Gulf Music: Poems

Gulf Music: Poems

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by Robert Pinsky
     
 

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Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music

Overview

Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned
For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

—from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374531478
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,090,315
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Pinsky was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Creator and director of the Favorite Poem Project and poetry editor at Slate, he also teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

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Gulf Music 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jefferymcnary More than 1 year ago
Before a rapt audience, Robert Pinsky recently stepped to the podium of the Fullerton Room of the venerable Art Institute of Chicago. He acknowledged the richness of the place and the art itself 21st century Chicago has become. With his uncommon grace and usual dignity, the former Poet Laureate of the United States hesitate, looked around the filled to capacity auditorium, paused, and began,

I drowned in the fire of having you, I burned
In the river of not having you, we lived
Together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms
And we were parted for a thousand years.
Ten minutes ago we raised our children who cover
The earth and have forgotten that we existed

It was not maya, it was not a ladder to perfection,
It was this cold sunlight falling on this warm earth.

When I turned you went to Hell. When your ship
Fled the battle I followed you and lost the world
Without regret but with stormy recriminations.
Someday far down that corridor of horror the future
Someone who buys this picture of you for the frame
At a stall in a dwindled city will study your face
And decide to harbor it for a little while longer
From the waters of anonymity, the acids of breath

Then silence. And caught in my seat by the crashes of his verse, I heard Pinsky say, ¿ `Antique¿, from Gulf Music, it¿s the second to last poem in the book.¿ Almost whimsically he continued, ¿I was angry at the time I wrote it. I was angry with, with Bush, and Cheney, and Gonzales, and our foreign policy. Then it just became something else. It evolved into something else.¿ More silence. And from what I could tell, no one exhaled.