The Paintings of Our Lives: Poems

The Paintings of Our Lives: Poems

by Grace Schulman


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Grace Schulman's fourth collection of poetry, THE PAINTINGS OF OUR LIVES, celebrates earthly things while discovering inner lives. Here are poems of love and marriage -- including a psalm for the poet's anniversary and a portrayal of her parents dancing during the Depression -- and poems identifying with the hungers, sorrows, and joys of Chaim Soutine, Margaret Fuller, Paul Celan, and Henry James. In the final sonnet sequence, Schulman confronts her mother's death, calling on the art of many cultures to illuminate the universality of grief.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618154654
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 08/31/2007
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

GRACE SCHULMAN is the author many acclaimed books of poetry, including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. For her poetry she has received a Guggenheim fellowship, the Aiken-Taylor Award, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, New York University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and three Pushcart prizes. Schulman is a distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY. She is a former director of the Poetry Center (1978–1984) and a former poetry editor of The Nation (1971–2006).

Read an Excerpt


Here where loss spins the hickory’s dry leaves, rolls miles under wheels, and bleaches reeds that shone wine-red, I invoke a rose still rising like a choir, past its prime on a spindly bush that bore scarce blooms, as I wake to hear a jay screech like a gate swung open, and see your hand enfolding mine on linen: TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS.

Copyright © 2001 by Grace SchulmanPOEM ENDING WITH A PHRASE FROM THE PSALMS

Table of Contents



Prayer · 3 God Speaks · 5 Eve’s Unnaming · 6 Chaim Soutine · 8 Poem Ending with a Phrase from the Psalms · 10 Psalm for an Anniversary · 11 Balm in Gilead · 13 No Strings · 14 Carnegie Hill Birdlore · 15 Blue Dawn · 16 In the Café · 17 December · 18


American Solitude · 21 Storm Watch · 24 Young Woman Drawing, 1801 · 25 Black and White · 26 Margaret Fuller · 28 The Dancers · 30 Brooklyn Bridge · 32 Under the City · 35 Elegy Written in the Conservatory Garden · 37 Henry James Revisiting, 1904 · 40 Street Colors · 42 The Designer’s Notebook · 44 Mostly Mozart · 46


The Paintings of Our Lives · 49 Mosaic 1. Walking in Paris · 51 2. The Castle · 53 3. Recovery · 54 4. Naming · 55


Last Requests · 59 One Year Without Mother 1. What Can You Believe? · 61 2. The Piano · 62 3. Things · 63 4. Ceremony · 64 5. Words in the Dark · 65 6. Ring Sale · 66 7. Eagle · 67 8. The Fall · 68 9. Keeper · 69 10. A Goldsmith in His Shop · 70 11. The Lesson of a Tree · 71 12. Lamentation Scene · 72 13. Offering · 73 14. Credo · 74 15. Requiem · 75

Notes · 77

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“These elegiac lyrics are reveries upon art, street scenes, and the beloved dead. Many of them are so exquisite in their sensibility, so intricate in their texture, that they are likely to endure as long as we have discerning readers.”—Harold Bloom

"Delicacy of mind and ear, and gentleness of spirit, emerge together with quiet assurance in these new poems by Grace Schulman and give them their elegance, authenticity, and spirit. These are poems whose deeply informed humanity allows us to use that word with hope."—W.S. Merwin

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