Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems

Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems

by Diane Ackerman
     
 

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In A Natural History of the Senses Diane Ackerman revealed herself as a naturalist who writes with the sensuous immediately of a great poet. Now Jaguar of Sweet Laughter presents the work of a poet with the precise and wondering eye of a gifted naturalist.

Ackermans's Olympian vision records and transforms landscapes from Amazonia to Antarctica, while her

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Overview

In A Natural History of the Senses Diane Ackerman revealed herself as a naturalist who writes with the sensuous immediately of a great poet. Now Jaguar of Sweet Laughter presents the work of a poet with the precise and wondering eye of a gifted naturalist.

Ackermans's Olympian vision records and transforms landscapes from Amazonia to Antarctica, while her imaginative empathy penetrates the otherness of hummingbirds, deer, and trilobites. But even as they draw readers into the wild heart of nature, Ackerman's poems are indelible reminders of what it is to be a human being — the "jaguar of sweet laughter" that, according to Mayan mythology, astonished the world because it was the first animal to speak.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Her best poems keep bursting off the prescribed limits of the page...in the same way that great paintings burst their frames... Ackerman has energy, wit, courage, and passion... All of her is in each poem, and this 'all' reveals a woman of sensitivity, restraint, ingenuity, and passionate daring."

— Hudson Review

"I know enough to know when I'm in the presence of a brilliant mind. Her acrobatic poems are full of fact and exuberance."

— Maxine Kumin

"The best lyric poet now writing in the United States."

— Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses , here offers new poems and reprises some from previous collections. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Here is the fifth book of poems from the author of the best-selling A Natural History of the Senses ( LJ 5/1/90) . Ackerman's lyrical voice and her feeling for detail and nuance are omnipresent in this work, assembled from prior books with ten new poems. An original, occasionally askew voice comes through in the new ones, especially where she presents herself as ``a bright fragile I am'' that ``hoists things out of their routine and lays them out to be fumbled and explored.'' Frequently, she speaks in a no-nonsense voice, as in her address to Sylvia Plath: ``You wanted life to derange you,/ to sample its real muscle,/ you wanted to be a word on the lips of the abyss.'' One of today's love-bards, Ackerman can denigrate when she has to, but she can be full of admiration, as in her poem-letter to Loren Eiseley: ``I feasted on the spellbinding fruit you grew--/ that way of beholding which is a form of prayer.'' These are poems also full of respect for the many dimensions of animal mysteries and the miracles of exotic landscapes from the Amazon to Antartica.-- Rosaly Demaios Roffman, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, Ind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679743040
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/1993
Edition description:
1st Vintage Books Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,485,613
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)

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