New and Selected Poems: 1956-1996

Overview

With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters - Eve or Darwin or a failed priest - with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and ...
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Overview

With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters - Eve or Darwin or a failed priest - with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and surprise us with new insights into joy and sorrow, life and death. Set on the beach at Malibu, in the port of Trieste, or in a Manhattan subway, his poems evoke genuine feeling without sentimentality and transform the personal into the universal. Drawn from six previous books of poetry written over four decades, and with fourteen new poems, this collection shows the power and complexity of Appleman's wide-ranging talent.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Appleman should gain well-deserved attention from this cohesive and substantial collection. His voice is quietly lyrical and deeply rooted in the everyday yet somehow drenched with passion" --ALA Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Retold Bible stories, poetic travelogues, lyrics and love poems offer variety in this definitive collection. Many of Appleman's poems collapse under the weight of worthy messages, as in "Memo to the 21st Century," which laments that the fields and woods of Indiana are being replaced by concrete. About the Lascaux caves he writes, "...remember/ that nothing will keep your lives alive/ but artthe black and ochre visions/ you draw inside your cave." Appleman's poems (14 new here and 130 drawn from six earlier collections) rise above the average when he lets a single image dominate a poem or when he feels so strongly that his message becomes an anguished cry. A few poems seem glib, some undisciplined or self-indulgent. Lighthearted poems with a consistently sustained tone succeed, as do personal poems in which morals, rather than being forced, develop naturally from particular experience. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557284204
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,232,398
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

To the River (Benares) 3
On the Via Veneto (Rome) 5
Snow on the Bosporus (Istanbul) 6
Dolphins (Manzanillo) 7
Crystal Anniversary 8
Vigil 9
A Promise 11
The Knight's Tale 12
Kites on a Windy Day 13
Remembering the Great Depression 14
Things to Do with Railroads 16
Success Story 18
Day of the Hawk 19
To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year 20
Four Measures: Earth, Air, Water, Fire 22
A Poem for St. Valentine's Day 24
Middle of the Night 25
Summer Love and Surf 27
At the Nativity Bar and Poolroom (Bethlehem) 29
The Path of Renunciation (Calcutta) 30
Thinking of Noubli Laroussi (Algeria) 31
Three Haiku, Two Tanka (Kyoto) 33
A Word to Socrates 35
A Thought for Suse Pollok 36
Last Lines for a Baritone 37
Sweet Life 38
You Said, That's the Fourth Bird This Year to Hit Our Picture Window 39
Butterwort 40
Old Thing 42
Town and Gown 43
Enemy 44
Memo to the 21st Century 46
Nobody Dies in the Spring 48
Land of Cold Sun 50
Ten Definitions of Lifetime 51
Landing Pattern 53
Kicking Sea Urchins 54
What the U.S. Bureau of Customs Will Cry at Public Auction on June 5 56
October Spring 59
The Pill and the Hundred-Yard Dash 60
Bicentennial: The Course of Empire 61
Fighting the Bureaucracy 62
New Year's Resolution 63
Seeing into Bedrooms 65
"Your Papers, Please" 67
East Hampton: The Structure of Sound 69
Truth 70
Westhampton Cemetery 71
Serpent 73
Revision 74
The Tennis Player Waits for What Waits for the Tennis Player 75
Red Kite 76
Central Park: The Anatomy Lesson 77
Caravan 78
Revolution 79
Message 80
Murder 82
For Lucia and the Black Widows of Sperlonga 83
Afterward 89
Alive 90
At the End of the World 92
On a Morning Full of Sun 93
The Persistence of Memory 94
Peace with Honor 95
Waiting for the Fire 98
Love Poem 99
Ars Poetica 100
The Girl Who Hated Threes 102
Savior 104
Heart of Stone 105
Birthday Card to My Mother 107
Congenial Poet Desires Intense Relationship with Warm, Intelligent Poem 109
This Moment 111
First Snow 112
If Martha Is a Model Mother-in-Law, She is Definitely the Latest Model 113
Economics 115
In Two Degrees of Cold 116
A Kind of Fruitfulness 118
Better Half 119
Love in the Rain 120
Scrapbook 121
The Skeletons of Dreams 126
Nostalgie de la Boue 128
State of Nature 132
The Hand-Ax 138
In Andalucia 142
"Black-Footed Ferret Endangered" 144
The Faith-Healer Speaks 145
Darwin's Bestiary 150
Prologue 150
The Ant 151
The Worm 152
The Rabbit 153
The Gossamer 154
Euphorias 155
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