Dillon, George, 1906-1968Variant names
George Dillon was an American poet, editor, and translator. He was born in Florida, raised in the Midwest, and graduted from the University of Chicago. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection of poems, The Flowering Stone. He was also the editor of the journal Poetry, and translated Baudelaire's poems from Les Fleurs du Mal in conjunction with Edna St. Vincent Millay.
From the description of George Dillon letter to Mr. Townsend, 1932. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 59716585
George Dillon (November 12, 1906-May 9, 1968), the American poet and editor, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His parents moved around frequently when he was a child and he lived in Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri, before moving to Chicago after high school. As a student at the University of Chicago, Dillon began to write and edit poetry.
Dillon's first poetry collection, Boy in the Wind, appeared when he was barely twenty-one, yet the critic for the Dial stated: "There is no timidity of evasion, no suggestion of frailty or wavering. His lines have always the assurance of authority, the finality of complete mastery." Louis Untermeyer, in the Saturday Review of Literature, wrote: "His pages...tempt one to cast aside criticism for scarcely reserved enthusiasm." Untermeyer decided that Dillon had not fulfilled his earlier promise, however he was omitted from subsequent editions.
Of his second volume, The Flowering Stone – which won the Pulitzer Prize – Babette Deutsch, the critic for the New York Herald Tribune Books, wrote that though Dillon had been attentive to the lessons of more established poets, "no poet save himself can have brought him to the source of his poetry, or unsealed that bright fountain to our refreshment and joy. Only a searching mind and an alert, sensitive body could have combined to produce poetry of this calibre." Dillon translated poems by Ronsard, Aragon, Eluard, and Michaux, all of which were published in Poetry. Indeed, he is now chiefly remembered for these, since he failed to develop the promise shown in his first volumes. Now chiefly remembered for his Baudelaire and Racine translations, Dillon failed to add to his reputation after his second volume of poetry. [From World Authors 1900-1950 (1996)]
From the guide to the George Dillon Papers, 1862-1982, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)
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