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Wesley Trimpi, professor emeritus of English, dies at 85

Wesley Trimpi ’50, professor emeritus of English, died March 6 of pneumonia. He was 85.

Trimpi, who returned to Stanford in 1957 after receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard, taught poetry in the Department of English until his retirement in 1992.

At the beginning of his career, Trimpi published work on 17th-century lyric poetry. As his career proceeded, he developed an interest in ancient poetic theory.

One of his most well-known books is “Muses of One Mind: The Literary Analysis of Experience and Its Continuity,” which explores the history of the field of literary criticism and how ancient writing on literature used terms from other fields like mathematics and philosophy.

Trimpi continued this work with analysis of Plato, Aristotle and Horace.

Kathy Eden Ph.D. ’80, a current Columbia professor who had been a graduate student under Trimpi, spoke about Trimpi to the Stanford News Service.

“The questions that preoccupied him in and out of the classroom proved fundamental to understanding the deep investment of the ancients, their admirers and even their detractors, throughout the centuries in what we call ‘literature’ today,” she said.


Andrew Vogeley

About Andrew Vogeley

Andrew Vogeley ‘17 is a sophomore majoring in political science. Andrew hails from the great state of Texas (and he’ll be sure to let you know it) and serves as a news desk editor, covering the different student groups on campus. Besides editing and writing for The Daily, Andrew is President of RUF, a Christian fellowship group. To contact Andrew, email him at avogeley ‘at’