Selected Poems, 1965-1990

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Overview

Here is a rich collection of work from five books by one of America's most controversial poets. Marilyn Hacker's poems have been praised for their technical virtuosity, forthright feminism, political acuity, and unabashed eroticism.
Included are selections from Hacker's first book, Presentation Piece (1974), the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award Winner; Separations (1976); Taking Notice (1980), which was claimed as an integral ...

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Selected Poems 1965-1990

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Overview

Here is a rich collection of work from five books by one of America's most controversial poets. Marilyn Hacker's poems have been praised for their technical virtuosity, forthright feminism, political acuity, and unabashed eroticism.
Included are selections from Hacker's first book, Presentation Piece (1974), the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award Winner; Separations (1976); Taking Notice (1980), which was claimed as an integral part of the burgeoning feminist and lesbian canon; Assumptions (1985), which explored the conundrums of gender, race, and identity in contemporary life; and Going Back to the River(1990), which received a Lambda Literary Award.

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Editorial Reviews

Diane Middlebrook
“Marilyn Hacker's poetry passes loss through wit, and makes it sing.”
Eavan Boland
“Marilyn Hacker is an essential American poet. In these poems elements of tone and theater find a balance which is witty and powerful all at once; which seems impossible but happens anyway. This is a poet of dazzling opposites. Her formal variety exists with a strong-willed vernacular; her lyric wryness with a determined narrative. These poems tell her story. They also honor the story of poetry in our time with their strength and purpose and their clear, unswerving gaze.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tracing Hacker's (Assumptions) poetic development here will make an intriguing journey for both new and familiar readers of this leader of the feminist/lesbian poetry movement. Hacker's signature style-passionate, technically deft-is spotlighted in early poems such as ``Elegy,'' paying tribute to the agonized ``sandpaper/ velvet'' throat of Janis Joplin. The poet has noted that ``subjects choose us, not otherwise'': by the 1980s, her subjects were avowedly feminist, ranging from political ideology in ``Coda'' to eros in ``La Fontaine de Vauclause.'' Other poems disclose her ``taking notice'' of her estranged relations with her diabetic mother, and of her daughter Ira, ``born hero'' and ``found... flawed.'' Recent poems find Hacker's stance forthrightly gay (``unsaintly ordinary female queers''), yet her style has become more muted, especially in written reveries about the chaotic 1960s. This collection deserves honors for its great heart and its embrace of the female condition. (Oct.)
Library Journal
"In Hacker we have a poet who has gone to the center while broadening the periphery," said LJ's reviewer when these two works were published jointly. (LJ 9/15/94)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393313499
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,354,267
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The winner of the National Book Award,
the PEN/Voelcker Award, and two Lambda
Literary Awards, Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve previous collections of poetry and fifteen collections of translations.
She lives in Paris.

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Table of Contents

Presentation Piece 3
Exiles 5
She Bitches About Boys 6
from The Navigators (I, III, IV, V, VI, X) 7
For Elektra 13
Elektra on Third Avenue 15
The Art of the Novel 16
Before the War 18
The Sea Coming Indoors 19
Pornographic Poem 21
Forage Sestina 23
Sestina 25
Villanelle 27
Sisterhood 28
Elegy 31
Rooms in Bloomsbury 34
Aube Provencale 35
Crepuscule Provencale 36
Untoward Occurrence at Embassy Poetry Reading 37
A Christmas Crown 39
The Callers 49
Somewhere in a Turret 58
from Separations (I, V, VI, VII, IX, XIV, XVI, XVIII) 60
Rhetoric 64
Villanelle: Late Summer 65
The Companion 66
The Last Time 71
After the Revolution 73
Geographer 77
Feeling and Form 85
The Regent's Park Sonnets 88
Living in the Moment 93
Adult Entertainment 95
Prayer for My Daughter 96
1976 97
Third Snowfall 98
Iva's Pantoum 100
The Hang-Glider's Daughter 103
Lines Declining a Transatlantic Dinner Invitation 106
Iva's Birthday Poem 108
Partial Analysis 110
Why We Are Going Back to Paradise Island 111
Shirland Road 113
La Fontaine de Vaucluse 114
Peterborough 118
Home, and I've 121
Pantoum 123
Canzone 126
from Taking Notice (I-VII, X, XIII, XIV, XVIII, XIX, XXIII) 129
Towards Autumn 139
Fourteen 141
Mother 142
Days of 1959 143
Fifteen to Eighteen 144
1973 145
Mother II 146
Autumn 1980 148
Part of a True Story 151
A Chaplet for Judith Landry 155
Sword 158
Inheritances 159
Graffiti from the Gare Saint-Manque 161
Gerda in the Aerie 167
The Robber Woman 171
The Little Robber Girl Considers the Wide World 174
Rune of the Finland Woman 176
The Little Robber Girl Gets On in the Wide World 178
Ballad of Ladies Lost and Found 183
Two Cities 189
Nights of 1962: The River Merchant's Wife 194
April Interval 197
Riposte 198
Late August Letter 200
Country & Western 204
Country & Western II 206
Letter from Goose Creek: April 208
Nights of 1964-1966: The Old Reliable 212
Elevens 215
Late August 217
Dear Jool, I Miss You in Saint-Saturnin 218
Le Travail Rajeunit 221
Languedocienne 223
For K. J., Leaving and Coming Back 224
Celles 227
Separate Lives 229
Days of 1944: Three Friends 233
For Jean Migrenne 235
Going Back to the River 237
Against Silence 240
Index 245
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