Departure: Poems

Overview

"An important poet...beyond the achievement of all but a double handful of living American poets."—Harold Bloom
Ancient and modern eras, sacred and earthly forces, personal and communal mourning are all held in the arc of this exquisite new collection. Named an Honor Book in the 2004 Massachusetts Book Awards, Departure celebrates the marriage of contraries in private poems of difficult love as Rosanna Warren explores intimacy and separation between mother and daughter, husband ...

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Overview

"An important poet...beyond the achievement of all but a double handful of living American poets."—Harold Bloom
Ancient and modern eras, sacred and earthly forces, personal and communal mourning are all held in the arc of this exquisite new collection. Named an Honor Book in the 2004 Massachusetts Book Awards, Departure celebrates the marriage of contraries in private poems of difficult love as Rosanna Warren explores intimacy and separation between mother and daughter, husband and wife, artist and muse, woman and demon lover.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warren has worked extensively with translations (especially from Latin and Italian): in this fourth book of her own poetry (the first since 1993's much-honored Stained Glass), long and masterfully elaborate sentences and unrhymed stanzas follow the poet's eye and mind across the landscapes of Europe and New England. Yet her most powerful poems concern a mother's dementia and death: "`I told the daughter it was/ time to call in the Hospice.'// `I am "the daughter"?'" one poem recalls, concluding "So have whole tribes/ passed from the memory of earth." Warren follows this intensely personal work with two sequences based on other artists' lives. Though one (about the composer Leos Janacek) may not transcend its sources, the other, "From the Notebooks of Anne Verveine," becomes a delightfully odd and heartfelt experiment: "That's how we know a god, when the facts/ leap at the tenderest innards." (Warren describes Verveine as "an imaginary French poet" whom she has chosen to translate into English.) Warren concludes with well-made poems about travel and marital love: if some seem all too purely descriptive, others display insight and hidden discipline that recall the last poems of Robert Lowell: in an airplane, "On the wing, the paint/ blisters in gunmetal eczema"; in "Lake," a masterful page-long sentence recalls "the heaviness/ of your own seasons and of illnesses not your own." (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Daughter of Robert Penn Warren and winner of many awards (among them the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Award and the May Sarton Prize), Warren is widely recognized as one of today's outstanding American poets. Well schooled in classical mythology and literature, she includes allusions to known (Poseidon, Aphrodite, Aeneas) and lesser-known classical figures. If the reader is not versed in these traditions, a few poems in this collection will be mysterious and inaccessible, although a helpful section of "notes" appears at the end of the book. However, most of her poems will easily reach the reader with their thoroughly grounded and stunningly written explorations of death, the passage of time, loss, and impermanence. One series of poems sensitively examines the illness and death of her mother. Throughout this work, Warren's images are evocative and original: "Over the black pond spreads a film of ice/ like glaucoma" and "dawn cracked the pitcher and/ spilled that white-and-blue-sheen earliness out/ over no-man's land." Recommended.-Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393326819
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/17/2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,326,132
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosanna Warren, the author of four collections of poetry, has received awards from the Academy of Arts and Letters and has won the Lamont Poetry Prize. She teaches at the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11
Cassandra 17
Hellenistic Head 21
Arrival 23
Cyprian 24
Poetry Reading 27
Turnus 28
"Departure" 30
Mud 33
A Questionnaire for Bernard Chaet 36
Island in the Charles 39
E.W. 41
Diversion 43
L'Oiseau de nuit 45
Simile 48
Postscript 49
Day Lilies 54
Siderium Exaltatum 56
Intimate Letters 59
From the Notebooks of Anne Verveine 72
5 P.M. 83
Travel 85
Moment 86
Nightshade 87
March Snow 89
North 90
August Walk 94
Antique 95
Eclogue 97
What Leaves 99
For Trakl 101
Bonfires 102
Sicily 104
Love Story 105
Bonnard 107
Piazza Pilo 109
Lake 111
Portrait: Marriage 112
Notes 115
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