The Forest / Edition 2

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Overview

Susan Stewart plumbs human history in an attempt to articulate the way language, memory, and art join in evoking consciousness. The Forest is about violence and memory: the violence we do to our surroundings and to ourselves; and the propensity of the human mind to exploit and rationalize in its longing for truth.

Following are few lines from her poem "The Forest" (which originally appeared in TriQuarterly, a publication of Northwestern University):

You should lie down now and remember the forest, for it is disappearing-- no, the truth is it is gone now and so what details you can bring back might have a kind of life. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An aura of mystery envelops Stewart's The Hive third collection of poetry. As she expresses it: "...Bright night, true story, far torch and door;/ neither yours nor mine, but both..." Narratives, often rooted in history and reminiscent of fairy tales, are told by unnamed speakers and peopled by figures that can't be pinned down. "Slaughter," a first-person account of learning to butcher, masterfully permits readers to identify with an invisible narrator pitted against an even more fleeting but all-powerful "they." Stewart stumbles slightly when she becomes self-consciously literary: as her endnotes inform us, "Nervous System" borrows its rhyme scheme from John Donne; the extremely weak, overly long "Medusa Anthology" uses language from Shakespeare and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Her own linguistic sensibility is refined enough not to require such academic justification, which also seems to curb her imagination. These few examples aside, this volume is a rare phenomenon in recent poetry: poems which require several readings, and promise to be equally intriguing each time. Aug.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226774107
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Series: Phoenix Poets Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 86
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Stewart, a poet, critic, and translator,is the Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanitiesat Princeton University. Her previous books of poems, The Forest, Columbarium (which won the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Red Rover, and her works of criticism, The Open Studio and Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (which won boththe Christian Gauss Award and the Truman Capote Award), are all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
("What haunts...") 3
The Forest 5
Slaughter 8
1931 17
1936 18
The Arbor 1937 19
The Violation 1942 25
The Gypsy 1946 26
The Coincidence 1956 29
The Spell 30
(We needed fire...) 37
Holswege 39
Nervous System 41
Medusa Anthology 46
May 1988 58
Lamentations 60
The Desert 1990-1993 66
The Meadow 74
Notes 77
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