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Witter Bynner Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: 1881
Biography | show moreshow less
Witter Bynner (1881-1968), a native of Brooklyn, Bynner graduated from Harvard in 1902, and he featured the school in his first book, An Ode to Harvard and Other Poems (1907). With another Harvard friend, Arthur Davison Ficke, Bynner attempted an elaborate literary hoax in 1916, establishing a fictitious "Spectrist" school of poetry based in Pittsburgh. That year, the "group" did publish a small volume of verse, Spectra, under the pen names of Emanuel Morgan (Bynner), Anne Knish (Ficke) and Angela Cypher (Marjorie Allen Sieffert, who completed the "movement"). In the aftermath of the "Spectra" affair, Bynner and Ficke traveled to Japan, and Bynner would also visit China, where he studied Chinese literature. Bynner would subsequently translate and publish a number of Chinese works, including The Jade Mountain (1929, with Kiang Kang-hu). Bynner, a friend of D.H. Lawrence, wrote about him in Journey With Genius (1951), and Bynner and his partner, Willard Johnson, are portrayed in Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent. Bynner's other works include Tiger (1913), The Little King (1914), Grenstone Poems (1917), A Canticle of Pan (1920), Indian Earth (1929), Take Away the Darkness (1947) and his last book, New Poems (1960).

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