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Wild Gratitude
     

Wild Gratitude

by Edward Hirsch
 

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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, 1986

“This is a lovely and moving collection, and it has not only the courage of its strong emotions, but the language and form that makes and keeps them clear and true.”
—Anthony Hecht
 
“Hirsch remains a poet of celebration, but the sorrows of the world are here

Overview

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, 1986

“This is a lovely and moving collection, and it has not only the courage of its strong emotions, but the language and form that makes and keeps them clear and true.”
—Anthony Hecht
 
“Hirsch remains a poet of celebration, but the sorrows of the world are here too, in equal measure. The language is, throughout, simple, sensuous, and direct. We can be grateful for this book and this poet.”
—Jay Parini
 
“I have known the poetry of Edward Hirsch for some time, and have greatly admired it. But I even more greatly admire his Wild Gratitude as a general collection, and I am convinced that the best poems here are unsurpassed in our time.”
—Robert Penn Warren

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like a virtuoso pianist who makes a difficult piece sound easy to play, Hirsch writes poems that flow with a captivating directness and ease. Using a simple vocabulary, a sometimes intimate, conversational tone, he creates succinct and powerful pieces in which an honest voice speaks without affectation. It is a voice of affirmation, expressing ``wild gratitude'' for life with all its beauty, complexity and terror. Writing of a friend dying of cancer at 37, Hirsch finds an objective correlative in a windy October night, full of falling leaves and rain, which transports the reader from the particular to the universal. In ``Commuters,'' he writes about a man who stands outside himself watching himself get off a commuter train and into his car. Repetition and precise description of the man's movements capture perfectly his sense of dislocation and alienation. This volume of 32 poems, part of the Knopf Poetry Series, is an admirable successor to Hirsch's first, highly praised book, For the Sleepwalkers. January 23
Library Journal
Some of Hirsch's poems are inventive, like ``The Night Parade'' in which he imagines a ``vice president of sleep,'' or ``I Need Help,'' where he wants ``to build a new kind of machine/ For flying out of the body at night.'' But he can also give us documentary poems on urban life, featuring a commuter ``buckled into a steel box . . . trying/ Not to panic'' and a bag lady ``sprawled out on a steaming vent for warmth.'' In ``Sleepwatch'' and ``Unhappy Love Poem,'' he writes moving confessions about family and marriage. Hirsch concludes with a splendid group of poems about East European fugitives, like the Hungarian who went to Vienna ``with a suitcase of bruised manuscripts, a stick of salami . . . and thirty shillings.'' Wild Gratitude offers poetic surprises on every page. Highly recommended. Daniel L. Guillory, English Dept., Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375710124
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/18/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
489,099
Product dimensions:
5.87(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.26(d)

Meet the Author

Edward Hirsch has published five previous books of poems: For the Sleepwalkers (1981), Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), and On Love(1998). He has also written three prose books, including How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national best-seller, and The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (2002). A frequent contributor to the leading magazines and periodicals, including The New Yorker, DoubleTake, and American Poetry Review, he also writes the Poet's Choice column for the Washington Post Book World. He has received the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. A professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston for seventeen years, he is now President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

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