Duncan, Robert,1919–88, American poet, b. Oakland, Calif. He was a leading poet of the San Francisco renaissance during the late 1940s. His lyric style contains private allusions, gaps in syntax, and individualistic spellings. Among his themes are the search for love and the decline of faith in the supernatural. His volumes of poetry include The Opening of the Field (1960), Bending the Bow (1968), Derivations (1970), Groundwork I: Before the War (1984), and Groundwork II: In the Dark (1987).
See study ed. by R. Bertholf and I. Reid (1979).
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Duncan, Robert (Edward) (b. Edward Howard Duncan)(1919–88) poet, writer; born in Oakland, Calif. Adopted when young, and given the name Robert Edward Symmes, he assumed his new name in 1941. He studied at the University of California: Berkeley (1936–38; 1948–50), taught at Black Mountain College (1956–57), and became associated with the San Francisco Bay area group of poets, as seen in The Opening of the Field (1960). He was also an editor, playwright, and artist.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.