Imperfect Thirst

Imperfect Thirst

by Galway Kinnell
     
 

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Galway Kinnell's twelfth book of poems is powerful and thrilling. Imperfect Thirst includes beautiful love poems and approaches elemental subjects with a remarkable balance of good nature and holy dread: recollections of childhood, snapshots of impassive cruelty, reflections on art and nature. This energetic collection will prove once again why Galway Kinnell was… See more details below

Overview

Galway Kinnell's twelfth book of poems is powerful and thrilling. Imperfect Thirst includes beautiful love poems and approaches elemental subjects with a remarkable balance of good nature and holy dread: recollections of childhood, snapshots of impassive cruelty, reflections on art and nature. This energetic collection will prove once again why Galway Kinnell was one of America's masters of the art.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kinnell (When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone) launches his 12th book of poetry with a witty poem dedicated to ``The Pen''-a pen which, ``like the person who gets out of the truck, goes/ around to the rear, signals to the driver, and calls, `C'mon/ back.'" After that beginning, nearly anyone would follow this writer into the past to his quiet father who ``bent down out of the gloom like a god,'' and later, in another poem, step happily into an imagined future near ``the idea of paradise.'' Kinnell's breadth in the volume astonishes: poems range from an expression of poetic resistance to the fashionable scholarly disinterment of language in ``The Deconstruction of Emily Dickinson,'' to the delicate tableau he creates of a woman caring for her father in ``Parkinson's Disease,'' to his gleefully erudite tribute to excrement in ``Holy Shit.'' Primal themes-love, nature, mortality-emerge in newly compelling forms. In ``Rapture,'' for example, conventional poetic language is abandoned for sensuality's purer rhythms: ``Simile is useless.'' Though at times Kinnell's remarks to himself seem needlessly self-referential, when the poet speaks intimately to us, his voice is unsurpassable. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In Kinnell's 12th collection, the Pulitzer Prize winner speaks with a vibrant and sure voice. Most powerful is the poem "My Mother's R & R," a kind of fairy tale based in memory, with a fairy tale's dark, threatening side, "two small/hungry boys enflamed and driven off/by the she-wolf." Kinnell's tone is casual, his imagery evocative. These poems take chances. They confront, examine, and explore deeply the heart of life's mysteries: death, family bonds, love, aging, even bodily functions (the poem "Holy Shit" could have been left out of the collection). But the point that Kinnell (Three Books, LJ 9/15/93) makes with these poems is that it all counts, it's all important, because it's all so transitory: "Could heaven be a time, after we are dead,/of remembering the knowledge/flesh had from flesh?" Recommended for all collections.-Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, Ind.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547348308
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/30/1996
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,267,024
File size:
0 MB

Meet the Author

Galway Kinnell is a former MacArthur Fellow and has been state poet of Vermont. In 1982 his Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. For many years he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. He is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. For thirty-five years--from WHAT A KINGDOM IT WAS to THE BOOK OF NIGHTMARES to THREEE BOOKS--Galway Kinnell has been enriching American poetry, not only by his poems but also by his teaching and his powerful public readings.

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