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Foreword

by A. Hyatt Mayor

Reprinted from Lincoln Kirstein: A First Bibliography, 1978

I might attempt a biography of Proteus, but Lincoln Kirstein? Whatever he animates, he is basically a poet in the Greek sense of a maker and shaper. He not only writes his poems, he makes them happen. Hound & Horn was his first concrete poem. Another was the revival of Rimmer, and of Nadelman, while his most conspicuous poem is the New York City Ballet and its School, which he dreamed in secret long before America showed any sense of the dance, and of dancers who are forever young, forever energized by being immolated in a regal discipline. When he brought ballet to this country the transplanting generated as much energy as transplanting had done when theatrical dancing came long ago to an innocent and innovative Russia.

What have we that can transmit the brusque vibrancy of his voice, his energy, his authority? We have his writings. The writings store up and breathe the impact of his presence. The difference Lincoln has made in American awareness is history.