Begin Again: Collected Poems

Begin Again: Collected Poems

by Grace Paley

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

A longtime teacher, activist, feminist, and masterful writer of short fiction and essays, Paley is also an accomplished poet. Combining her two previous collections with unpublished work, Begin Again traces the career of a direct, attentive, and always unpredictable poet. Whether describing the vicissitudes of life in New York City or the hard beauty of rural Vermont, whether celebrating the blessings of friendship or protesting against social injustice, her poems brim with compassion and tough good humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374527242
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 03/14/2001
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,178,036
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

Grace Paley is a writer and a teacher, a feminist and an activist. Her most recent book, Just as I Thought, is a collection of her personal and political essays and articles. In 1994, her Collected Stories was a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in New York City and Vermont.

Read an Excerpt

It is the responsibility of the poet to stand on street corners giving out poems and beautifully written leaflets also leaflets they can hardly bear to look at because of the screaming rhetoric

It is the responsibility of the poet to be lazy to hang out and prophesy

It is the responsibility of the poet not to pay war taxes

It is the responsibility of the poet to go in and out of ivory towers and two-room apartments on Avenue C and buckwheat fields and army camps

It is the responsibility of the male poet to be a woman

It is the responsibility of the female poet to be a woman . . .

-from "Responsibility"

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dedication,
I,
A woman invented fire,
Stanzas: Old Age and the Conventions of Retirement Have Driven My Friends from the,
Work They Love,
One day when I was a child,
Drowning (I),
Drowning (II),
Life,
Right Now,
A Poem about Storytelling,
A Warning,
Alive,
At the Battery,
An Arboreal Mystery,
note to grandparents,
psalm,
Mulberry Street,
War,
For Danny,
The Nature of This City,
On the Fourth Floor,
Winter Afternoon,
Middle-Age Poem,
Bob Visits Friends,
On Mother's Day,
Housing,
Having Arrived by Bike at Battery Park,
II,
Whistlers,
For George (I),
For George (II),
Certain Days,
One Day,
The Five-Day Week,
Some Days,
Vengeance,
Family,
Letter,
My Mother: 33 Years Later,
On the Bank Street Pier,
Gift,
No Love,
Words,
Quarrel,
Question,
Old Age Porch,
Fund Appeal,
For My Friend Who Planted a Tree for His Daughter Jane,
Responsibility,
III / THETFORD POEMS,
Fear,
Families,
Goldenrod,
What is this whiteness on the field?,
When the wild strawberry leaves turn,
Then,
In Deepest Summer,
Saint-John's-wort!,
A bee!,
An ant!,
False strawberry is,
September,
The Choir Singing,
IV,
Song Stanzas of Private Luck,
Some Nearly Songs,
The Old Dog's Song,
34th Street Song,
The Sad Children's Song,
Traveler,
Speaker and Speaker,
Quarrel,
Autumn,
South Window,
My Father at 85,
My Father at 89,
One Day I Decided,
In Aix,
Oh,
In France,
I Gave Away That Kid,
Subway Station,
Bridges,
In Hanoi 1969,
Two Villages,
That Country,
Street Corner Dialogue,
Illegal Aliens,
In San Salvador (I),
In San Salvador (II),
Learning from Barbara Deming,
Happiness,
Definition,
Age,
Love,
Time,
The Dance in Jinotega,
People in My Family,
In the Bus,
V,
House: Some Instructions,
VI / BEGIN AGAIN,
The Immigrant Story,
Translation,
Signs,
The Woman Says,
Faces,
It's True,
Tenth Grade,
Suppertime,
The Word Thrum,
My Father Said,
He Wanders,
Four Short Pieces,
The Poet's Occasional Alternative,
One of the Softer Sorrows of Age,
When this old body,
When I Was Asked How I Could Leave Vermont in the Middle of October,
Weather,
In Montpelier, Vermont,
Beef,
NOW,
Is There a Difference Between Men and Women,
Reading the Newspapers at the Village Store,
What If (This Week),
This Life,
Sometimes,
Leaflet,
I See My Friend Everywhere,
A Letter,
For Jan,
Luck,
On the Deck,
For My Daughter,
Therefore,
In This Dream,
Hand-Me-Downs,
Here,
Walking in the Woods,
Also by Grace Paley,
About the Author,
Copyright,

What People are Saying About This

Adrienne Rich

What I love most in Grace Paley's poetry is her unquenchable sense that the artist's life is not somewhere at the margins of community, that a dialogue is necessary between the poet and her people. The North American enterprise has injured this dialogue. Paley's exuberant, heartbreaking, committed poems call it back to health (Adrienne Rich).

Gerald Stern

Grace Paley . . . is funny and poignant, a writer of great power and great delicacy. She is one of our finest-and most original-poets (Gerald Stern, winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Poetry).

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Begin Again : Collected Poems 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
handy1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm afraid poetry was not her strong suit; short story writing was. These poems are certainly accessible, with no obscure literary references or awkward, stilted prose. Unfortunately, most were so lacking in depth and style, that they weren't particularly thought provoking. To me, they lacked that delicious concentration of language that immediately conjurs up images or emotions. Surely, some made me smile, and others contained wise observations, but none made my hit list to share or read again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Grace Paley has a way of stating things, simply, on paper, as if they were just tumbling through her mind. There is no pretense with her poetry. It just flows across and down the page.