Cid Corman Poems

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Cid Corman
Cid (Sidney) Corman (June 29, 1924 – March 12, 2004) was an American poet, translator and editor, most notably of Origin, who was a key figure in the history of American poetry in the second half of the 20th century. Corman was born in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood and grew up nearby in the Dorchester neighborhood. His parents were both from the Ukraine. From an early age he was an avid reader and showed an aptitude for drawing and calligraphy. He attended Boston Latin School and in 1941 he entered Tufts University, where he achieved Phi Beta Kappa honours and wrote his first poems. He was excused service in World War II for medical reasons and graduated in 1945. Corman studied for his Master's degree at the University of Michigan, where he won the Hopwood poetry award, but dropped out when two credits short of completion. After a brief stint at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he spent some time travelling around the United States, returning to Boston in 1948. Here he ran poetry events in public libraries and, with the help of his high-school friend Nat Hentoff, he started the country's first poetry radio program. In 1952, Corman wrote: "I initiated my weekly broadcasts, known as This Is Poetry, from WMEX (1510 kc.) in Boston. The program has been usually a fifteen-minute reading of modern verse on Saturday evenings at seven thirty; however, I have taken some liberties and have read from Moby Dick and from stories by Dylan Thomas, Robert Creeley, and Joyce." This program featured readings by Robert Creeley, Stephen Spender, Theodore Roethke and many other Boston-based and visiting poets. He also spent some time at the Yaddo artists' retreat in Saratoga Springs. It was about this time that Corman changed his name from Sydney Corman to the simpler "Cid." As Corman indicated in conversation, this name change--similar to Whitman's assumption of Walt over Walter--signaled his beginnings as a poet for the common man. During this period, Corman was writing prolifically and published in excess of 500 poems in about 100 magazines by 1954. He considered this to be a kind of apprenticeship, and none of these poems were ever published in book form.

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