How Beautiful the Beloved [NOOK Book]

Overview

“[A] confident, mystical, expansive project.”—Publishers Weekly

“[D]azzling and timeless . . . focus is so unwaveringly aimed toward the transcendent—not God, but the beloved—that we seem to slip into a less cluttered time.”—The Virginia Quarterly Review, “Editor’s Choice”

"Mary Oliver calls him '...a Walt Whitman without an inch of Whitman's bunting or oratory.' In these pages, he is more nearly a modern-day Rumi. This is not primarily a poetry of image, but of ideas, perfectly...

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How Beautiful the Beloved

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Overview

“[A] confident, mystical, expansive project.”—Publishers Weekly

“[D]azzling and timeless . . . focus is so unwaveringly aimed toward the transcendent—not God, but the beloved—that we seem to slip into a less cluttered time.”—The Virginia Quarterly Review, “Editor’s Choice”

"Mary Oliver calls him '...a Walt Whitman without an inch of Whitman's bunting or oratory.' In these pages, he is more nearly a modern-day Rumi. This is not primarily a poetry of image, but of ideas, perfectly distilled. Orr brings together the monumental themes of love and loss in small, spare, and exquisite koan-like poems."—ForeWord

"...magnetic poems that open the world of lyrical verse to the larger questions of what is true and timeless."
The Bloomsbury Review

Gregory Orr continues his acclaimed project on the “beloved” with a lyrical sequence about the joys and hungers of being fully engaged in life. Through concise, perfectly formed poems, he wakes us to the ecstatic possibilities of recognizing and risking love. Mary Oliver has called this project “gorgeous,” and said that he "speaks of the events that have no larger or more important rival in our lives—of our love and our loving."

If to say it once
And once only, then still
To say: Yes.

And say it complete,
Say it as if the word
Filled the whole moment
With its absolute saying.

Later for “but,”
Later for “if.”

Now
Only the single syllable
That is the beloved.
That is the world.

Gregory Orr is the author of ten books of poetry. He teaches at the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In his sequel to Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved(2005), Orr offers more short (many don't break 10 lines), earnest poems that take as their central metaphor "the beloved," Orr's word for a conflation of a loved human being, the idea of a kind of higher power beyond the self at which love and energy are directed, and the poetry itself, which bears all this praise in what Orr calls "the Book." The best of these poems are compact missives addressing in the most direct language possible many of humanity's most dire needs and fears: "That single line: a rope/ The poem tossed out/ Into the dark./... / You're holding one end; The beloved, the other.// Rescue is imminent.// Too soon to say whose." Elsewhere, the language is so direct that it's more like journaling than poetry. Most perplexing and interesting, however, are many poems in which the language would fall flat, except that Orr's line breaks add meaning and almost Rilkian power; imagine this going down the page: "...death is real, and all/ That is/ Flows toward its brink.// No wonder we need/ Hope and courage-// What the book brings." (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619320673
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 120
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Gregory Orr is the author of ten books of poetry, four collections of criticism, and a memoir that was selected by Publishers Weekly as a "Best Book of the Year." The former poetry editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, Orr teaches at the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville.
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Table of Contents

Part One

If to say it once 5

The Book said we were mortal 6

How we embraced the beloved 7

And when the beloved 8

How beautiful the beloved 9

Balanced on the edge 10

Si je t' aime, prends garde a toi 11

Where are you standing 12

Don't bother to ask 13

Not many of them, it's true 14

A thousand years ago 15

Praxilla, almost-forgotten 16

Snow on the mountain 17

Death of the body 18

Occult power of the alphabet 19

Grief will come to you 20

When we were young 21

We could say No to love 22

Who needs another earth 23

Reading the world 24

Praising all creation... 25

Part Two

All those years 29

That T-shirt... 30

Without a word of protest 31

Autumn again. The leaves 32

That single line: a rope 33

When my gaze strays 34

Human heart 35

To learn by heart... 36

Your Yes against all those 37

Space we make 38

Words, of course, but 39

Surrender everything... 40

Loss and loss and more 41

What death shatters 42

Steeling your heart 43

Lingering over it 44

Childhood swimming hole 45

Letting go, when all you want... 46

Part Three

The hero who cuts a swath 49

Young, we waved flags 50

Doesn't the soldier serve 51

The terror and thrill 52

Who says there's nothing... 53

Voice of the beloved 54

Has the moon been up there 55

Reciprocity-that's where 56

Her eye and my "I" 57

Those pastel, candy hearts 58

When I was young I wanted 59

What was it the beloved 60

Squander it all 61

Ask the tree or the house 62

More stores being built 63

Lots of sorrow... 64

Part Four

"Surprise me," the beloved said 67

High Virginia summer 68

Sudden buildup 69

When the beloved appears 70

We poets are always71

So many were given only 72

When the beloved has the blues 73

According to the Big Bopper 74

Beloved, with your hair 75

Little fish of feeling... 76

The poet might wish 77

Every day brings us 78

Making light of the beloved 79

Blossoms scattered in the street 80

Fate not just a pair of scissors 81

Being being nothing 82

To open the Book 83

Sometimes the poem 84

Hoarding your joys and despairs 85

Weren't we more than 86

Nazim Hikmet begins a poem 87

This is what was bequeathed us 88

Humble dazzle 89

Poem that opened you 90

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