Sweet Ruin

Sweet Ruin

by Tony Hoagland
     
 

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Tony Hoagland captures the recognizably American landscape of a man of his generation:  sex, friendship, rock and roll, cars, high optimism, and disillusion.  With what Robert Pinsky has called “the saving vulgarity of American poetry,”  Hoagland’s small biographies of destruction reveal that defeat is a natural prelude to grace and

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Overview

Tony Hoagland captures the recognizably American landscape of a man of his generation:  sex, friendship, rock and roll, cars, high optimism, and disillusion.  With what Robert Pinsky has called “the saving vulgarity of American poetry,”  Hoagland’s small biographies of destruction reveal that defeat is a natural prelude to grace and loss a kind of threshold to freedom.

“A remarkable book.  Without any rhetorical straining, with a disarming witty directness, these poems manage to transform every subject they touch, from love to politics, reaching out from the local and the personal to place the largest issues in the context of feeling.  It’s hard to think of a recent book that succeeds with equal grace in fusing the truth-telling and the lyric impulse, clarity and song, in a way that produces such consistent pleasure and surprise.”—Carl Dennis

“This is wonderful poetry:  exuberant, self-assured, instinct with wisdom and passion.”—Carolyn Kizer

“There is a fine strong sense in these poems of real lives being lived in a real world.  This is something I greatly prize.  And it is all colored, sometimes brightly, by the poet’s own highly romantic vision of things, so that what we may think we already know ends up seeming rich and strange.”—Donald Justice

“In Sweet Ruin, we’re banging along the Baja of our little American lives, spritzing truth from our lapels, elbowing our compadres, the Seven Deadly Sins.  Maybe we’re unhappy in a less than tragic way, but our ruin requires of us a love and understanding and loyalty just as deep and sweet as any tragic hero’s.  And it’s all the more poignant in a sad and funny way because the purpose of this forced spiritual march, Hoagland seems to be saying, is to leave ourselves behind.  Undoubtedly, you will recognize among the body count many of your selves.”—Jack Myers

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From the Publisher

Winner of the 1994 John C. Zacharis First Book Award and the 1993 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299135836
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
11/01/1992
Series:
Wisconsin Poetry Series , #8
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
92
File size:
167 KB

What People are saying about this

Carl Dennis
A remarkable book. Without any rhetorical straining, with a disarming witty directness, these poems manage to transform every subject they touch, from love to politics, reaching out from the local and the personal to place the largest issues in the context of feeling. It's hard to think of a recent book that succeeds with equal grace in fusing the truth-telling and the lyric impulse, clarity and song, in a way that produces such consistent pleasure and surprise.
Carolyn Kizer
This is wonderful poetry: exuberant, self-assured, instinct with wisdom and passion.
Jack Myers
In Sweet Ruin, we're banging along the Baja of our little American lives, spritzing truth from our lapels, elbowing our compadres, the Seven Deadly Sins. Maybe we're unhappy in a less than tragic way, but our ruin requires of us a love and understanding and loyalty just as deep and sweet as any tragic hero's. And it's all the more poignant in a sad and funny way because the purpose of this forced spiritual march, Hoagland seems to be saying, is to leave ourselves behind. Undoubtedly, you will recognize among the body count many of your selves.
Donald Justice
There is a fine strong sense in these poems of real lives being lived in a real world. This is something I greatly prize. And it is all colored, sometimes brightly, by the poet's own highly romantic vision of things, so that what we may think we already know ends up seeming rich and strange.

Read More

Meet the Author

Tony Hoagland has published three chapbooks of poetry—History of Desire, A Change in Plans, and In Gratitude for Talk—and contributed to the anthologies  New American Poets of the 90’s, The Best of Crazyhorse, and The Pushcart Anthology 1991.  He now lives in Waterville, Maine.

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