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Rounding It Out: A Cycle of Sonnetelles
by Robert Pack
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-226-64410-3 | Paper: 978-0-226-64411-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3566.A28R68 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

Acclaimed by writers, critics, and readers from Robert Penn Warren to Stephen Jay Gould, Robert Pack is one of the most widely respected poets in America. Pack's newest collection, Rounding It Out, offers a lyric sequence exploring circularity as a musical principle and as a paradigm of the human experience. The imagistic content of the poems, as well as their structure in four sections—morning, midday, evening, night—recall nature's primary rhythm of departure and return, and the dust-to-dust cycle of a completed lifetime.

Rounding It Out is not only about these themes, but also, through reflection, about its own chosen form. Each of the poems is a cross between a sonnet and a villanelle, a formal innovation Pack calls a sonnetelle. Employing meter and rhyme, assonance and alliteration, Pack takes delight and finds consolation in the sensuousness of the English language even in the face of mortality and ongoing personal loss.

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