The Whole Motion: Collected Poems, 1945-1992 / Edition 1

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For over three decades, James Dickey has been one of the nation’s most important poets and a prominent man of letters. The Whole Motion collects his poetic oeuvre into a single volume: 235 poems from his first book, Into the Stone (1960), to The Eagle’s Mile (1990), along with previously uncollected poems and unpublished “apprentice” works.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This weighty volume offers an impressive testimonial to one of our most complex and prolific poets. Where others condense, Dickey enlarges. His long, limber stanzas have a rhetorical eloquence that seems characteristically Southern, and his sensibility reflects the influence of a rural culture whose relationship to nature is unsentimental and immediate. Some of the most haunting poems discuss flying and falling, as in the verse describing a stewardess swept through the emergency door of an airplane. Dickey subordinates the horror of the incident to a transcendent detachment as the flight attendant's clothes ``come down all over Kansas into bushes on the dewy sixth green/ of a golf course one shoe her girdle coming down fantastically/ on a clothesline, where it belongs her blouse on a lightning rod.'' The publisher could have aided the reader by providing original publication dates as well as a title index, but this is a major collection by an important, prize-winning author. Strongly recommended for all collections.-- Christine Stenstrom, Shea & Gould Law Lib. , New York
From the Publisher
“There is a physicality and a willfulness, a biblical sweep and grandness to Dickey’s poetry whether he’s writing about dust or combat, trees or animals, love or seasons . . . A definitive retrospective,”—Booklist

“One of the things we should mean when we call a poet ‘good’ is that his work returns us to the world and not merely to the poet. We do not assimilate good poetry; we become included in its imagination. James Dickey is a good poet, very good.”—Michael Goldman, The Nation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819512185
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 494
  • Sales rank: 763,782
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMES DICKEY is Carolina Professor and Poet-in-Residence at University of South Carolina. His many honors include a Guggenheim, a National Book Award and a Melville Cane Award for Buckdancer’s Choice (1965), and the French Prix Médicis for his novel Deliverance (1970). His most recent book is a novel, To the White Sea (1993).

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