Hard Night

Overview

Make no mistake: Christian Wiman’s poetic endeavors are ambitious. From the personal lyrics of solitude and loss to “Being Serious,” the long poem that concludes Hard Night, his poems examine emotions clearly, without sentimentality. A profound reverence for form and passion for poetry are evident in these artfully shaped poems that contain and find meaning in the unwieldy and inexplicable. Just as he is doing as the new editor of Poetry, Wiman makes intellectually and ...

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Overview

Make no mistake: Christian Wiman’s poetic endeavors are ambitious. From the personal lyrics of solitude and loss to “Being Serious,” the long poem that concludes Hard Night, his poems examine emotions clearly, without sentimentality. A profound reverence for form and passion for poetry are evident in these artfully shaped poems that contain and find meaning in the unwieldy and inexplicable. Just as he is doing as the new editor of Poetry, Wiman makes intellectually and emotionally engaged writing accessible to an expanding audience of readers.

Christian Wiman is the author of two books and a widely published essayist and critic. He lives in Chicago, where he is editor of Poetry magazine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Known as the active, controversial editor of Poetry magazine (a post he assumed in 2003), Wiman is also a maker of careful, accomplished verse in his own right; this sophomore effort shows his strengths in a West Coast tradition of clarity, brevity, short lines and direct statement, a tradition whose representatives include W.S. DiPiero, Thom Gunn and Yvor Winters. Some lyric works remember freighted moments: "Wish for something," you said./ A shiver pricked your spine./ The falcon turned its head/ and locked its eyes on mine." Others focus on landscapes, bringing a terse intensity to each scene. A three-part elegy describes the poet's dying father; the best short poem in the book, "Reading Herodotus," gets exceptional weight from its authoritative argument. Most of the book consists of three longer poems. "Sweet Nothing" concerns an upstairs neighbor in San Francisco; "The Ice Storm" (no relation to the novel or film of that name) follows an elderly couple and their memories to the very end of their lives. As if to mock his own outlook, Wiman (The Long Home) concludes with a disquieting 23-part poem called "Being Serious," an abbreviated verse-biography (from womb to afterlife) for a prematurely jaded, frequently frustrated man called Serious. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592201
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,029,908
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Christian Wiman was born and raised in west Texas. His poetry and criticism appears widely in magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and Slate. His first book won the Nicholas Roerich Prize, and he has won the Ruth Lilly and Wallace Stegner Fellowships. He lives in Chicago, where he is the editor of Poetry magazine.
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Table of Contents

Sweet nothing 3
Darkness starts 15
Why he doesn't keep a journal 16
Postolka 18
Outer banks (I) 19
Outer banks (II) 20
The funeral 21
Still life : San Francisco 23
Scenes from a childhood 24
The last hour 26
Hard night 29
The ice storm 33
Reading Herodotus 51
Night's thousand shadows : 1 : deathbed 53
Night's thousand shadows : 2 : living will 54
Night's thousand shadows : 3 : going 55
A field in Scurry County 57
Rhymes for a watertower 58
Sleeping in the open 59
This inwardness, this ice 60
Done 62
Old song, long night 63
Being serious 67
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