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The Eternal Ones of the Dream: Selected Poems 1990 - 2010
     

The Eternal Ones of the Dream: Selected Poems 1990 - 2010

by James Tate
 

“Tate’s poems are meditative, introverted, self-reliant, funny, alarming, strange, difficult, intelligent, and beautifully crafted.”
New York Times
                              

Overview

“Tate’s poems are meditative, introverted, self-reliant, funny, alarming, strange, difficult, intelligent, and beautifully crafted.”
New York Times
                                 
The Eternal Ones of the Dream is a breathtaking collection of poems from the last two decades of work of one of modern American poetry’s major artists, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner James Tate. Tate’s remarkable work—filled with dark wit, dry humor, and deceptive simplicity—is considered among the most accessible poetry written in the last several decades, and it has inspired acclaimed poet W.S. Merwin to write, “Mr. Tate’s gift is such that many of [his] poems move me at least to plain envy of what he can do.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tate is now in the late period of a long and influential career in poetry. His early style, unfurled in books like The Lost Pilot and Viper Jazz, combined a zany, surreal sense of humor with a sad, middle-American loneliness. It was a guiding light, along with Ashbery’s work from the 1950s–1970s, for a huge chunk of American poetry over the past 40 years. Represented here, however, is Tate’s late style, a subtle reinvention of his own devising, though influenced, it would seem, by the prose poems of Russell Edson. Wily fables, tall tales, in which an unwitting protagonist stumbles into one ridiculous situation after another, are peopled by a rotating cast of humorous foils. In “Long-Term Memory,” a man is feeding pigeons in a park when another man “scrutinized my/ face right up close. ‘There’s a statue of you/ over there,’ he said. ‘You should be dead. What/ did you do to deserve a statue?’” Portrayals of the military make as little sense as, say, the military: “After the burial/ we returned to our units/ and assumed our poses./ Our posture was the new posture/ and not the old posture.” A desk drawer is cleaned out to reveal “a paper bag with/ a baloney sandwich in it that must have been three years old. I found/ some notecards with hieroglyphics carefully written on them.” From these odd setups come odder conclusions. It’s hard to say whether this is poetry or prose, funny or sad, important or frivolous. Whatever it is, though, it’s good reading. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062101860
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/27/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
252
Sales rank:
879,490
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

James Tate was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1943. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award in 1994; Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award in 1991; and The Lost Pilot, which was selected by Dudley Fitts for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has also published a novel and a collection of short stories, as well as edited The 1997 Best American Poetry Anthology. His honors include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, the Tanning Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

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