The Insistence of Beauty: Poems

The Insistence of Beauty: Poems

by Stephen Dunn
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

An evocation of beauty's often-surprising manifestations; even in the face of tragedy.
"Beauty isn't nice. Beauty isn't fair;" So, in part, states an epigraph for this stunning new collection, his thirteenth, by the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry (2000). First traversing betrayal and loss, Stephen Dunn then moves to speak of new love, with its attendant pleasures

Overview

An evocation of beauty's often-surprising manifestations; even in the face of tragedy.
"Beauty isn't nice. Beauty isn't fair;" So, in part, states an epigraph for this stunning new collection, his thirteenth, by the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry (2000). First traversing betrayal and loss, Stephen Dunn then moves to speak of new love, with its attendant pleasures and questioning. The title poem, perhaps emblematic of the book as a whole, is evocative of beauty's often surprising manifestations even in the light of tragedy; as on that terrible day "when those silver planes came out of the perfect blue." Because beauty jars us, makes us look twice, it is as startling as a good poem, and as insistent. Fortunately, it is never too late to search for the right words for what we've seen, felt, endured. With quiet authority Dunn enacts what it feels like to be a particular man at a particular juncture of his life; struggling not to deny, but to name, then rename.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After hearing a Schubert adagio, critic Kenneth Tynan noted, "There is nothing more beautiful than the happy moments of unhappy men." It works in reverse, too. In this new collection, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Dunn (Different Hours) looks back on a defunct relationship, considering what remains: questions and interpretations of events that sometimes touch that lofty designation, Beauty. Whether or not he is intrinsically happy, Dunn possesses a narrator's eye that insists on seeing beauty dually. As he asserts in the shockingly plainspoken title poem, what at first appears to be beauty may turn out to be something else: "beauty's sloppy cousin, that enemy"-sentimentality. And the effect of true beauty may in fact be confusing; it can provide fewer answers and mean less than we might prefer: "deer prints in the driveway,/that cardinal on a hemlock's lower branch-/I'm amazed they don't insist or signify." Yet as the title implies, beauty does insist, if only in itself-and that's a comfort. These casually delivered yet formally elegant insights make for a beautiful collection. Highly recommended.-Joel Whitney, New York Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393327434
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/17/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Dunn is the author of poetry collections including What Goes On: New and Selected Poems 1995–2009 andHere and Now. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Different Hours. He has also been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Richard Stockton College, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland, with his wife, the writer Barbara Hurd.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >