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Selected Poems by Robert Pinsky (Excerpts)

Selected Poems by Robert Pinsky (Excerpts)

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“Simply said, Robert Pinsky is one of the few literary artists working in our language whose work is unquestionably major work.”
—Louise Glück


Intense verbal music with a jazz feeling; invention against the grain of expectation; intelligence racing among materials with the variety of a busy street—these have been the qualities of Robert Pinsky’s work since his first book, Sadness and Happiness (1975), celebrated for setting a new direction in American poetry. At that time, responding to a question about that book, Pinsky said: “I would like to write a poetry which could contain every kind of thing, while keeping all the excitement of poetry.”

That ambition was realized in a new way with each of his books, including the book-length personal monologue An Explanation of America; the transformed autobiography of History of My Heart; the bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante; and, most recently, the savage, inventive Gulf Music. That variety and renewal are represented in this brilliantly chosen volume.

http://www.fsgpoetry.com/

Excerpted from SELECTED POEMS by Robert Pinsky, published in April 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2011 by Robert Pinsky. All rights reserved.
“Simply said, Robert Pinsky is one of the few literary artists working in our language whose work is unquestionably major work.”
—Louise Glück


Intense verbal music with a jazz feeling; invention against the grain of expectation; intelligence racing among materials with the variety of a busy street—these have been the qualities of Robert Pinsky’s work since his first book, Sadness and Happiness (1975), celebrated for setting a new direction in American poetry. At that time, responding to a question about that book, Pinsky said: “I would like to write a poetry which could contain every kind of thing, while keeping all the excitement of poetry.”

That ambition was realized in a new way with each of his books, including the book-length personal monologue An Explanation of America; the transformed autobiography of History of My Heart; the bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante; and, most recently, the savage, inventive Gulf Music. That variety and renewal are represented in this brilliantly chosen volume.

http://www.fsgpoetry.com/

Excerpted from SELECTED POEMS by Robert Pinsky, published in April 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2011 by Robert Pinsky. All rights reserved.

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Publish date: Apr 12, 2011
Added to Scribd: Apr 06, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/04/2014

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RHYME
Air an instrument of the tongue,The tongue an instrumentOf the body, the bodyAn instrument of spirit,The spirit a being of the air.A bird the medium of its song.A song a world, a containmentLike a hotel room, readyFor us guests who inheritOur compartment of time there.In the Cornell box, amongEphemera as its element,The preserved bird—a studyIn spontaneous elegy, the parrotArt, mortal in its cornered sphere.The room a stanza rungIn a laddered filamentClambered by all the unsteadyChambered voices that share it,Each reciting
I too was here—
3
 
In a room, a rhyme, a song.In the box, in books: each elementAn instrument, the bodyStill straining to parrotThe spirit, a being of air.
4

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