Pennyweight Windows: New & Selected Poems


For over twenty years, Donald Revell has used the pastoral as a tool of protest/revolution against violence and war and as a guide to peace, arguing for personal, natural and political growth in precise, delicate lyrics. Pennyweight Windows: New and Selected Poems includes a new group of poems and much of the finest work from Revell's eight previous collections.
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For over twenty years, Donald Revell has used the pastoral as a tool of protest/revolution against violence and war and as a guide to peace, arguing for personal, natural and political growth in precise, delicate lyrics. Pennyweight Windows: New and Selected Poems includes a new group of poems and much of the finest work from Revell's eight previous collections.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW said last year that Revell was due for a career retrospective, and this ample and almost shockingly varied cull of poems from eight books rewards that call richly. New readers can watch a brilliant writer retain his talent but change his style, and his prevailing temperament, almost beyond recognition. Revell began as a disenchanted urbanite, reflecting his Bronx upbringing and his academic training in the convoluted sentences and increasing dejection of his first three volumes, culminating with 1990's appropriately titled New Dark Ages. With Beautiful Shirt (1994) Revell began to abandon his bleak pentameter musings for even more cryptic, but more optimistic, short lines, informed and infused by Christian mysticism: "A leaf is the shape of God/ torn apart." The poet's relocations to Utah and Nevada, and the life he made there with his wife (the poet Claudia Keelan) and their son, make his most recent verse also his happiest and his most accessible, with links to his avant-garde peers but also to the luminous directness of James Wright. Fans of Revell's My Mojave (2003) will also enjoy the confident and generous new poems at this volume's close, in which "We are not make-believe, and God is one of us." (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Revell's (My Mojave) poems serve almost as a bridge between the classical imagination and modern poetry, offsetting broad themes such as heaven, hell, nature, and love with a contemporary pessimism: "I believe in one God, and He has never yet/ created me." Revell is that rare poet who can arrive at original observations by dealing with universal cliches. Using history, mythology, and contemporary events as a backdrop, he tries to balance a public, nearly didactic voice with a personal and revealing one. This works better in some poems than in others-a few linguistic experiments fall short, and many of the longer poems tend to ramble. Still, this readable and well-edited collection-mostly culled from eight previous collections, with some new poems added-is a good representation of Revell's work. Highly recommended.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News, New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"It takes guts to write more poems about peace, war, God and children, but Revell's are so fresh, it's as if he's the first person ever to do it."-Time Magazine

“Revell is a writer of singular talent and ambition . . . he takes the reader to unfamiliar and strange places and, in the process, he creates some of the most beautiful poetry in our language.”—Harvard Review

"To read this selection from Donald Revell's 20-plus years of making poems is to witness the evolution of both an individual poet and the poetics of an entire era."-Boston Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295517
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Poet, translator and critic Donald Revell has authored ten previous collections of poetry. Winner of a 2008 NEA Translation Award, the 2004 Lenore Marshall Award and two-time winner of the PEN Center USA Award in Poetry, Revell has also been awarded the Gertrude Stein Award, the Shestack Prize, a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation. Currently, he is a professor of English at the University of Utah, poetry editor of the Colorado Review and a columnist for American Poetry Review.
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Read an Excerpt

Pennyweight Windows

New & Selected Poems
By Donald Revell

Alice James Books

Copyright © 2005 Donald Revell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781882295524

From The Pennyweight Woods

I ran into the woods to find the red house.
But what is the use of a house without
A planet to put it on? I mean, without Peace?
Until the armies disperse,
It is better to cook my food with broken glass
Than with fire.

The black & white cinema wants to know
Where have they taken our Lord?
The beetle asks the flowers at Beauvoir,

Change is change.
Here is my eye when I was a baby.
It is clean for you now
And for the rest of the family
Helping the sunshine over there.


Excerpted from Pennyweight Windows by Donald Revell Copyright © 2005 by Donald Revell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Central Park South 3
Belfast 5
In Lombardy 7
Just lord 9
Bal des Ardents 10
Tokens 12
Mignonette 13
Here to there 15
Homage 17
Birthplace 21
The children's undercroft 22
The more lustrous 24
A setting 25
The gaza of winter 26
No valediction 28
Consenting 29
Emily Dickinson's mirror, Amherst 31
Survey 35
1848 36
How passion comes to matter 37
The northeast corridor 39
The new world 41
The night orchard 43
The Judas nocturne 46
Wartime 48
Least said 50
Production number 52
The old causes 53
Against pluralism 55
New dark ages 58
Muse 63
The lesson of the classics 65
Heat lightning 66
1990 67
Anniversary of many cities 68
Benzene 69
Sirius 70
Erasures 72
Apart from solitude 73
Last 74
Lyre 83
Privacy 84
Stilling 90
Plenitude 91
In company 98
Curb 104
Debt 105
Arranged to meet in Aix 107
An instrument also 108
A branch of the discipline 111
Overthrow 112
Upon diagnosis 116
Elegy 117
There are three 118
To the Lord Protector 119
Extinction 123
Advent 124
A clasp 125
Scherzo 126
No difference I know they are 131
Conforming to the fashions of eternity 135
Arcady Tombeau 136
Light lily lily light light lily light 137
Nature a corner for me 138
Xenophanes 139
July 4th blue diamond 140
Heraclitus 141
The stars their perfection 142
Tooms 3 143
Anaximander 145
In the 24 seasons' 146
Hymnal 147
Tooms 4 148
Anaxagoras 150
Just having owed 151
Elegy a little 152
My trip 155
My Mojave 157
Short fantasia 159
Just leaving 160
Meadowork 161
The government of heaven 162
To the destroyers of ballots 167
Picnic 168
Sermon 169
For Thomas Traherne 170
Prolegomena 171
Bacchae 176
Harvest 177
In Christmas 178
A new Abelard 180
The arts of peace 183
Given days 184
New Year 190
The dead in their sleekness 193
Clematis 195
Zion 196
Conquest 197
Visions of the daughters of Albion : a screenplay 199
My virtuous pagan 200
Vietnam epic treatment 201
The bishop's wife 203
A green hill far away 204
The Celandine creed 206
Landscape with Tityrus in Vermont 209
Landscape : Coronado 211
Landscape with the spirit of Kenneth Koch presiding 213
Landscape with free will and predestination 214
The pennyweight woods 216
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