Academy and Literature, the Criterion, the Bookman, the Chicago Tribune, and the Poet Lore praised it; The Dial thought it was bland.[6] Cather decided to buy the remaining copies and burn them.[5]

Mark Twain praised her poem The Palatine.[7]

It has been noted that Cather broaches 'the enduring aura of a homosexual myth' as she alludes to Antinous several times in her poems.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Bibliography', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, page 75
  2. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Bibliography', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, pages 53-58
  3. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Bibliography', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, page 59
  4. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Willa Cather and Her First Book', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, pages xxv-xxviii
  5. ^ a b Bernice Slote, 'Willa Cather and Her First Book', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, page xxiii
  6. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Willa Cather and Her First Book', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, pages xxi-xxiii
  7. ^ Bernice Slote, 'Willa Cather and Her First Book', Willa Cather, April Twilights, University of Nebraska Press, 1968, page xliii
  8. ^ John P. Anders, Willa Cather's Sexual Aesthetics and the Male Homosexual Literary Tradition, University of Nebraska Press, 2002, p. 21

External links[edit]