Always Beginning: Essays on a Life in Poetry

Overview

Poetics. In her essays, as with her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Mazine Kumin speaks to "the encounter": with poetry, poets, and the details of country life. In clear, direct prose she is equally at ease musing over her garden or discussing poetic form, raising horses or critiquing the work of other poets. For Kumin, poetry is inseperable from daily life. "The prose is highly readable, full of humor and insight, and each essay brims with a kind of grace. Highly recommended" — ...

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Overview

Poetics. In her essays, as with her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Mazine Kumin speaks to "the encounter": with poetry, poets, and the details of country life. In clear, direct prose she is equally at ease musing over her garden or discussing poetic form, raising horses or critiquing the work of other poets. For Kumin, poetry is inseperable from daily life. "The prose is highly readable, full of humor and insight, and each essay brims with a kind of grace. Highly recommended" — Library Journal.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kumin concludes her essay "Swimming and Writing" with advice from master poet Rilke: "Keep holy all that befalls." In this wonderful miscellany, Kumin weaves together all the disparate elements of her life, and, yes, she makes them holy. As a writer, Kumin wears many hats: A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who has written novels and essays, she recently wrote a mystery (Quit Monks or Die!, LJ 7/99). Her latest work begins up close and personal with a series of journal entries. In one, she recounts a late night spent midwifing a foal in her New Hampshire barn; in another, she is left shaken after an airplane accident while en route to Japan. More than the in-depth look at the poetic life promised by the title, this memoir also offers an intriguing look at modern country life, shares Kumin's experiences of being both a mother and an artist, and delves into the her deep 18-year friendship with Anne Sexton. Also included are several poems with Kumin's own discussions on form and content. The prose is highly readable, full of humor and insight, and each essay brims with a kind of grace. Highly recommended for all collections.--Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556591419
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Part One
Excerpts from a June Journal 5
Beans 11
June 1, 1991: Sleeping Late 15
June 16, 1991: Final Foal 17
Journal Entry, PoBiz, Texas 21
Notes from My Journal, Kyoto, December 1984 25
Part Two
Interstices 29
Swimming and Writing 39
Motherhood and Poetics 47
October 4, 1995 57
For Anne at Passover 71
Recitations 77
First Loves 85
Part Three
An Appreciation of Marianne Moore's Selected Letters 89
This Curious Silent Unrepresented Life 97
Josephine Jacobsen 101
Back to the Fairground: Mona Van Duyn 109
A Postcard from the Volcano 113
Essay on Robert Frost 115
Part Four
Trochee, Trimeter, and the MRI: On A Shropshire Lad 123
Gymnastics: The Villanelle 133
A Way of Staying Sane 141
Word for Word: "Poem for My Son" 149
Scrubbed Up and Sent to School 153
Part Five
Keynote Address, PEN-New England, April 11, 1999 163
Premonitory Shiver 169
Two Junes 187
Part Six
Interview 195
About the Author 237
Poems
For Anne at Passover 65
A Postcard from the Volcano 112
Xxvii 121
One Art 130
The Nuns of Childhood: Two Views 131
At a Private Showing in 1982 137
Poem for My Son 147
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