Poems to Live By: In Uncertain Times

Overview

The week after the attack on the World Trade Center, Joan Murray read her poem about it, "Survivors—Found," on National Public Radio.

Thousands heard her poem and were so moved that they contacted her to ask for copies. In the wake of our nation's tragedy, poetry has taken on a new relevance in people's lives. As Dinitia Smith noted in The New York Times, "In the weeks since the terrorist attacks, people have been consoling themselves-and one ...

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Overview

The week after the attack on the World Trade Center, Joan Murray read her poem about it, "Survivors—Found," on National Public Radio.

Thousands heard her poem and were so moved that they contacted her to ask for copies. In the wake of our nation's tragedy, poetry has taken on a new relevance in people's lives. As Dinitia Smith noted in The New York Times, "In the weeks since the terrorist attacks, people have been consoling themselves-and one another-with poetry in an almost unprecedented way."

Poems to Live By features sixty of the finest poems by an international group of distinguished writers, including W. H. Auden, Czeslaw Milosz, Bertolt Brecht, Yehuda Amichai, Mary Oliver, Miguel de Unamuno, Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Sharon Olds. Agreeing with Kenneth Burke that literature is equipment for living, Murray has arranged the anthology in six sections that address our most urgent concerns: death and remembrance, fear and suffering, affirmations and rejoicings, warnings and instructions, war and rumors of war, meditations and conversations.

Beginning with Faiz Ahmed Faiz's somber remembrance ('This is the way that autumn came to the trees: / it stripped them down to the skin') and concluding with D. H. Lawrence's simple and deep-felt "Pax," Poems to Live By addresses our need for wisdom in dark times, whether those times are personal or the ones we live through together.

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Editorial Reviews

Self Magazine
Rediscover words: There's nothing like beautiful writing to restore your sense of wonder in the world. Browse through Poems to Live By in Uncertain Times (Beacon), a new collection of poetry that features inspiring lines by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks:

  • Live not for the Battles Won
  • Live not for the End-of-the-Song
  • Live in the along
Publishers Weekly
From Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., co-owner Barbara Meade says, "We always sell books on grieving and recovery in fair amounts, but the only book that's really standing out for us right now is Poems to Live By in Uncertain Times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807068694
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 683,521
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.23 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Murray is a National Poetry Series Winner, Poet-in-Residence at the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, author of three prize-winning books of poetry: Queen of the Mist, Looking for the Parade, and The Same Water, editor of Poems to Live By in Uncertain Times, and general editor of the forthcoming Best of Pushcart Poetry.

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