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Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995

Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995

by Hayden Carruth

Powerful new poems by one of North America's premier poets.


Powerful new poems by one of North America's premier poets.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carruth's latest collection revolves around a handful of familiar themes, all of which mingle and reconfigure throughout the poet's bittersweet, sometimes celebratory, occasionally rueful verse. Meditations on aging and love, nostalgia and guilt, contemporary politics and ancient history filter through much of this generally moving, uneven collection. Carruth's voice, always highly personal, is at its best when it mixes colloquial diction with an elegiac lyricism, as in his meditation on family history, "Flying into St. Louis": "For sixty-five years/ I've blamed my mother and father,/ I've climbed their trees and lopped off/ their branches, I've held/ their words in my mind like cudgels." At other times, however, the colloquial takes over and Carruth's verse becomes almost flat, as in "The Chain": "but I am a poet and you are too and so are all people/ except the monsters of this world/ out there planting/ mines in the mud and snow...." Despite its lesser offerings, the collection amply illustrates the openness and honesty with which Carruth addresses the world, the mixed compassion and outrage with which he responds to it and his continued productivity through a long, distinguished career. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Although Carruth here declares "Truth and Beauty/ were never the/ aims of proper poetry,'' there's plenty of both in this affecting volume. "When we say I/ miss you/ what we mean is "I'm/ filled with/ dread''; "Was it the way of your world, too, old master, that everyone had to be/ a villain in someone else's life?"; "This is the summer of war in Bosnia./ A few summers ago the war was somewhere else." Carruth drops such aphoristic insights with ease, and they hit like gentle little blows alerting us to what is at the heart of our experience. Every line is perfectly polishednot "crafted," which seems far too deliberate and forced a word for this easy-flowing poetry, but smoothed as if the words had been rolled around and around the tongue like good whiskey (and maybe even scrambled eggs). These poems, all written since the publication of Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 (LJ 4/1/92), which won the National Book Award, demonstrate that Carruth is still at the top of his form. Recommended for all poetry collections.Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"

Product Details

Copper Canyon Press
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Hayden Carruth is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies, and has held fellowships from the Bollingen, Guggenheim and Lannan foundations, as well as the NEA. His many awards include the National Book Award for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Lenore Marshall/The Nation Award.

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