The New York Times
35 new poems and selections from six previous collections including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Heart's Needle.
Brad LeithauserSnodgrass published an earlier selected poems nearly 20 years ago, but this fuller edition, coinciding with his 80th birthday, clarifies as never before the range of his accomplishment.
The New York Times
Publishers WeeklySnodgrass made his splash with Heart's Needle (1959), a careful sequence of rhymed poems about his marital troubles and his daughter: the volume helped create so-called "confessional poetry" and won a Pulitzer Prize. Snodgrass gave his later allegiance not to autobiography, but to technique, pursuing, on the one hand, sad, clear, lyrical poems and rueful epigrams, and on the other, ambitious if not quixotic multipoem projects. Among the former, most of the best are brand new: they take on subjects as disparate as twilight fireflies, the war in Iraq, hip replacements and the man who stole Snodgrass's credit card, in styles indebted to poets as different as Andrew Marvell and A.R. Ammons. One Ammons-like work is "The Fuhrer Bunker," a cycle of poems about, and spoken by, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler and other members of Hitler's inner circle, completed in 1995. As if in reaction to that grim, ambitious achievement, other pieces here feature graceful measures and a light touch: a quartet of seasonal odes breathes new life into very old topics. This is a judicious selection from a significant oeuvre. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalThese poems, nearly a third new, serve as an excellent means of renewing one's acquaintance with this witty and eclectic Pulitzer Prize winner. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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