“A major work, a record of our era,” wrote Maxine Kumin in awarding the Paterson Poetry Prize to Hang-Gliding from Helicon, Daniel Hoffman’s selected poems a dozen years ago. Of Darkening Water, his ﬁrst collection since then, Fred Chappell observes, “These poems have all the poet’s familiar virtuesclarity, grace where desired, accuracy of visual detail and of dialogue, and a formal mastery so deft that playfulness comes easily. Hoffman’s dominant theme lies in the contrast (and often the necessary balance) between the primal, ancient, legendary strains of our culture and the new-fangled, distracting but genuine imperatives of contemporaneity. Hoffman uses older forms and traditions to make something new and durable.”
The range of Hoffman’s sensibility includes the primordial sludge from which life emerged and the coin-ﬁlled fountain of a suburban shopping mall, an enduring New England garden and the dancing woman in an ancient cave. His luminous poems create memorable characters, exploring man’s relationship to nature and to time. Seemingly effortless juxtapositions create rewarding surprises.
This reﬁned collection by one of our ﬁnest poets reverberates with intelligence, close observation, and a deep respect for the possibilities of language. It is a treasure for Hoffman’s many longtime readers as well as for those discovering his work for the ﬁrst time.
|Publisher:||Louisiana State University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
DANIEL HOFFMAN’s nine books of poems include Hang-Gliding from Helicon, winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize; his verse novel, Middens of the Tribe; and Brotherly Love, a ﬁnalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He served as Consultant in Poetry of the Library of Congress (the appointment now called Poet Laureate of the United States) 1973–1974 and as Poet in Residence of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York 1988–1999, administering the American Poets’ Corner. He is Felix E. Schelling Professor of English Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, and author of a half dozen books in prose, including Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poeanother ﬁnalist for the National Book Awardand Zone of the Interior: A Memoir, 1942–1947.