Coda: Last Poems

Paperback / softback
The existence of these poems was not known until recently. Two years after the poet's death, his wife found them in his desk in a handwritten notebook and in typescript. Nor was most of his later work generally known by the reading public. After a spat with his long-term New York publisher, Random House, Shapiro had to buy back all rights to his own poems. He then proceeded to publish new work in books that received relatively limited distribution.Only two of the poems in this final volume of his work have been published.'Even in his late seventies, Shapiro was writing well, as these poems aptly demonstrate. Whenever he dated his manuscripts or typescripts, I have supplied the dates. Sophie Wilkins believed most of the undated poems in the first section were written in 1984, the first year they were together. Occasionally I have corrected a spelling or added punctuation, but largely the poems stand as Shapiro left them, in his desk drawer in uptown Manhattan, in an apartment overlooking the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where his last and best Muse lived until her demise' - from the Foreword.