Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems by John Balaban, John Balaban |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems

Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems

by John Balaban, John Balaban
     
 

Poetry. "John Balaban's compelling poems are alive with sensuous experience, his perspicuous language embracing both irony and compassion. A witness to war's savageries and the brutalities of life, this poet yet feels the possibilities of redemption in the natural world, and in the power of poetry: 'Crossing the moonlit fields/stippled bright with human bones,/

Overview

Poetry. "John Balaban's compelling poems are alive with sensuous experience, his perspicuous language embracing both irony and compassion. A witness to war's savageries and the brutalities of life, this poet yet feels the possibilities of redemption in the natural world, and in the power of poetry: 'Crossing the moonlit fields/stippled bright with human bones,/ Tu Fu wrote that poetry is useless,/ in a poem alive these thousand years'" -Daniel Hoffman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although only the first of the three sections into which these poems are grouped directly mines Balaban's experiences in Vietnam, bitter memories of that war haunt the entire collection. New poems are interspersed with selections from previous volumes including After Our War and Words for My Daughter. Near the beginning, he writes of the crippled soldiers who came back from Vietnam like "snags and tatters arrived, with immigrant uncertainty,/ in the United States. It was almost home." In the second section, Balaban takes us along on a cross-country journey of discovery. He finds the violence of the war on the road in America as well: after listing a series of shootings gleaned from the news, he observes, "Late at night, when radio waves skip across States,/ you can hear ricochets from Maine to L.A." Seeing the violence of war pervading American society, he sometimes adopts a bitter, sneering stance toward ordinary people. But the book's final section, "Viewing the New World Order," moves unexpectedly, and effectively, from bitterness to hope as Balaban discovers the possibility of reconciliation in the birth of his daughter ("as if you were sent/ to call me back into our helpless tribe") and in his work: "Only poetry lasts./ The walls crumble; Horace endures." (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556591235
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
05/01/1997
Pages:
150
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

John Balaban is the author of a dozen books of poetry, prose, and Vietnamese translations whose prizes include the Lamont Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and two National Book Award nominations. His work has been featured on NPR's "Fresh Air," New York Times, and Utne Reader. He teaches at North Carolina State University.

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