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Karl Shapiro

(10 November 1913 – 14 May 2000 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Karl Shapiro
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Karl Shapiro attended the University of Virginia before World War II, and immortalized it in a scathing poem called "University," which noted that "to hate the Negro and avoid the Jew is the curriculum." He did not return after his military service.

Karl Shapiro wrote poetry in the Pacific Theater while he served there during World War II. His collection V-Letter and Other Poems, written while Shapiro was stationed in New Guinea, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1945, while Shapiro was still in the military. Shapiro was American Poet Laureate in 1946 and 1947. (At the time this title was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress which was changed by Congress in ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Its quick silver bell beating, beating
    And down the dark one ruby flare
    Pulsing out red light like an artery,''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 1-3). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago P...
  • ''But this invites the occult mind,
    Cancels our physics with a sneer,
    And spatters all we knew of denouement
    Across the expedient and wicked stones.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 35-38). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago...
  • ''Already old, the question Who shall die?
    Becomes unspoken Who is innocent?''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 31-32). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago...
  • ''We are deranged, walking among the cops
    Who sweep glass and are large and composed.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 15-16). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago...
  • Flouncing your skirts, you blueness of joy, you flirt of
    politeness,
    You leap, you intelligence, essence of wheelness with silvery nose,
    And your platinum clocks of excitement sti...
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Buick (l. 8-10). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press...
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