One Thousand Nights and Counting: Selected Poems

One Thousand Nights and Counting: Selected Poems

by Glyn Maxwell
     
 

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The poems of Glyn Maxwell possess a slow, quiet fire. They refrain from grand gestures, from loud proclamations of emotion. Instead, Maxwell unveils these emotions gently, quietly, intricately—like little postcards in a waxed envelope. Each of his poems is Blake’s “world in a grain of sand.” Maxwell's works reveal very little about their

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Overview

The poems of Glyn Maxwell possess a slow, quiet fire. They refrain from grand gestures, from loud proclamations of emotion. Instead, Maxwell unveils these emotions gently, quietly, intricately—like little postcards in a waxed envelope. Each of his poems is Blake’s “world in a grain of sand.” Maxwell's works reveal very little about their subjects; there are, rather, merely the faintest, well-chosen hints of quotidian life: a man kills a wasp; a man falls in and out of love; a man escapes from an unnamed pursuer. But from these suggestive fragments, it is possible to extrapolate an entire world.

The casual virtuosity that first brought Maxwell great renown is on show throughout the poems collected in One Thousand Nights and Counting. Lyrical or narrative, comic or contemplative, these are profound, resonant explorations of love and fatherhood, of triumph and longing. They will not soon be forgotten.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The British poet Maxwell's first U.S. selected presents a conversational style that is a constant throughout, as is the setting of England and New England; otherwise, these often surreal and opaque poems range across moods and subjects. The best moments occur when readers can lose themselves in the very long poems, in particular the inventive re-imagining of the story of Noah's Ark, "Out of the Rain," and the elegiac "Letters to Edward Thomas," in which the speaker waits for a friend who never arrives: "…now it's been so long/ We lost your name in the meadow/ At dusk." Maxwell's poetry can be playful and inventive, beautiful and melancholic, but can also be self-aggrandizing ("…Frost died, I was born") and even pretentious: "...his empty book fell open as he snored,/ and the pages leafed themselves until they came/ decisively to a page that bore the word/ Poems, bore the English word for poems,/ Poems, and I weakened then and cried./ I didn't even wake him with these moans of bliss." Yet Maxwell is one of stars of poetry across the pond and a rising presence here; this book should win him new fans. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374226480
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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