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Selected Poems

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For his Selected Poems, C. K. Williams has chosen from three decades of his work to represent every aspect of his marvelous career.

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Selected Poems

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For his Selected Poems, C. K. Williams has chosen from three decades of his work to represent every aspect of his marvelous career.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
His Selected Poems sets the violent brooding of Williams's (A Dream of Mind) early writing against the lucid equanimity of his more mature work. The poetry spans three decades and offers an outline of his development. We get only occasional glimpses of the crude brutality that characterizes the poems from Lies (1969) and I am the Bitter Name (1972) in the mostly affirmative selections from Tar (1983), Flesh and Blood (1987) and his other recent books. Early, physically explicit and jarring poems like ``Saint Sex'' lead to the more cerebral work that has come to represent his style. The poems excerpted from The Lark. The Thrush. The Starling. (1983) reinforce a reader's impression of Williams's versatility while offering a formal alternative to the lengthy, Whitmanesque lines that he appears to prefer. And, though not ground-breaking, the dozen new poems here offer a closing, microcosmic view of his career with topically and stylistically familiar work. In ``Villanelle of the Suicide's Mother,'' however, Williams unexpectedly uses a formal rhyme scheme to achieve the chilling impression of a cyclic children's song. Selected by the poet, this volume is a formidable retrospective. (Oct.)
Elizabeth Gunderson
Williams plucks the plums from three decades and 10 books for this delicious selection. Sometimes when a poet releases a selected works, it's easy to see in it the slow evolution from trembling, green beginner to self-confident, mentally expanded stylist. But Williams has always been the languorous observer who changes only his form, not his voice. (Still, far more substantially represented here than any other form is the powerful long line that has become his trademark and that he first explored in "With Ignorance"[1977].) His subject matter consists of world events, instances of human frailty, and others of shameless romanticism in a wild congeries, so that, for instance, a short poem about a child's incontinence on Easter precedes another on Bishop Tutu's visit to the White House. A complete and thoughtful collection that represents a remarkable career.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374258818
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Series: Oxford Poets Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2009


    The previous review doesn't refer to William Carlos Williams' Selected Poems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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