Kenneth Rexroth

(December 22, 1905 – June 6, 1982 / South Bend, Indiana)

Kenneth Rexroth
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an American poet, translator and critical essayist. He is regarded as a central figure in the San Francisco Renaissance, and paved the groundwork for the movement. Although he did not consider himself to be a Beat poet, and disliked the association, he was one of the major influences on the Beat generation, and was once dubbed "Father of the Beats" by Time. He was among the first poets in the United States to explore traditional Japanese poetic forms such as haiku.

Rexroth had two daughters, Mary (who later changed her name to Mariana) and Katharine, by his third wife, Marthe Larsen.

Early Years

Rexroth was born Kenneth Charles Marion Rexroth in ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''When the newspapers have got nothing else to talk about, they cut loose on the young. The young are always news. If they are up to something, that's news. If they aren't, that's news too.''
    Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982), U.S. poet, critic, translator. repr. In The Rexroth Reader, ed. Eric Mottram (1972). "The Students Take Over," Assays (19...
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Famous Poets
Best Poem of Kenneth Rexroth

Floating

Our canoe idles in the idling current
Of the tree and vine and rush enclosed
Backwater of a torpid midwestern stream;
Revolves slowly, and lodges in the glutted
Waterlilies. We are tired of paddling.
All afternoon we have climbed the weak current,
Up dim meanders, through woods and pastures,
Past muddy fords where the strong smell of cattle
Lay thick across the water; singing the songs
Of perfect, habitual motion; ski songs,

Nightherding songs, songs of the capstan walk,
The levee, and the roll of the voyageurs.
Tired of motion, of the rhythms of ...

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