80 Flowers (1978)


LZ comments at some length on #22 Bayberry in his Dec. 1975 reading of the first 22 Flowers (see PennSound); Leggott includes a transcript of these remarks in an appendix (369-372).

Corman, Cid. “In the Event of Words.” Louis Zukofsky: Man and Poet. Ed. Carroll F. Terrell (1979): 307-309 [on “Privet”].

___. “GAMUT/LZ.” Origin 4, fifth series (Fall 1984): 51-54.

Irby, Kenneth. “Some Notes on Zukofsky’s80 Flowers and Michele J. Leggott’s Reading Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers.” Sulfur 34 (1994): 234-249.

Johnson, Kent. “A Fractal Music: Some Notes on Zukofsky’s Flowers.” In Scroggins (1997): 257-275.

Kasemets, Udo. Z for Zuk for Zukofsky: A Celebration of 80 Flowers (1995).

Lang, Abigail. Le Monde, compte rendu. Lectures de Louis Zukofsky. ENS Editions, 2011.

___. “‘Reading slipperwort’: des articulations syntaxiques dans 80 Flowers de Louis Zukofsky.” Revue française d’études américaines 103 (Feb. 2005): 93-103.

___. “Comment finir?” in Louis Zukofsky, 80 fleurs, trans. Abigail Lang. Caen: Éditions NOUS, 2018. 91-99.

Leggott, Michele J. Reading Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers (1989).

___. “‘See How the Roses Burn!’ The Epigraph of Zukofsky’s80 Flowers.” Sagetrieb 4.1 (1985): 115-136.

Levi Strauss, David. “Approaching 80 Flowers.” Code of Signals: Recent Writings in Poetics. Ed. Michael Palmer (1983): 79-102.

Lewis, Leon. “Aural Invention as Floral Splendor: Louis Zukofsky’s Vision of Natural Beauty in 80 Flowers.” The Writer’s Chronicle 40.4 (2008): 24-29. Online.

Perloff, Marjorie. “The Return of the (Numerical) Repressed: From Free Verse to Procedural Play.” Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media. U of Chicago Press, 1994. 145-150 [on “Starglow”].

Parsons, Marnie. Touch Monkeys: Nonsense Strategies for Reading Twentieth-Century Poetry (1993): 150-152.

Zukofsky, Celia. L.Z.’s notes to 80 flowers (1978/2018). online Z-site; see also editor’s introductory notes.

Zukofsky, Paul. “Starglow” (part 1 of “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas”). Musical Observations website.


80 Flowers was composed from 27 Dec. 1974 – 21 Jan. 1978 and published in a limited fine press edition of 80 copies by the Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vermont in June 1978, a month after LZ’s death on 12 May 1978. In the last months of his life, LZ was working on another related volume to be called GAMUT: 90 Trees, of which only a single poem or epigraph was completed. This poem was published unauthorized as a broadside in 1984 (B. Brecht, Mahogonny City [sic]). 80 Flowers and the one composed poem for GAMUT only became widely available with their inclusion in CSP in 1991.

LZ was already anticipating 80 Flowers while composing “A”-22 & -23. The last hundred lines of “A”-22, which work with materials related to two trips to Bermuda and the Lake Como area in Italy in 1972, are full of the the sort of botanical detail that would dominate the later book (LZ would draw on the notes for these trips in 80 Flowers as well). Similarly “A”-23 contains an interlude (554.6-37) describing the Zukofskys’ new house in Port Jefferson on Long Island, full of specifics about the flora on the property. Plus there are a couple of references to the anticipated project at “A”-23.538.31 and 562.9. Promptly on completing “A”-23 (the last written movement of “A”), LZ began on the 80 Flowers project with the stated intention of working on it for a decade to be completed by his 80th birthday, but fortunately he worked well ahead of schedule. Leggott includes an Appendix that gives a chart listing the specific dates of composition for each of the poems of 80 Flowers. LZ outlined the parameters of the 80 Flowers project in a few brief notes replicated in CZ’s L.Z.’s notes to 80 flowers (see bibliography above).

Note on the text: The publication of CSP in 1991 made an almost entirely inaccessible text finally available to most interested readers, but in the process a number of textual errors crept in. Michele Leggott had identified one error in the original Stinehour edition, and there is another which she apparently missed, but at least seven further instances have been identified in the CSP text by the Spanish translators Faustino Álvarez Álvarez and Emilano Fernández, whose scrupulousness I wish to thank. See the Textual Notes. The elongated spaces before a hyphen in “Spider or Ribbon Plant” (line 4) and after a hyphen in “Coleus” (line 4) are ambiguous cases: no such extra space appears in LZ’s fair copy but they do in the typescript, which Álvarez and Fernández plausible argue was intended to signal to the printer that the hyphen was not to be run into the preceding or following word, as is so often the case elsewhere in 80 Flowers. Furthermore, the Stinehour edition does not number the poems, although both LZ’s fair copy and the typescript to include numbers, excluding the epigraph poem. In the Stinehour edition the titles are given in all caps, as was LZ’s typical practice, which has been replaced by a conventional use of initial capitals only.


80 Flowers Bibliography of Sources pdf

This is a complete and annotated list of the sources LZ used in the composition of 80 Flowers as indicated in his notebooks.