« Vivaldi's Seasonal Poetry | Main | Rats and The Wall »

Harold Vinal

I didn’t know much about Harold Vinal, though looking through our collection and looking through the Web it seems as if he did quite a bit. He was a publisher, editing and publishing many books of poetry, and edited Voices: A Magazine of Verse for over 40 years. I was surprised to find how many authors I know (and books I own) were published by Harold Vinal.

As a publisher (and a poet), Vinal was somewhat of a traditionalist. Most of the mentions you see of him online comment on an incident with e.e. cummings. After receiving a rejection from Vinal, cummings retaliated by including a poem in his book  No.5,  titled "Poem, or Beauty hurts Mr. Vinal", suggesting Vinal's judgement was fit only for editing the advertising jingles that were becoming omnipresent on the radio at the time.
Vinal does not seem to have embraced many ‘Modern’ trends in poetry that were becoming common in the time period. His own poems tended towards conventional subjects and simple forms and rhyme schemes.  I’ve found Vinal’s poems appearing in regional journals around 1920 and noted that he published his first book of poetry, White April, (http://theotherpages.org/poems/books/vinal/vinal01.html) in 1922.  
 In short, Vinal was no cummings. However, like many poetry magazine editors of his period, Vindal did help give voice to many aspiring writers - including Langston Hughes, who Vinal also tapped to edit an anthology of African-American verse. He served as secretary and later president of the Poetry Society of America, and was anthologized inseveral collections.

Vinal’s poems are readable enough, but generally not outstanding. I added them to Poet’s Corner mainly to recognize how difficult it is sometimes for an editor to be himself good at creating the art form he helps shape. Hopefully that’s not too esoteric a point.  This adds 43 works that are new to the collection. Among them are quite a few sonnets and shorter works, including Persephone, for which I chose Rossetti's exquisite painting for the book cover.  

--Steve

 


Hosting by Yahoo!