Traveling Light

Overview

A new collection from a poet long recognized for her “unfailing mastery of her medium” (New York Times).

Linda Pastan meditates on themes of aging and memory, language and art in this moving collection, where she travels from the Thanksgiving table, a “palimpsest / with traces of the past / showing through,” to Japan, where she dreams in ...

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Overview

A new collection from a poet long recognized for her “unfailing mastery of her medium” (New York Times).

Linda Pastan meditates on themes of aging and memory, language and art in this moving collection, where she travels from the Thanksgiving table, a “palimpsest / with traces of the past / showing through,” to Japan, where she dreams in haiku. “Pastan . . . expresses a full range of the possibilities and potencies of the human, feminine voice” (Boston Globe).

from "In the Forest"

The trees are lit

from within like Sabbath candles

before they are snuffed out.

Autumn is such a Jewish season,

the whole minor key of it.

Hear how the wind trembles

through the branches, vibrato

as notes of cello music.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Like a palimpsest/ with traces of the past/ showing through…." Thus begins a poem about a Thanksgiving ghost, yet these lines easily refer to many of the poems in this volume, poems with layers of meaning and shadows of memory, the past insisting on itself in the future. Eve and her garden become metaphors for womanhood and its passages. Whitman's lilacs, like a bruised purple sky, show us that "In the end we are no more than our own stories." In this collection, skilled storyteller Pastan adeptly choreographs poems of art and Ars Poetica, poems of the garden and nature, and poems about the confounding processes of memory and aging. "Sometimes it really upsets me—/ the way the clock's hands keep moving,// even when I'm just sitting here/ not doing anything at all." Her poems are skillfully written with lovely syntax and strong, evocative imagery. VERDICT Surprising readers with subject and an occasional rhyme, Pastan proves once again that, 12 books later, she is a poet who can ground us, who can astound us. Essential reading for poetry lovers.—Karla Huston, Appleton Art Ctr., WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393079074
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2011
  • Pages: 77
  • Sales rank: 1,469,793
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Pastan has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Potomac, Maryland.

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