In verses that fuse highly original imagery with exuberant rhythms, Efraín Huerta probes the cultures of both Mexico and "el Norte," from the impact of racism in Mississippi to political corruption in Mexico. Since he demanded for life and art the same freedom he demanded for politics, his poetry is often erotic. His poems are passionate outcries to love and justice, characterized by original metaphors and an acerbic wit that earned him the nickname "Crocodile."
Homero Aridjis is widely regarded as Mexico’s greatest living poet. His work has been translated into numerous languages, and he has received critical praise from artists and writers such as Luis Buñuel, Yves Bonnefoy, Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges.
The seventeen poems gathered in this pocket book, selected by the author, have been brought together as introduction to a body of work spanning thirty years. The poems are rendered in the original Spanish, with English translations on the facing pages.
At the end of the volume there is included a transcript of a question-and-answer session held at Swedenborg House in London in 2011, in which the author discusses his interest in Swedenborg, the inspiration behind his poetry, his groundbreaking environmental activism, and also his key influences.
One of Norway’s most celebrated literary figures of the nineteenth century, Henrik Wergeland worked tirelessly for the civil rights of Jews in Norway. He used the words and structure of his poetry to enliven the ideals of truth, freedom, and equality. This translated volume, containing several of Wergeland’s most prominent poems, beautifully encapsulates the compelling force of his message, allowing its enduring influence to benefit a wider contemporary audience.
Iraqi poet Salah Al Hamdani has lived a remarkable life. The author of some forty books in French and Arabic, he began life as a child laborer, with little or no education. As a political prisoner under Saddam Hussein, he learned to read and write Arabic; once he was released form prison, he continued to work against the regime, ultimately, at age twenty-one, choosing exile in Paris. He now writes in French, but he remains a poet of exile, of memory, wounded by the loss of his homeland and those dear to him.
This landmark collection gathers thirty-five years of his writings, from his first volume in Arabic, Memory of Embers, to his latest collection, written originally in French, For You I Dream. It offers English-language readers their first substantial overview of Al Hamdani’s work, fired by the fight against injustice and shot through with longing for the home to which he can never return.
A prolific voice in Native American writing for more than twenty years, Rose has been widely anthologized, and is the author of eight volumes of poetry. Bone Dance is a major anthology of her work, comprising selections from her previous collections along with new poems. The 56 selections move from observation of the earth to a search for one's place and identity on it. In an introduction written for this anthology, Rose comments on the place each past collection had in her development as a poet.
"Rich in poems which enhance our awareness of the human complexity of our social and moral dilemmas." —Book Review Digest
"There is a whisper in the wind among the chapters . . . and a singing rain beyond the window." —American Indian Culture Research Journal
A poem is a living library, a hospitable planet in black space, a bell waiting to wear the music of motion across stilled lands. Writers are the carriers of the voices around us. We are writers and readers in dark times when words are correctly understood as powerful weapons. —From the Introduction
Reading Rane Arroyo’s poems is a little like watching a movie playing at fastforward speed on the TV in your darkened bedroom. The colors pop and snap, the images leap and recede, the colors seem brighter than life—and you can’t stop watching even long enough to blink. It’s an intimate experience. Even at hyperspeed you can make out the images of friends, family, and lovers (especially lovers) burning rubber across the unblinking screen. And even without a sound track, you can hear the music—a symphony of jazz and samba, salsa and street sounds.
In The Buried Sea, Arroyo has selected poems from his first eleven books—five full-length collections of poems and six chapbooks—and has added nineteen new poems. When asked to describe himself, Arroyo writes that “the answer is easy: I’m a Puerto Rican, gay, Midwestern, educated, former working class, liberal, atheistic, humanist, American, male, ex-Mormon, ex-Catholic, pseudo-Buddhist, teacher, reader, global, and popular culture—informed poet.” Readers will find traces of all of these selves in this collection. And Arroyo does make it “easy” to follow the clues. His poems—vivacious, sexy, shiny, sly, pointed, ambitious—are easy to approach and easy to love. But they come with strings attached—like all affairs of the heart—and therein lies so much of their pleasure.
Larry Eigner began writing poetry at age eight and was first published at age nine. Revered by poets and artists across a broad spectrum of generations and schools, Eigner’s remarkably moving poetry was created through enormous effort: because of severe physical disabilities, he produced his texts by typing with only one index finger and thumb on a 1940 Royal manual typewriter, creating a body of work that is unparalleled in its originality.
Calligraphy Typewriters showcases the most celebrated of Eigner's several thousand poems, which are an important part of the Black Mountain/Projectivist movement that began in the 1950s and which remain a primary inspiration for many younger writers, including those in the Language movement that began in the 1970s. In its two sections—Swampscott and Berkeley, named for the two locales where Eigner lived and worked—the volume traces his fantastic perception of the ordinary and his zeal for language. Eigner’s use of visual space, metaphor, and description provide fascinating insights into both his own life and the world that surrounded him. This volume maintains the distinctive visual spacing of his original typescripts, reminders of his method, aesthetic sensibility, and creative ability to compose on the typewriter.
A collection that reimagines the ordinary, Calligraphy Typewriters is the definitive selection of Eigner’s poems, and will serve well not only poets and students of poetry, but readers and writers of every vein.
Cell Traffic presents new poems and uncollected prose poetry along with selected work from award-winning poet Heid Erdrich's three previous poetry collections. Erdrich's new work reflects her continuing concerns with the tensions between science and tradition, between spirit and body. She finds surprising common ground while exploring indigenous experience in multifaceted ways: personal, familial, biological, and cultural. The title, Cell Traffic, suggests motion and Erdrich considers multiple movements-cellular transfer, the traffic of DNA through body parts and bones, "migration" through procreation, and the larger "movements" of indigenousness and ancestral inheritance.
Erdrich's wry sensibility, sly wit, and keenly insightful mind have earned her a loyal following. Her point of view is always slightly off center, and this lends a particular freshness to her poetry. The debunking and debating of the science of origins is one of Erdrich's focal subjects. In this collection, she turns her observational eye to the search for a genetic mother of humanity, forensic anthropology's quest for the oldest known bones, and online offers of genetic testing. But her interests are not limited to science. She freely admits popular culture into her purview as well, referencing sci-fi television series and Internet pop-up ads.
Letter to the unknown woman across the street, I Curtains, blinds, draperies, shades, no, nothing
Madame, to conceal from your Cyclops’ eye
in the shadows from which it spies on me
this long pale body, false corpse tired out
with debauchery, which is swooning too
before your balcony, with your drying
stockings and scanties of a nun at bay—
poisonous flowers for a lonely man
whom death panics, draws erect, demarrows
in the night, riveted to your white thighs.
Readers who denounce most contemporary French poetry as self-referential experimentation, word games, exercises in deconstruction, or other kinds of incomprehensible writing disconnected from everyday life—brace yourselves for a revelation. Erotic and urbane, distinguished by formal skill yet marked by the subtlest shades of feeling, Guy Goffette’s unabashedly lyrical poems pay homage to both Verlaine and Rimbaud, whom he counts as his important forbears, with echoes of Auden and Pound, Pavese and Borges.
In Charlestown Blues, poet and translator Marilyn Hacker has chosen a tightly thematic selection of poems, all centering around the notion of “blue”—the color and the emotion, as well as that quintessentially American style of musical performance. Hacker’s crystalline and musical English renderings will show Anglophones why Goffette is considered one of the most important poets writing in French today.
To be a woman in revolutionary Nicaragua meant to take an active role in reshaping a country. Daisy Zamora came out of that experience as a poet who found her own voice in the context of extraordinary popular struggle. Her Clean Slate: New & Selected Poems is a collection that embodies a spirit of personal and political liberation. These 110 poems include works written between the years 1968 and 1993.
In Comfort Measures Only, Rafael Campo bears witness to the unspeakable beauty bound up with human suffering. Gathered from his over twenty-year career as a poet-physician, these eighty-nine poems—thirty-one of which have never been previously published in a collection—pull back the curtain in the ER, laying bare our pain and joining us all in spellbinding moments of pathos. The poet, who is also truly a healer, revives language itself—its sounds channeled through our hearts and lungs, its rhythms amplified through the stethoscope—to make meaning of our bewilderment when our bodies so eloquently and yet wordlessly fail us. Campo’s transcendent poems, in all their modernity amidst the bleep of heart monitors and the wail of ambulance sirens, remind us of what the ancients understood: that poetry sustains us, and whether we live or die, through what we can imagine and create in our shared voices we may yet achieve immortality.
A contemporary of Berryman, Bishop, and Lowell, William Meredith shared neither the bohemian excesses of the Beats nor the exhibitionist excesses of the "confessional" poets. Rather, he was known as a poet whose unadorned, formal verse marked him as a singular voice. Effort at Speech, the definitive collection of Meredith's life work, contains poems chosen by the author from throughout his career, as well as several new works and an essay by Michael Collier placing Meredith in his times.
This collection of new and selected poems by the former poet laureate of Alaska, Tom Sexton, opens a door on the essence of life in Alaska and Maine. Sexton divides his year between the two states, and he captures here the small but powerful sensual details of day-to-day life in these contrasting, yet similar, environs. His carefully crafted verse distills the birch and aspen, lynx and ptarmigan, and the snow on high peaks. Through his poems we thrill to experience encounters with the wild, the seasons, and the sublime landscape.
“His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human”—Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review
On the other side of night, Francisco Alarcón is waiting.
One of Chicano literature's premier poets, Alarcón has brought his luminous images to the page in such acclaimed volumes as Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes and Snake Poems. Now he has assembled the best of his work from fifteen years, along with fourteen new poems, in a book that distills his magical sense of reality into a cup brimming with passion.
Raised in Guadalajara and now living in the San Francisco Bay area, Alarcón sees that " 'Mexican' / is not / a noun / or an / adjective / 'Mexican' / is a life / long / low-paying / job." Participating in a poetic tradition that goes back to the mystic Spanish poets of the sixteenth century, he brings us sonnets infused with romance and tenderness—and shorter poems that are direct and hard-hitting commentaries on American society, as he cries out for "a more godlike god," one "who spends nights / in houses / of ill repute / and gets up late / on Saturdays."
Alarcón invokes both the mysteries of Mesoamerica and the "otherness" of his gay identity. "My skin is dark / as the night / in this country / of noontime," he writes, "but my soul / is even darker / from all the light / I carry inside." In lyrical poems open to wide interpretation, he transcends ethnic concerns to address social, sexual, and historical issues of concern to all Americans. The fourteen new poems in From the Other Side of Night offer startling new commentaries on life and love, sex and AIDS.
Shifting effortlessly between English and Spanish—and even Nahuatl—Alarcón demonstrates the gift of language that has earned him both a wide readership and the admiration of fellow poets. With this book, he invites new readers to meet him where the darkness is palpable and the soul burns bright.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award
For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach. Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a unique sensibility for uncovering the unknown and the unexpected. Through a variety of stages and transformations, Herrera has evolved more than almost any other Chicano poet, always re-inventing himself into a more mature and seasoned voice.
Now, in this unprecedented collection, we encounter the trajectory of this highly innovative and original writer, bringing the full scope of his singular vision into view. Beginning with early material from A Certain Man, the volume moves through thirteen of Herrera’s collections into new, previously unpublished work. Serious scholars and readers alike will now have available to them a representative set of glimpses into his production as well as his origins and personal development. The ultimate value of bringing together such a collection, however, is that it will allow us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of what this major American poet is all about.
Musically complex and intellectually sophisticated, Louise McNeill’s imagery and rhythms have their deepest sources in the West Virginia mountains where she was born in 1911 on a farm that has been in her family for nine generations. These are rooted poems, passionately concerned with stewardship of the land and with the various destructions of land and people that often come masked as “progress.”
In colloquial, rural, and sometimes macabre imagery, Louise McNeill documents the effects of the change from a farm to an industrial economy on the West Virginia mountain people. She writes of the earliest white settlements on the western side of the Alleghenies and of the people who remained there through the coming of the roads, the timber and coal industries, and the several wars of this century.
The reappearance of Louise McNeill’s long out-of-print poems will be cause for celebration for readers familiar with her work. Those reading it for the first time will discover musical, serious, idiosyncratic, and startling poems that define the Appalachian experience.
Our first version of this selection from one of Eastern Europe's major figures sold out. The new version adds two sequences--"Give Me Back My Rage" and "Heaven's Ring"--as well as some previously unpublished sections of the justly famous series, "The Little Box." Simic and Popa are a perfect match. A book for surrealists, mythographers, postmodernists, scientists, and lovers of poetry and games. Winner of the PEN Translation Prize.
The bluesy, rich, and vital poems in House of Sparrows look for grace and beauty not outside of the suffering world but within it. Betsy Sholl explores the shifting ironies and contradictions in the stories we tell—how the apple is both medicinal and poison, and how the poor are spiritually rich. Her language mines the landscapes of Appalachia, New England, and the works of Dante and St. Francis, seeking music and moral clarity in the breakages and noisy contradictions of life. By turns meditative and vivid, these poems suggest that all journeys are in part journeys of the spirit.
A Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry Recipient of the 2020 Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Poetry BCALA Honor Book for Best Poetry Award 2020
In Derricotte’s own words:
“How do you gain access to the
power of parts of yourself you
abhor, and make them sing
with beauty, tenderness, and compassion?
This is the record of fifty years
of victories in the reclamation
of a poet's voice.”
The story of Toi Derricotte is a hero's odyssey. It is the journey of a poetic voice that in each book earns her way to home, to her own commanding powers.
I, New and Selected Poems shows the reader both the closeness of the enemy and the poet's inherent courage, inventiveness, and joy. It is a record of one woman's response to the repressive and fracturing forces around the subjects of race, class, color, gender, and sexuality. Each poem is an act of victory as they find their way through the repressive forces to speak with both beauty and truth.
This collection features more than thirty new poems as well as selections from five of Derricotte's previous published books of poetry.
Ice Floe: New & Selected Poems
Edited by Shannon Gramse and Sarah Kirk University of Alaska Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN6099.I34 2010 | Dewey Decimal 808.81935820913
Ice Floe, the celebrated and award-winning journal of circumpolar poetry, is here reborn as an annual book series. This first volume features the best of the journal's first seven years, along with evocative new poetry from Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. All work is presented in both its original language and in English translation. With contributors including former Alaska poet laureate John Haines, Gunnar Harding, Robert Bly, Lennart Sjögren, and dozens of other established and emerging poets, this wonderful collection of voices from the northern latitudes is a great read for all lovers of poetry and international literature.
Collected here are poems from Peter Oresick’s previous books, beginning with The Story of Glass (1977), and to them are added 36 new poems called Under the Carpathians. His work—known for working class and Catholic themes—probes labor and social history, post-World War II America, Eastern European identity, Eastern Rite Catholicism, and Russian icons and fine art and especially Pittsburgh-born pop art icon Andy Warhol.
I'm Speaking: Selected Poems
Rafael Guillen Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PQ6613.U53A25 2001 | Dewey Decimal 861.64
Rafael Guillén's poems paint vivid portraits of the land and people of his native Andalusia. In sharp-edged words tinged with a certain tender grief, Guillén presents the harshness and beauty of his country-the calm seashore and the violent revolutions, the wheat fields and the famine, the children and the laborers toiling under the oppressive Spanish sun. Behind the imagery and language a quiet force builds as Guillén reflects on coming of age during the Spanish Civil War and on love, life, death, and faith in modern-day Granada, Paris, and the United States.
A bilingual collection, The Invisible Bridge/El Puente Invisible gathers many of the luminous, deeply philosophical poems of Circe Maia, one of the few living poets left of the generation which brought Latin American writing to world prominence.
In Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, Beatty travels the turns and collisions of over twenty years of work. She moves from first-person narratives to poems that straddle the page in fragments, to lines that sprawl with long lines of train tracks. Always landing in meaning, we are inside the body—not in a confessional voice, not autobiography—but arriving through the expanded, exploded image of many stories and genders.
The new poems leap imagistically from the known world to the purely imagined, as in the voice in "Abortion with Gun Barrel": "I am the counselor,/there are cracks in the barrel of the gun/there is aiming/shots of sorrow—/ shots of light.” Commitment to a rabid feminist voice continues, but arrival has a new ring to it, with beginnings rescripted: “I am a bastard./I walk around in this body of mine."
Beatty’s fascination with the highway and the breakout West jackknifes at the crossroads of the brutal and the white plains of loss—the body torn down and resurrected in the twenty first century.
Of all the Hebrew poets of the 'Golden Age' in Spain, Samuel Ibn Nagrela (993-1056 A.D.) remains perhaps the most fascinating personality. A leading statesman in the kingdom of Granada, he was as successful in court as on the battlefield, maintaining a position of power for several decades while walking a political tightrope. Endowed with great literary talents, he opened up new paths in Hebrew poetry, and his mastery of its metrical intricacies was as consummate as his political and military skill.
With her latest poetry collection, Gail Mazur once again shows her mastery of the descriptive-meditative narrative, powerfully evoking the past while writing from the firm ground of the present.
In Land’s End, we see Mazur writing with the kind of lyric authority, ever-deepening emotional range, and intellectual and social scope that her readers have come to expect in her poetry. Beautifully crafted elegies meet with reflections on her own life, her family, and artists who have come and gone. In the title poem, she leads readers through a garden, where new and old growth twists together in an “almanac of inheritances” that conjures the rich memory of poets who have passed on. In this space of remembrance, Mazur also charges us with the responsibility of nurturing art and artists of the future, especially in the face of the disheartening absurdities of contemporary politics. Contemplating the growth and decay so entwined in life, these poems invite us to consider both inevitable brokenness and necessary hope, writing “My work now: to continue learning to absorb the loss, / and live.”
Through tidal creeks and the weightless scenes of ukiyo-e woodcuts, in artists’ studios and along the frozen Charles River, Mazur connects passionately with the world around her. Carrying with her the undeniable presence of loss and of time past, she engages deeply with the present, her historic memory informing a deep concern for contemporary life. Reading Land’s End, we find ourselves with the poet:
as if here at land’s end, here on the coast, urgent,
together we’d have energies to do battle forever.
Peter Meinke was a master of traditional poetic forms long before the current interest in “the new formalism.” His work is, in turn, witty, comic, sane, deeply moving, and always readable. Liquid Paper collects the best of his previously published poems from the late 1960s on with a generous selection of new work.
Linda McCarriston mobilizes feeling, thinking, and narrating simultaneously to create works of music, insight, and passion. With characteristic honesty and energy, she draws from the lives of fellow human beings and from those of animals, too--the telling moments, metaphors, and myths of family life, social structures, and gender. Her recent experiences in Alaska come to represent an emigration just as urgent as the previous generation's from Ireland.
Long for This World features the best of Ronald Wallace's work from his previous collections of poetry--Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks , Tunes for Bears to Dance To, People and Dog in the Sun, The Makings of Happiness, Time's Fancy and The Uses of Adversity--along with a generous selection of twenty-six new poems. If Wallace's recent poems sometimes seem darker and deeper, more meditative and complex, less sanguine about the tragedies of daily life, they never sacrifice the comic sense, the synthesis of technical skill and strong emotion, and the sensory immediacy that have become his hallmarks.
The Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén, who was born in the eastern province of Camagüey in 1902, died in 1989. This new edition of his selected poems, reissued thirty years after its original publication, includes an extensive, new introductory essay by Roberto Márquez, one of the original translators and a leading authority on Caribbean and Latin American literature and culture.
Award-winning Latino author Luis J. Rodríguez stuns with My Nature is Hunger. The collection features 26 new poems that reflect Rodríguez’s increasingly global view, his hard-won spirituality, and his movement toward reconciliation with his family and his past, as well as selections from his previous books, Poems Across the Pavement, The Concrete River, and Trochemoche.
New and Selected Poems
Yves Bonnefoy University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress PQ2603.O533A2 1995 | Dewey Decimal 841.914
Yves Bonnefoy, celebrated translator and critic, is widely considered the most important and influential French poet since World War II. Named to the College de France in 1981 to fill the chair left vacant by the death of Roland Barthes, Bonnefoy was the first poet honored in this way since Paul Valery. Winner of many awards, including the Prix Goncourt in 1987 and the Hudson Review's Bennett Award in 1988, he is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry.
Spanning four decades and drawing on all of Bonnefoy's major collections, this selection provides a comprehensive overview of and an ideal introduction to his work. The elegant translations, many of them new, are presented in this dual-language edition alongside the original French. Several significant works appear here in English for the first time, among them, in its entirety, Bonnefoy's 1991 book of verse, The Beginning and the End of the Snow, the 1988 prose poem Where the Arrow Falls, and an important long poem from 1993, "Wind and Smoke." Together with poems from such classic volumes as "In the Lure of the Threshold", these new works shed light on the growth as well as the continuity of Bonnefoy's work.
John Naughton's detailed introduction looks at the evolution of Bonnefoy's poetry from the 1953 publication of "On the Motion and Immobility of Douve", which immediately established his reputation as one of France's leading poets, through the 1993 publication of The Wandering Life and its centerpiece "Wind and Smoke."
"This is a comprehensive selection that contains examples of work spanning [Bonnefoy's] full career of forty years, from the ground-breaking "Du Mouvement et de l'Immobilité de Douve" through the celebratory "Pierre Ecrite" to the magical winter landscapes of America's East Coast and an unsettling reworking of myth in the recent "La Vie Errante" . . . The translations, which are the work of a variety of hands, including Galway Kinnell, Emily Grosholz and Anthony Rudolf, nevertheless fit well together and all are sensitive to the register and subtleties of both languages, while the introductory essay by John Naughton expertly explains Bonnefoy's importance as a poet and the influences which have shaped him. This is definitely a volume worth having, for layman and French specialist alike."—Hilary Davies, Times Literary Supplement
"Anyone not familiar with Bonnefoy's work will benefit from the background information and explanations given by John Naughton in his excellent introduction . . . . The book as a whole provides an excellent introduction to Bonnefoy's poetry and to his concerns of a lifetime."—Don Rodgers, Poetry Wales
With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters—Eve or Darwin or a failed priest—with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and surprise us with new insights into joy and sorrow, life and death. Set on the beach at Malibu, in the port of Trieste, or in a Manhattan subway, his poems evoke genuine feeling with out sentimentality and transform the personal into the universal.
Drawn from six previous books of poetry written over four decades, and with fourteen new poems, this collection shows the power and complexity of Appleman’s wide-ranging talent.
North in the World presents 121 poems by Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994), one of Norway's greatest modern poets. Garnering the highest praise of critics, Jacobsen won many of Norway's and Sweden's most prestigious literary awards, including the Swedish Academy's Dobloug Prize and the Grand Nordic Prize, also known as the "Little Nobel." But he also has earned a wide popular audience, because ordinary readers can understand and enjoy the way he explores the complex counterpoint of nature and technology, progress and self-destruction, daily life and cosmic wonder.
Drawing from all twelve of his books, and including one poem collected posthumously, North in the World offers award-winning English translations of Jacobsen's poems, accompanied by the original Norwegian texts. The translator, the American poet Roger Greenwald, worked with Jacobsen himself to correct errors that had crept into the Norwegian texts over the years. An in-depth introduction by Greenwald highlights the main features of Jacobsen's poetry, and extensive endnotes, as well as indexes to titles and first lines in both languages, enhance the usefulness of the book for general readers and scholars alike. The result is the definitive bilingual edition of Jacobsen's marvelous poetry.
Perhaps Paul Kareem Taylor said it best in his piece called On the Road Again: Barbara Hamby's American Odyssey: "Reading Barbara Hamby's poetry is like going on a road trip, one where the woman behind the wheel lets you ride shotgun as she speeds across the open highways of an America where drive-in movie theaters still show Janet Leigh films on Friday nights, hardware stores have not been driven out of business by soulless corporate titans, and where long poetic lines first introduced by Walt Whitman and resurrected by Ginsberg are pregnant with a thousand reasons to marvel at the world we inhabit."
The new and selected collection of Philip Terman's illustrates the poet's deep understanding and compassion for our world. Spanning 20 years of poetry, this collection of poems focuses on themes of nature, literature, family, and Judaism.
Alan Williamson artfully joins social and literary history with personal experience in The Pattern More Complicated, a collection of his very best poems over the last twenty years. A powerful section of new poems draws the whole work together in a kind of autobiographical novel, as—in Eliot's phrase, from which the title is taken—"the pattern of dead and living" grows "more complicated" with the years. Williamson's verse is a refreshing examples of how delicately the personal can intersect with the public in a love for the considered life.
The Pattern More Complicated assembles Williamson's most important, representative poems, marking the trajectory of poetic development and the recurrence of themes across the span of four previous collections to present a survey of a major American poet in a single volume.
Praise Song for My Children celebrates twenty-one years of poetry by one of the most significant African poets of this century. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley guides us through the complex and intertwined highs and lows of motherhood and all the roles that it encompasses: parent, woman, wife, sister, friend. Her work is deeply personal, drawing from her own life and surroundings to convey grief, the bleakness of war, humor, deep devotion, and the hope of possibility. These poems lend an international voice to the tales of motherhood, as Wesley speaks both to the African and to the Western experience of motherhood, particularly black motherhood. She pulls from African motifs and proverbs, utilizing the poetics of both the West and Africa to enrich her striking emotional range. Leading us to the depths of mourning and the heights of tender love, she responds to American police brutality, writing “To be a black woman is to be a woman, / ready to mourn,” and remembers a dear friend who is at once “mother and wife and friend and pillar / and warrior woman all in one.”
Wesley writes poetry that moves with her through life, land, and love, seeing with eyes that have witnessed both national and personal tragedy and redemption. Born in Tugbakeh, Liberia and raised in Monrovia, Wesley immigrated to the United States in 1991 to escape the Liberian civil war. In this moving collection, she invites us to join her as she buries loved ones, explores long-distance connections through social media, and sings bittersweet praises of the women around her, of mothers, and of Africa.
Born in India and considered the leading poet on the South Asian subcontinent, Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was a two-time Nobel nominee and winner of the 1962 Lenin Peace Prize. His evening readings in Hindi/Urdu-speaking regions drew thousands of listeners. Associated with the Communist party in his youth, Faiz became an outspoken poet in opposition to the Pakistani government. This volume offers a selection of Faiz's poetry in a bilingual Urdu/English edition with a new introduction by poet and translator Agha Shahid Ali.
The poems in Red Strawberry Leaf speak in a voice unique in American letters, moving effortlessly beyond arbitrary city limits and national borders, transcending trends, continents, and eras to connect individual states of mind to the whole of Western culture. Written over seven years, Red Strawberry Leaf meditates on the spirit's engagement with the world in an allusive, personal style, in which neither the personal nor the tribal holds pride of place. Scattered touches of apocalypse and dark collective inventories serve only to highlight moments of burnished, lyric brilliance. These challenging poems will reward readers many times over.
THE REVLON SLOUGH, Ray DiZazzo's fourth poetry collection represents fifty years of writing that explores life's observations in harmony with both the natural world, and the often anomalous societies we inhabit. This volume is organized into seven sections that explore creatures both exotic and mundane, the fragility of damaged individuals, social and political perspectives, personal observations, science fiction and space, and perhaps most important, what it means to be a human being in this contested, often volatile world. As the collection's title elucidates, DiZazzo has created a narrative initially inspired by his discovery of a farmland slough, with its own biosystem, and natural dichotomy of beauty and ugliness. His poetry, primarily written in free verse (with an occasional haiku) projects an intimacy with nature that resists sentimentality and romanticism, giving the poetry a vivid, unadorned feel throughout the volume. THE REVLON SLOUGH is DiZazzo's most intimate and eloquent poetry collection to date.
Vladimir Mayakovsky Northwestern University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PG3476.M3A2 2013 | Dewey Decimal 891.7142
James McGavran’s new translation of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry is the first to fully capture the Futurist and Soviet agitprop artist’s voice. Because of his work as a propagandist for the Soviet regime, and because of his posthumous enshrinement by Stalin as “the best and most talented poet of our Soviet epoch,” Mayakovsky has most often been interpreted—and translated—within a political context. McGavran’s translations reveal a more nuanced poet who possessed a passion for word creation and linguistic manipulation. Mayakovsky’s bombastic metaphors and formal élan shine through in these translations, and McGavran’s commentary provides vital information on Mayakovsky, illuminating the poet’s many references to the Russian literary canon, his contemporaries in art and culture, and Soviet figures and policies.
Nikos Engonopoulos Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PA5610.E5A2 2016 | Dewey Decimal 889.132
Nikos Engonopoulos belongs to a little-known yet extremely active and influential group of Greek surrealist poets and was one of its most orthodox exponents. This volume, introduced by the translator, contains some sixty poems, including representative selections from each of his published collections and the whole of his long poem Bolivár.
Lee Gerlach Ohio University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3513.E8648A6 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Lee Gerlach's Selected Poems is a rigorous culling from the life's work of a remarkable and prolific poet. Written over a period of fifty years, the poetry of Lee Gerlach is a full spectrum of human expression, vision, and experience. It reflects a wisdom and maturity of character that has been constant during the entire span of Gerlach's writing career. This selection, chosen by the poet, is the retrospective of a true twentieth-century American original. As Joseph Brodsky, the Nobel Laureate for Literature, said about Lee Gerlach's work: “This poetry is of tremendously high concentration and lucidity. Each one of Gerlach's poems constitutes, as it were, an autonomous, self-contained world, a sort of biosphere or spacecraft, if you will, fully equipped for a long passage through the cosmos. . . . It is a world indeed that every poet would love to create-I, for one, certainly would-and that every reader would love to inhabit.” Lee Gerlach is the author of several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including The Paris Review, Partisan Review, and Poetry. He lives in San Diego.
James Applewhite Duke University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3551.P67A6 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
James Applewhite has produced nine extraordinary books of poetry. This volume is the first anthology of his remarkable oeuvre. It brings together chronologically arranged selections from all of his previous books, from the first, published in 1975, through the most recent, published in 2002. Applewhite’s poetry is deeply rooted in the history and rhythms of rural North Carolina, where he was born and raised, and these poems mark stages in an artistic and personal journey he has undertaken over the past thirty years.
In impeccable and surprising language, Applewhite depicts the social conventions, changes, frictions, and continuities of small southern towns. He celebrates that which he values as decent and life-enhancing, and his veneration is perhaps most apparent in his response to the natural world, to the rivers and trees and flowers. Yet Applewhite’s love for his native land is not straightforward. His verse chronicles his conflicted feelings for the region that gave him the initial, evocative language of place and immersed him in a blazing sensory world while it also bequeathed the distortions, denials, and prejudices that make it so painful a labyrinth. Rendering troubled legacies as well as profound decency, Applewhite reveals the universally human in a distinctively local voice, within dramatic and mundane moments of hope and sorrow and faith.
One of world literature's towering figures, Goethe dominated two centuries of European writing and thought. The Enlightenment's most wayward genius, and Romanticism's most remarkable, he led two great artistic movements without fully subscribing to either. While his stature in the English-speaking world is often acknowledged, his poems are little regarded, for the simple reason that they have proven untranslatable. But thanks to John Whaley's outstanding translation, Goethe's poetry can at last be appreciated in English, with all its grace, music, and humanity intact.
Jean Garrigue University of Illinois Press, 1992 Library of Congress PS3513.A7217A6 1992 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Selected Poems is compiled from the best works in Jean Garrigue's eight
published collections. Garrigue (1914-72) is recognized as a leading American
poet of the fifties and sixties. Among her awards and honors were a Guggenheim
fellowship and a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant.
"A wildly gifted poet. . . . Garrigue was our one lyric poet who made
ecstasy her home." --Stanley Kunitz
"Her way with language was Mozartian, breathtaking in its ability to
ring change after change on a theme, Mozartian bursts of language, never
leaving the subject, enabling the eye to see clearly, while delighting
the ear with sound." --Harvey Shapiro
"A brilliant poet. Her idiom is modern, yet has a kind of Book of Hours
simplicity." -- Robert Lowell
John Frederick Nims University of Chicago Press, 1982 Library of Congress PS3527.I863A6 1982 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Selected Poems represents the best of John Frederick Nims's widely aclaimed work over the past thirty years. Selections are from Five Young American Poets, Third Series (1944), The Iron Pastoral (1947), A Fountain in Kentucky (1950), Knowledge of the Evening (1960), and Of Flesh and Bone (1967) and emcompasses the full range of one of contemporary America's foremost poets.
Madeleine de l’Aubespine (1546–1596), the toast of courtly and literary circles in sixteenth-century Paris, penned beautiful love poems to famous women of her day. The well-connected daughter and wife of prominent French secretaries of state, l’Aubespine was celebrated by her male peers for her erotic lyricism and scathingly original voice.
Rather than adopt the conventional self-effacement that defined female poets of the time, l’Aubespine’s speakers are sexual, dominant, and defiant; and her subjects are women who are able to manipulate, rebuke, and even humiliate men.
Unavailable in English until now and only recently identified from scattered and sometimes misattributed sources, l’Aubespine’s poems and literary works are presented here in Anna Klosowska’s vibrant translation. This collection, which features one of the first French lesbian sonnets as well as reproductions of l’Aubespine’s poetic translations of Ovid and Ariosto, will be heralded by students and scholars in literature, history, and women’s studies as an important addition to the Renaissance canon.
In a masterly translation by Norman Shapiro, this selection of poems from Les Fleurs du mal demonstrates the magnificent range of Baudelaire's gift, from the exquisite quatrains to the formal challenges of his famous sonnets. The poems are presented in both French and English, complemented by the work of illustrator David Schorr. As much a pleasure to look at as it is to read, this volume invites newcomers and devotees alike to experience Baudelaire's genius anew.
"A fine, formal translation of the best poems of France's founder of the symbolist movement."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It's rare to find a rewarding translation of a masterwork, particularly a collection of groundbreaking poetry. . . . Through Shapiro's skillful wordsmithing, the reader can fully appreciate Baudelaire's control of the soul and the word which is the ancient and indefatigable ambition of all great poets. . . . Shapiro's interpretations set the standard for future English translations."—Virginia Quarterly Review
Amy Lowell (1874–1925), American poet and critic, was one of the most influential and best-known writers of her era. Within a thirteen-year period, she produced six volumes of poetry, two volumes of criticism, a two-volume biography of John Keats, and countless articles and reviews that appeared in many popular periodicals. As a herald of the New Poetry, Lowell saw herself and her kind of work as a part of a newly forged, diverse, American people that registered its consciousness in different tonalities but all in a native idiom. She helped build the road leading to the later works of Allen Ginsberg, May Sarton, Sylvia Plath, and beyond. Except for the few poems that invariably appear in American literature anthologies, most of her writings are out of print. This will be the first volume of her work to appear in decades, and the depth, range, and surprising sensuality of her poems will be a revelation.
The poetry is organized according to Lowell’s characteristic forms, from traditional to experimental. In each section the works appear in chronological order. Section one contains sonnets and other traditional verse forms. The next section covers her translations and adaptations of Chinese and Japanese poetry, whereby she beautifully renders the spirit of these works. Also included here are several of Lowell’s own Asian-influenced poems. Lowell’s free, or cadenced verse appears in the third part. The last section provides samples of Lowell’s polyphonic prose, an ambitious and vigorous art form that employs all of the resources of poetry.
The release of The Selected Poems of Amy Lowell will be a major event for readers who have not been able to find a representative sampling of work from this vigorous, courageous poet who gave voice to an erotic, thoroughly American sensibility.
August Strindberg (1849–1912) was one of the great innovators of modern drama as well as a novelist, poet, and master of the Swedish language. In this collection, Selected Poems of August Strindberg, editor and translator Lotta M. Löfgren has chosen poems from all three volumes of Strindberg’s verse—Poems in Verse and Prose, Sleepwalking Nights on Awake Days, and Word Play and Minor Art—to illustrate to the English-speaking reader the development, strengths, and versatility of Strindberg the poet.
Löfgren explains, “Although August Strindberg is internationally acknowledged as a pioneering realist, expressionist, and surrealist playwright, his poetry is still relatively unknown outside Sweden. The only English translation of [his] poems to date is the 1978 translation of Sleepwalking Nights by Arvid Paulson . . . that gives an incomplete and misleading picture of Strindberg’s poetry.”
Löfgren’s translation seeks to correct that picture. Strindberg’s stature as a dramatist alone may be adequate justification for offering a translation of his verse, but his poetry stands well on its own. All three volumes broke new ground and paved the way for younger generations of poets. Löfgren hopes that her translation will not only introduce Strindberg’s verse to English-speaking readers but will also inspire other scholars to revisit his poetry and give it the attention it deserves.
Selected Poems of August Strindberg received the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Translation Prize in 2000.
Along with his childhood friend Sir Philip Sidney, Fulke Greville (1554–1628) was an important member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Although his poems, long out of print, are today less well known than those of Sidney, Spenser, or Shakespeare, Greville left an indelible mark on the world of Renaissance poetry, both in his love poems, which ably work within the English Petrarchan tradition, and in his religious meditations, which, along with the work of Donne and Herbert, stand as a highpoint of early Protestant poetics.
Back in print for a new generation of scholars and readers, Thom Gunn’s selection of Greville’s short poems includes the whole of Greville’s lyric sequence, Caelica, along with choruses from some of Greville’s verse dramas. Gunn’s introduction places Greville’s thought in historical context and in relation to the existential anxieties that came to preoccupy writers in the twentieth century. It is as revealing about Gunn himself, and the reading of earlier English verse in the 1960s, as it is about Greville’s own poetic achievement. This reissue of Selected Poems of Fulke Greville is an event of the first order both for students of early British literature and for readers of Thom Gunn and English poetry generally.
Garcilaso de la Vega (ca. 1501–36), a Castilian nobleman and soldier at the court of Charles V, lived a short but glamorous life. As the first poet to make the Italian Renaissance lyric style at home in Spanish, he is credited with beginning the golden age of Spanish poetry. Known for his sonnets and pastorals, gracefully depicting beauty and love while soberly accepting their passing, he is shown here also as a calm student of love’s psychology and a critic of the savagery of war.
This bilingual volume is the first in nearly two hundred years to fully represent Garcilaso for an Anglophone readership. In facing-page translations that capture the music and skill of Garcilaso’s verse, John-Dent Young presents the sonnets, songs, elegies, and eclogues that came to influence generations of poets, including San Juan de la Cruz, Luis de Leon, Cervantes, and Góngora. The Selected Poems of Garcilaso de la Vega will help to explain to the English-speaking public this poet’s preeminence in the pantheon of Spanish letters.
Howard Nemerov—Poet Laureate of the United States, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets—was one of the most prolific and significant American poets of the twentieth century. By the time of his death in 1991, he had published fourteen collections of poetry.
Judiciously selected and introduced by poet Daniel Anderson, The Selected Poems of Howard Nemerov represents the broad spectrum of Nemerov's virtues as a poet—his intellige nce, his wit, his compassion, and his irreverence. It stands as the retrospective collection of the best of what Nemerov left behind, which is some of the finest poetry that the twentieth century produced.
“To keep his errors down to a minimum,” W. H. Auden wrote, “the internal Censor to whom a poet submits his work in progress should be a Censorate. It should include, for instance, a sensitive only child, a practical housewife, a logician, a monk, an irreverent buffoon a nd even, perhaps, hated by all others and returning their dislike, a brutal, foul-mouthed drill sergeant who considers all poetry rubbish.”
Such are the readers to whom the poetry of Howard Nemerov might appeal. He distinguished himself on the landscape of American letters as a writer of great versatility. More than a decade after his death, that claim still holds true.
In this, the only edition of Nemerov’s work that surveys his entire poetic output, first-time readers of these poems will find an introduction to a truly remarkable creative mind. Longtime admirers of Nemerov will be reminded once again of his significance as a craftsman and philosopher, and as a poetic steward of the many ways in which we experience the world.
Regarded as one of Europe’s most important poets of the late nineteenth century, Jacint Verdaguer (1845–1902) provided the modern poetic foundations for the reemergence of Catalan literature after three centuries of the language’s suppression by Spain’s absolutist monarchs. Verdaguer’s popular epic, civil, and religious verse poeticized the unique status of Catalonian tradition, progress, and history in the Romantic framework of European nation-building.
Selected Poems is the first book-length translation of Verdaguer’s works into English. Ronald Puppo offers readable and faithful verse adaptations of poetry from all periods of the poet-priest’s life, from his days as a seminary student and farmhand to his journeys as a ship’s chaplain and eventual spiritual crisis. These adroit translations will recover Verdaguer as a major figure in the modern literary tradition of the West, restoring him to the pantheon of world letters.
Since the appearance in print of her early poems over seventy-five years ago, the poetry of Janet Lewis has grown in quiet acclaim and popularity. Although she is better known as a novelist of historical fiction, her first and last writings were poems. With the publication of her selected poems, Swallow Press celebrates the distinguished career of one of its most cherished authors.
Critics as disparate as Kenneth Rexroth, Timothy Steele, Theodore Roethke, Larry McMurtry, N. Scott Momaday, and Dana Gioia have sung the praises of her work over the decades. Her career as a poet was remarkable not only for its longevity but also for the fact that even well into her tenth decade she wrote poems that stand with her very best work.
Characterized by the vigor and sharpness of her images and the understated lyricism that permeates her rhythmic lines, The Selected Poems of Janet Lewis is a survey of modern poetry unto itself.
A Pulitzer Prize winner best known as an imagist, John Gould Fletcher experimented with every facet of Modernist poetry and influenced poets in both England and the United States. this is the first collection to span his entire career, and brings again to the public eye work that has been unavailable for thirty-five years.
Fletcher is responsible for introducing Ezra Pound to French symbolism, and Amy Lowell to “polyphonic prose,” and his connection with the Southern Fugitive Agrarian movement adds to his significance as the first modern Southern poet. The editors have chosen representative works for his many stages of development and discuss in the introduction Fletcher’s influence on the better-known modernists.
Selected Poems of John Gould Fletcher is the first n a series of books by or about Fletcher to fill an important space in home and public libraries with American literature collections.
Making Luis de Góngora’s work available to contemporary English-language readers without denying his historical context, Selected Poems of Luis de Góngora presents him as not only one of the greatest and most complex poets of his time, but also the funniest and most charismatic. From longer works, such as “The Fable of Polyphemus and Galatea,” to shorter ballads, songs, and sonnets, John Dent-Young’s free translations capture Góngora’s intensely musical voice and transmit the individuality and self-assuredness of the poet. Substantial introductions and extensive notes provide personal and historical context, explain the ubiquitous puns and erotic innuendo, and discuss translation choices. A significant edition of this seminal and challenging poet, Selected Poems of Luis de Góngora will find an eager audience among students of poetry and scholars studying the history and literature of Spain.
In the Spanish-speaking world, Miguel Hernández is regarded as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century-equal in distinction to Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz. He has never received his just acclaim, however, in the English-speaking world, a victim of the artistic oppression exercised during the period of Francisco Franco's totalitarian regime. Determined to silence the writer Neruda fondly referred to as his "wonderful boy," Franco sentenced Hernández to death, citing as his crime only that he was "poet and soldier to the mother country." Despite the fact that complete and accurate versions of his work were difficult to obtain even in Spanish for nearly fifty years, Hernández went on to achieve legendary status.
Now, for the first time, Ted Genoways makes Hernández's extraordinary oeuvre available in an authoritative bilingual edition. Featuring some of the most tender and vigorous poetry on war, death, and social injustice written in the past century, nearly half of the poems in this volume appear in English for the first time, making it the most comprehensive bilingual collection of Hernández's work available. Arranged chronologically, The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández presents Hernández's remarkable emotional range as well as his stylistic evolution from the Romantic shepherd poet to poet of the prison cell. Thorough annotations and introductory essays illuminate the biographical basis for many of Hernández's poems, while a foreword by Robert Bly and an afterword by Octavio Paz provide a striking frame for the work of this essential poet.
"What a victory it is to watch springing forth from our murky thicket of half-commercialized poetry the silver boar of Hernández's words-to see the world of paper part so as to allow the language tusks and shoulders to emerge, shining, pressed forward by his genius. This generous selection of Miguel Hernández's work, arranged, shepherded, and largely translated by Ted Genoways, is an immense gift for which all of us should be grateful."-from the Foreword by Robert Bly
"To gather Hernández's poetry in such a large volume is to bring one of the 20th century's most important poets to life again. Without Hernandez, the world community of poetry would not be what it is today. The Selected Poems must be read if vital poetry is to continue another 100 years, with Hernández's voice as a cherished example of why great poetry is timeless."—Ray González, Bloomsbury Review
"As Philip Levine write in The Kenyon Review, Hernández is 'one of the great talents of the century,' and this collection is a good place to discover (or rediscover) his moving verses."—Virginia Quarterly Review
"Vivid, often volatile imagery describes wrenching emotions and events in The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández: A Bilingual Edition. . . . Raw, passionate, despairing and celebratory, these poems are a true discovery."—Publishers Weekly
"Arranged in three chronological sections, the poems presented are not the complete works, but they are a large and representative sampling of the best. This is certainly the most comprehensive bilingual edition of Hernández's poetry available. In addition to the poems, the editor includes eight illustrations, important prefatory materials, and a short list of references, and an epilogue by Octavio Paz."—Choice
Although best known as the author of Notre Dame de Paris and Les Misérables, Victor Hugo was primarily a poet—one of the most important and prolific in French history. Despite his renown, however, there are few comprehensive collections of his verse available and even fewer translated editions.
Translators E. H. and A. M. Blackmore have collected Victor Hugo's essential verse into a single, bilingual volume that showcases all the facets of Hugo's oeuvre, including intimate love poems, satires against the political establishment, serene meditations, religious verse, and narrative poems illustrating his mastery of the art of storytelling and his abiding concern for the social issues of his time. More than half of this volume's eight thousand lines of verse appear here for the first time in English, providing readers with a new perspective on each of the fascinating periods of Hugo's career and aspects of his style. Introductions to each section guide the reader through the stages of Hugo's writing, while notes on individual poems provide information not found in even the most detailed French-language editions.
Illustrated with Hugo's own paintings and drawings, this lucid translation—available on the eve of Hugo's bicentenary—pays homage to this towering figure of nineteenth-century literature by capturing the energy of his poetry, the drama and satirical force of his language, and the visionary beauty of his writing as a whole.
For the first time, the work of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad is being brought to English-speaking readers through the perspective of a translator who is a poet in her own right, fluent in both Persian and English and intimately familiar with each culture. Sin includes the entirety of Farrokhzad's last book, numerous selections from her fourth and most enduring book, Reborn, and selections from her earlier work and creates a collection that is true to the meaning, the intention, and the music of the original poems. Farrokhzad was the most significant female Iranian poet of the twentieth century, as revolutionary as Russia's Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva and America's Plath and Sexton. She wrote with a sensuality and burgeoning political consciousness that pressed against the boundaries of what could be expressed by a woman in 1950s and 1960s Iran. She paid a high price for her art, shouldering the disapproval of society and her family, having her only child taken away, and spending time in mental institutions. Farrokhzad died in a car accident in 1967 at the age of thirty-two. Sin is a tribute to the work and life of this remarkable poet.
Star Journal: Selected Poems
Christopher Buckley University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3552.U339A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Star Journal is a selection of poems from Christopher Buckley's twenty previous collections, from 1980-2014.
Past praise from Philip Levine:
“The poems are modest, straight forward, intensely lyrical and totally accessible. . . . This is a humble poetry of great truths and profound emotions that never overstates its concerns for the events both in and above the world. It rewards countless readings and never betrays itself.” —Ploughshares
Stray Truths is a stirring introduction to the poetry of Euphrase Kezilahabi, one of Africa’s major living authors, published here for the first time in English. Born in 1944 on Ukerewe Island in Tanzania (then the Territory of Tanganyika), Kezilahabi came of age in the newly independent nation. His poetry confronts the task of postcolonial nation building and its conundrums, and explores personal loss in parallel with nationwide disappointments. Kezilahabi sparked controversy when he published his first poetry collection in 1974, introducing free verse into Swahili. His next two volumes of poetry (published in 1988 and 2008) confirmed his status as a pioneering and modernizing literary force. Stray Truths draws on each of those landmark collections, allowing readers to encounter the myriad forms and themes significant to this poet over a span of more than three decades. Even as these poems jettison the constraints of traditional Swahili forms, their use of metaphor connects them to traditional Swahili poetics, and their representational strategies link them to indigenous African arts more broadly. To date, translations of Swahili poetry have been focused on scholarly interpretations. This literary translation, in contrast, invites a wide audience of readers to appreciate the verbal art of this seminal modernist writer.
Named U.S. Poet Laureate for 2004-2006, Ted Kooser is one of America's masters of the short metaphorical poem. Dana Gioia has remarked that Kooser has written more perfect poems than any poet of his generation. Long admired and praised by other poets, Kooser is also accesible to the reader not familiar with contemporary poetry.
Perhaps the most widely respected and read poet of his generation in Sweden, Jesper Svenbro makes his debut in the English-speaking world with this selection of poems drawn from his seven previous volumes and impeccably translated by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson. At times intellectual and erudite, at other times invoking intimacy and closely observed memories, Svenbro appears here at his most richly allusive, calling with consummate ease upon the myths of the Greeks, real and imaginary journeys in Lapland, the poetry of Sappho and T. S. Eliot, the plaints and joys of childhood, and the evocations of nature and of art. Whether in intricate formal innovations or flights of free verse, in the linguistic politics of "Stalin as Wolf" or the political linguistics of "A Critique of Pure Representation," Svenbro's work captures in its every nuance the transcendent possibilities of the poet's art.
The horse that, trotting with open heart
Against the wind, achieves bend and flow
Will live forever. So far, so good,
But they never do, until too late,
Bend properly and time spreads from
The momentary hesitations
Of their spines, circles their tossing necks,
Falls from their teeth like rejected oats,
Litters the ground like penitence.
This is where we come in, where the drop
Of time congeals the air and someone
Speaks to the discouraged grass . . .
Tricks of the Light explores the often fraught relationships between domestic animals and humans through mythological figurations, vibrant thought, and late-modern lyrics that seem to test their own boundaries. Vicki Hearne (1946–2001), best known and celebrated today as a writer of strikingly original poetry and prose, was a capable dog and horse trainer, and sometimes controversial animal advocate.
This definitive collection of Hearne’s poetry spans the entirety of her illustrious career, from her first book, Nervous Horses (1980), to never-before-published poems composed on her deathbed. But no matter the source, each of her meditative, metaphysical lyrics possesses that rare combination of philosophical speculation, practical knowledge of animals, and an unusually elegant style unlike that of any other poet writing today. Before her untimely death, Hearne entrusted the manuscript to distinguished poet, scholar, and long-time friend John Hollander, whose introduction provides both critical and personal insight into the poet’s magnum opus. Tricks of the Light—acute, vibrant, and deeply informed—is a sensuous reckoning of the connection between humans and the natural world.
Praise for The Parts of Light
“Hearne . . . strives to capture exactly what she knows she can't—the intense immediacy of animal consciousness, a consciousness free of the moral vagaries and intellectual preoccupations that pockmark human experience. Her style, smooth in some places, choppy in others, reflects both the wholeness of animal presence and the jarring, fragmentary nature of human reason and reflection. Hearne's poems demand participation, refuse passive enjoyment; she dares the reader to stay in the saddle.”—Publishers Weekly
This collection of the most beloved and brilliant poems from Howard Nemerov's fruitful career also introduces twenty-three new poems in a section entitled "Trying Conclusions." Written during his tenure as the nation's Poet Laureate, these new poems are imbued with vivid intelligence, an irreverent sense of humor, and masterful wit—trademarks of the Nemerov legacy.
A Voice: Selected Poems
Anzhelina Polonskaya Northwestern University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PG3485.2.L59A288 2004 | Dewey Decimal 891.715
Anzhelina Polonskaya is considered one of the freshest voices among young Russian poets. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she was not educated in the classic literary tradition, nor nurtured by the well-known Moscow and Petersburg journals. This has freed her from self-consciously struggling under the weight of her country's literary tradition, and her independent, even idiosyncratic, voice informs poems filled with sharp images, acute observations, and both the pains and joys of personal experience.
Drawn from her most recent Russian collections, A Voice: Selected Poems explores the poet's ongoing fascinations--desolate places, long journeys, a synesthesia of sensory stimulation, and the presence of death. Also on display is her Chekhovian gift for unexpected closure. This is a promising English-language debut from a poet already gaining international attention.
A chaffinch in a tree
of cherry sings merrily
Its blazing bobble dwells
in leaves, alive, and swells
The flowers are flares of white.
The chaffinch has gone quiet
and turned sky-gazer.
My eyes close on the day:
an orb revolves in grey
and red and azure.
Poet and artist Bohuslav Reynek spent most of his life in the relative obscurity of the Czech-Moravian Highlands; although he suffered at the hands of the Communist regime, he cannot be numbered among the dissident poets of Eastern Europe who won acclaim for their political poetry in the second half of the twentieth century. Rather, Reynek belongs to an older pastoral-devotional tradition—a kindred spirit to the likes of English-language poets Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, and Edward Thomas. The Well at Morning presents a selection of poems from across his life and is illustrated with twenty-five of his own color etchings. Also featuring three essays by leading scholars that place Reynek’s life and work alongside those of his better-known peers, this book presents a noted Czech artist to the wider world, reshaping and amplifying our understanding of modern European poetry.
When the Pipirite Sings gathers poems by the noted Haitian poet, novelist, and neurologist Jean Métellus, who died in January 2014. Along with other signature works, this volume includes the first English translation of Métellus’s visionary epic poem, “Au pipirite chantant” (“When the Pipirite Sings”), widely regarded as his masterpiece.
Translated by formidable comparative literature scholar Haun Saussy, When the Pipirite Sings expresses an acute historical consciousness and engages recurrent Haitian themes—the wrenching impact of colonialism and underdevelopment, the purposes of education, and the merging of spiritual and temporal power. And, as always with Métellus’s poetry, the range of voices and points of view evokes other genres, including fiction and cinema. This eminently readable book has formal and thematic ties to Aimé Césaire’s Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, central to the canon of French-language postcolonial writings.
In addition to many books of poetry, Métellus published novels, chiefly about the remembered Haiti of his youth, and plays about the conquest of the Caribbean. His nonfiction included reflections on Haitian history and politics, on the iconography of slave emancipation, and studies of aphasia and dyslexia.
When We Say “Hiroshima”: Selected Poems
Kurihara Sadako; Translated with an Introduction by Richard H. Minear University of Michigan Press, 1999 Library of Congress PL855.U66K8713 1999 | Dewey Decimal 895.615
Kurihara Sadako is one of the poetic giants of the nuclear age. Born in Hiroshima in 1913, she was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. From then till now she has addressed her poetry primarily to issues of nuclear destruction, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power. Herself a victim of the world’s first nuclear attack, she became the poetic conscience of the Hiroshima that was no more. But Kurihara turned her attention soon to more controversial issues, including Japan’s role as victimizer in World War II. Many of her poems attack the Japanese government and its policies then and now.
When We Say “Hiroshima” contains a selection of the poems Kurihara wrote between 1942 and 1989. They include meditations on death, on survival, on nuclear radiation, on Japanese politics, on American foreign policy, and on women’s issues.
Windfall includes poems from three previous books by Maggie Anderson, along with a generous selection of new work. In this collection we can see over two decades of the growth of a poet memorable for the clarity, strength, and urgency of her voice. Anderson’s poems entangle a language, a history, and a group of belongings, and she is both at home and a foreigner in the places she invokes. Every place in these poems seems inhabitable, yet the tensions of these deceptively quiet lines develop out of the clear reluctance or inability of the poet to sit still. Maggie Anderson writes out of deep grief for the political losses of work and money, of life and limb and home in our dangerous times. She remembers and witnesses, and she also speaks eloquently for our private griefs—the loss of family, vitality and self. These poems do not shout; we listen as if following a whisper in the dark. A counterpoint to the sorrows in these poems is a complex and often joyous music, as well as a wry, sometimes self-deprecating humor which saves the work from solemnity. Her rhythms are diverse and intricate; they move deftly from fiddle whine to saxophone, from fugue to blues.
Widely considered to be among the most important Italian poets of the twentieth century, Sandro Penna was born and raised in Perugia but spent most of his life in Rome. Openly gay, Penna wrote verses celebrating homosexual love with lyrical elegance. His writing alternates between whimsy and melancholia, but it is always full of light.
Juggling traditional Italian prosody and subject matter with their gritty urban opposites in taut, highly concentrated poems, Penna’s lyrics revel in love and the eruption of Eros together with the extraordinary that can be found within simple everyday life. There is something ancient in Penna’s poetry, and something Etruscan or Greek about the poems, though the landscape is most often of Rome: sensual yet severe, sinuous yet solid, inscrutable, intangible, and languorous, with a Sphinx-like and sun-soaked smile. Penna’s city is eternal—a mythically decadent Rome that brings to mind Paris or Alexandria. And though the echoes resound—from Rimbaud, Verlaine, and Baudelaire to Leopardi, D’Annunzio, and Cavafy—the voice is always undeniably and wonderfully Penna’s own.
The World at Large brings together the best of James McMichael's poetry and includes works that appear for the first time in this volume. With the publication of the new poems, McMichael surpasses even the formally daring and psychologically penetrating poetry that has characterized his work thus far.
from Enormously Sad
. . . Sad, so sad-compared to what?
To your earlier more oblivious state?
It never was oblivious enough-
always those presentiments of sadness
prickling the limbic. Now a voice says, Get outside yourself, go walk on the flats. The tide's gone out—
but your little metal detector will detect little metallic coins
of enormous sadness in the teeming wet sand,
and then, the tide will come back, erasing, cleansing!
And you, standing there in the salty scouring air-
will you still be enormously sad,
While the other world, outside your tiny purview, struck
by iron, reels? World of intentional iron, pure savage
organized iron of the world, it hasn't the time
that you have for your puny enormous sadness.
Widely acclaimed for expanding the stylistic boundaries of both the narrative and meditative lyric, Gail Mazur’s poetry crackles with verbal invention as she confronts the inevitable upheavals of a lived life. Zeppo’s First Wife, which includes excerpts from Mazur’s four previous books, as well as twenty-two new poems, is epitomized by the worldly longing of the title poem, with its searching poignancy and comic bravura. Mazur’s explorations of “this fallen world, this loony world” are deeply moving acts of empathy by a singular moral sensibility—evident from the earliest poem included here, the much-anthologized “Baseball,” a stunning bird’s-eye view of human foibles and passions. Clear-eyed, full of paradoxical griefs and appetites, her poems brave the most urgent subjects—from the fraught luscious Eden of the ballpark, to the fragility of our closest human ties, to the implications for America in a world where power and war are cataclysmic for the strong as well as the weak.