Constant Longing

Overview

A collection of poetry by Dennis Sampson.

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Overview

A collection of poetry by Dennis Sampson.

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What People Are Saying

Sandra McPherson
“Sampsonesque—what is it? A sentence for Astaire’s feet. A sacramental sense of language. A sacramental sense of language. A listing, with graceful care, of what we learn is a burden of love and concern for the lives of those around him. Constant Longing chronicle a journey of a lifetime, starting innocently enough with flowers and heroically arriving at purity of mind after much suffering and studying. Central to the book’s constancies is a major sequence coming to understand himself standing alone at the vanished end of a marriage. As Sampson turns outward, the poem forms a canticle of vision and spiritual selflessness.”
Carolyn Kizer
“Constant Longing is a remarkable book by a poet whose skill, talent and control can hardly be overestimated. There is an extraordinarily thoughtful mind at work here, with a spiritual underpinning that I find intensely moving. . . . Dennis Sampson must not be overlooked.”
Rodney Jones
“Dennis Sampson is a poet of great yearning lines and a formidable memory. There is nothing he will not try and all of it is fixed against the powers of forgetting and vanishing. In an age of entertainment literature, Sampson’s eloquent and passionately engaged poems freshen the ancient light of ‘what it means to be among the living and the dead.’”
Philip Levine
“In an era of handsomely written books of poetry largely about their own skill with language, it’s more than a little breathtaking to encounter a poet who writes for the most basic reason: because he has to. That emotional and psychic pressure that derives from the absolute need to write is almost everywhere in this book, and it gives the poems at times an almost unbearable urgency. . . . This book believes in the usefulness of poetry as few books do; it dares even to believe that without poetry our lives would be impoverished beyond our own understanding of impoverishment, in fact they might not even be. . . . To a hopeless world, Sampson has written a book of hope.”
Carolyn Kizer
“Constant Longing is a remarkable book by a poet whose skill, talent and control can hardly be overestimated. There is an extraordinarily thoughtful mind at work here, with a spiritual underpinning that I find intensely moving. . . . Dennis Sampson must not be overlooked.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887483004
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

DENNIS SAMPSON was born in South Dakota and graduated from South Dakota State University. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1976. His first book, The Double Genesis, was published in 1985; his second, Forgiveness, in 1991. He has lived and taught throughout the southern and eastern United States, in Virginia, where he held the position of Margaret Banister Writer-in-Residence from 1996 to 1998 at Sweet Briar College, and in Alabama and Louisiana. He is Visiting Poet at Wake Forest University.

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Table of Contents

Evening Inventory
Speaking The Names
Coming Back To Keats
The Good Night Of Sleep
The Snapping Turtle at Templeton Pond
In Hell
Laundry In Venice
Variegated Arbicola: An Elegy
What Is Written Down
Blue Photograph
Devotional
A Passion In The Desert
The Confession
Pig Iron
Reading Habits
Letter To Elizabeth
Looking Up At Something

This Moment
Holy Waste

Directions
Litany
The Leopard
The Anaconda
Shadows
Sister, Sister
Afternoon Nap
Pausing Between One Page And Another In A Novel By Wallace Stegner
From One Who Knew Him Intimately
The Kiss
Canticle For The Conclusion Of Spring
Original Pleasure
Last Will And Testament
In The Light Of My Lamp

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