by Lucien Stryk
Ohio University Press, 1985
Paper: 978-0-8040-0856-3
Library of Congress Classification PS3569.T76A6 1984
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

Lucien Stryk’s poetry is made of simple things — frost on a windowpane at morning, ducks moving across a pond, a neighbor’s fuss over his lawn — set into language that is at once direct and powerful.

Years of translating Zen poems and religious texts have helped give Stryk a special sense of the particular, a feel for those details which, because they are so much a part of our lives, seem to define us. Stryk’s poetry is neither an attempt to surpass these details nor an attempt to give them significance. It is an activity that exists among them, as ordinary — yet as important — as breath. Stryk’s poetic power rests in the sureness of plain speech and his insistence on a direct, sympathetic attention to the world we actually inhabit.

Collected Poems, a gathering of three decades of work, contains nearly all Stryk’s poems, including the best of his Zen translations and a book–length section of new poetry. This book is a revelation of the wonderful amid the familiar by a poet whose language and vision have found their maturity.

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