Ninety-fifth Street

Ninety-fifth Street

by John Koethe
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In his eighth book of poems, John Koethe offers readers the reflections of a poet in midlife, an "aging child of sixty-two," passionately engaged with the world yet drawn to meditate on memory, time, and the mysteries of human existence. In Ninety-fifth Street, Koethe retraces narratives from his life and moves across various landscapes he once inhabited; in

…  See more details below

Overview

In his eighth book of poems, John Koethe offers readers the reflections of a poet in midlife, an "aging child of sixty-two," passionately engaged with the world yet drawn to meditate on memory, time, and the mysteries of human existence. In Ninety-fifth Street, Koethe retraces narratives from his life and moves across various landscapes he once inhabited; in his hands these stories and places become poems of beauty, feeling, and poignant candor.

Disarmingly conversational and always accessible, these new poems offer the pleasures of a lucid intelligence and a distinctive poetic voice, by turns contemplative and worldly, lyrical, witty, and elegiac.

Editorial Reviews

Time Out New York
“His best book yet...accessible and surprisingly powerful poems....you sense that Koethe slowly approaches death the way that he does life—with an unusual and infectious lightness.”
Publishers Weekly
Always thoughtful and heartfelt, Koethe's poems have become simply heartbreaking. Koethe—a 60-something professor of philosophy—writes meditative, introspective poems that have long encouraged comparisons to Wallace Stevens, and Stevens's poems of old age remain on his mind. But Koethe now makes his Stevensian techniques and his sinuous sentences serve a pellucid, omnipresent, all-American nostalgia, for the sights and streets where he grew up and for the promise of youth. Part one considers the sunlit San Diego of his childhood, the diminished Rust Belt aura of Milwaukee, where he lives, and the way that, in poems, anywhere can be everywhere: “I wish the presence of the everyday could be enough,” he muses. “It isn't, though. It's something incomplete.” Part two (a letdown) considers Berlin, where the poet lived for a year; part three (a triumph) investigates, in quietly and carefully metrical lines, the consolation of old age; the excitements of a remembered New York; the fun Koethe had at a dinner party (on 95th Street, in 1966) where he met Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery; and the purpose of art and memory. “That's what poetry is,” the title poem muses, “a way to live through time,/ And sometimes, just for a while, to bring it back.” (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061768231
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/08/2009
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

John Koethe is distinguished professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the first Poet Laureate of Milwaukee. His collections include Falling Water, which won the Kingsley-Tufts Award, North Point North, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Ninety-fifth Street, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2011, he received a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >