Edgar Bowers

(2 March 1924 - 4 February 2000 / Rome)

Edgar Bowers
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Edgar Bowers was an American poet who won the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1989.

Bowers was born in Rome, Georgia in 1924. During World War II he joined the military and served in Counter-intelligence against Germany. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1950 and did graduate work in English literature at Stanford University. Bowers published several books of poetry, including The Form of Loss, For Louis Pasteur, and The Astronomers. He won two fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and taught at Duke University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In Bowers's obituary, the English poet Clive Wilmer wrote, 'The title poem... more »

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Comments about Edgar Bowers

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  • Rookie - 82 Points William F. Dougherty (1/23/2011 4:28:00 PM)

    If Edgar Bowers' art in writing poetry is neglected, it indicts the sinking art of reading poetry.

  • Freshman - 877 Points Lamont Palmer (2/19/2006 9:45:00 AM)

    Another giant, lost in virtual anonymity, but canonical just the same. Great lyrical poetry here, almost on par with Stevens. A joy to read him.

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Best Poem of Edgar Bowers

For Louis Pasteur

How shall a generation know its story
If it will know no other? When, among
The scoffers at the Institute, Pasteur
Heard one deny the cause of child-birth fever,
Indignantly he drew upon the blackboard,
For all to see, the Streptococcus chain.
His mind was like Odysseus and Plato
Exploring a new cosmos in the old
As if he wrote a poem--his enemy
Suffering, disease, and death, the battleground
His introspection. "Science and peace," he said,
"Will win out over ignorance and war,"
But then, the virus mutant in his vein,
"Death to ...

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