Overview

"Dunn's new poems are driven by the same tireless force that made his New and Selected Poems (1994) so powerful, but there is a new tone here, a deepening of his recognition of life's perversities."—Booklist


In this tenth collection, Stephen Dunn turns his "wise, well-practiced eye" (Library Journal) on an America growing ever more stringent with its daily mercies. Not content merely to observe the world, Dunn's stance is always dual, complicit. And as he navigates through each...
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Loosestrife: Poems

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Overview

"Dunn's new poems are driven by the same tireless force that made his New and Selected Poems (1994) so powerful, but there is a new tone here, a deepening of his recognition of life's perversities."—Booklist


In this tenth collection, Stephen Dunn turns his "wise, well-practiced eye" (Library Journal) on an America growing ever more stringent with its daily mercies. Not content merely to observe the world, Dunn's stance is always dual, complicit. And as he navigates through each paradox of his moral and aesthetic and erotic selves, this poet, described by Sydney Lea as one "who remains open to contradictions," travels to a place of exact and complicated vision.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dunn's graceful and stirring collection is a walk through an ecosystem where loneliness is breathed in with the air and the wildlife takes on all too human problems. Dunn (Work & Love; Landscape at the End of the Century) begins with notes from the foggy valley of the broken relationship ("his mind cut loose/ from his heart/ like a dinghy in cold, still water"). Free will is supplanted by the inevitability of loss, and nothing can save romance: "Everything was clear, and nothing much/ the better for it./ They agreed it was a matter of caring,/ and each felt the dull courage that comes/ from caring less." In following poems, there may be fewer sad humans, but the animals have inherited the melancholy. A tiger cub raised by goats discovers its nature and "A lone tern turns in the blowsy wind." By the time we reach the concluding 10-part title poem, we are fixed in a real place, the woodlands of Southern New Jersey. There the unusually warm winter of 1995 is host to the little deaths, spiritual and corporeal, that accompany a false spring. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Dunn is known for a wise, well-practiced eye. Although some of his widely published poems labor under a burden of care, at least they avoid shortcuts to wonder or faked feeling. In an excellent ninth collection of poems, if Dunn ponders too much, what he addresses is an effort to understand the nature of "terrible brightness." Transforming worry into moral inquest, he's concerned with disappointment, meaninglessness, and the fallen world (each a poem title). Gentle intelligence and abhorrence of imitation keep poems balanced "on the edge/ of breaking" between the severity of life without illusion and disorder. "Loosestrife," a long, ten-part concluding work updating "Elergy Written in a Country Churchyard," blends reflections on contemporary issues (the Oklahoma City bombing, gangs, Satanists) with sensitive observations of marshland of the southern coast of New Jersey. (He teaches at Richard Stockton College there.) Dunn's hard-earned poetic claim to celebrating sincerity is important; his "soul-maps" take us one stride closer to truth. For all poetry collections.Frank Allen, North Hampton Community Coll., Tannersville, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393244588
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/2/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • File size: 458 KB

Meet the Author

Stephen Dunn is the author of seventeen poetry collections, including What Goes On: New and Selected Poems 1995–2009 and, most recently, Here 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.
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Table of Contents

Solving the Puzzle 15
Diminuendo 19
After Making Love 21
Tucson 22
Wild 23
Paradise 25
Heaven 26
This Far Out in the Country 27
Road Stop 29
Slant 31
Ars Poetica 32
Aging 37
Nocturne 38
The Voice 40
Named 42
Fibrillations 44
Meaninglessness 46
The Song 48
Missing 50
Imagining Myself My Father 52
The Fallen World 57
Grace 59
Power 61
Seizures 62
Autocracy 63
Responsibility 65
Homage 67
Criminal 68
Poetry 69
Tiger Face 70
The Living 75
Parameters 77
Radical 79
The Refuge 81
Disappointment 83
Because You Mentioned the Spiritual Life 85
Opera and Disturbance 87
Loosestrife 89
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