Overview

James Dickey, in reviewing Peter Davison's last book, Praying Wrong: New and Selected Poems, 1957-1984, said, ' Davison will not let things break him. His voice is his; he has earned it and can use it, and as a result is surely one of our better poets.' That sense of this poet's singularity is one of the great strengths of this new book; these deeply felt poems are uniquely his. From the almost unbearably moving 'Equinox 1980, ' which opens the book, to the delightful 'Peaches, ' The Great Ledge confirms the ...
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The Great Ledge

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Overview

James Dickey, in reviewing Peter Davison's last book, Praying Wrong: New and Selected Poems, 1957-1984, said, ' Davison will not let things break him. His voice is his; he has earned it and can use it, and as a result is surely one of our better poets.' That sense of this poet's singularity is one of the great strengths of this new book; these deeply felt poems are uniquely his. From the almost unbearably moving 'Equinox 1980, ' which opens the book, to the delightful 'Peaches, ' The Great Ledge confirms the remark of Vernon Young that Davison is 'one of the few poets of the first order writing in English today.'

Deeply felt poems by a poet with a singularly unique voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Davison's Praying Wrong is a moral poetry, the embodiment of unwavering ethical commitment. Accomplished and powerful, the poems in his ninth collection--primarily narratives, some lyrics--are equally distinguished by his confident, lucid voice. Relying on the physical world for inspiration, the author's imagery is tactile and vivid, conveying effectively pleasure derived from nature: when describing with yearning the virtues of a peach, he explains, ``I beseech you, peach, / clench me into the sweetness / of your reaches.'' However, Davison's vision of nature is a complex and even ominous one when he considers the casual destruction humans wreak on earth. Imagining life in some future time when the environment is even more ravaged, he is able to evoke it in a spirit of somber realism uniquely Davison's own: ``If dark and thickness close upon our lungs / . . . we'll mourn like doves, repeating as we grieve / how carbon kept us whole--and though the whole / world turned to coal, then chiefly live.'' Sept.
Library Journal
Many of the poems in this book deal with loss--of loved ones, of pets, of youth and its illusions. Davison's grief is quiet and understated. In such poems as ``The Face in the Field'' to his late wife and ``Emerald'' to a grandchild who died at birth, this understatement renders the poems more moving; we hear the voice of a survivor coming to terms with it all. Davison turns for comfort and assurance to nature--emblem of what endures. In the title poem, the ever present ledge bears testament to the past, as well as the future, when the sea may ``overwhelm the ledge,/to change the world and tell another story.'' Some readers may be overwhelmed by the sentimentality of ``The Passing of Thistle'' or find ``Generations of Swan'' objectionable, despite its Yeatsian allusions, but at his best, Davison tells how we survive ``by gnawing on the nourishment of stories.''-- Grace Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307833006
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/22/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 64
  • File size: 2 MB

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