The River of Heaven

The River of Heaven

by Garrett Hongo

Paperback(New Edition)

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The River of Heaven by Garrett Hongo

The River of Heaven was awarded the 1987 Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets for a distinguished second book of poems (judges: Philip Booth, Alfred Corn, Mary Oliver). In it Garrett Hongo has drawn from his unusual background (born in Volcano, Hawaii, of Japanese ancestry, and educated in California at Pomona) to provide the materials for poems that would be highly exotic were they not infused with a level-headed sense of realism and a strong feeling that mundane realities are perfectly natural material for the poetry of our time. Here, Garrett Hongo transforms his mundane realities into elegant poetry. The volcanoes of Hawaii, the gritty urban streets of Los Angeles, a California beach after the death of his father—the places of Garrett Hongo’s past metamorphose into a poetry that is compelling and immediate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887483585
Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2001
Series: Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series: Poetry
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 68
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.20(d)

Table of Contents

Mendocino Rose

Nostalgic Catalogue
Village: Kahuku-mura
Ancestral Graves, Kahuku
Obon: Dance for the Dead
Pinoy at the Coming World
Jigoku: On the Glamour of Self-Hate
Hilo: First Night Back
Eruption: Pu’u O’o
Crossing Ka’u Desert
Volcano House
The Unreal Dwelling: My Years in Volcano

Morro Rock
Metered Onramp
The Sound of Water
A Far Galaxy
The Cadence of Silk
“96 Tears”
Portrait of a Lady
Four Chinatown Figures
The Pier
The Underworld
The Legend

What People are Saying About This

William Matthews

“Garrett Hongo has the poetic skills to match his amplitude of feeling and sympathy, and his The River of Heaven is a wonderful book.”

Maxine Hong Kingston

“I love The River of Heaven for its stories and people. Garrett Hongo searches out those who inhabit alleys, islands, old graveyards, piers, and learns that ‘splendor must be something of what we all want.’ He extends splendor—and the sight and voice and concern of American poetry.”

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River of Heaven 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to be taught by Garrett Hongo as an undergraduate. He is insanely brilliant, conflicted, and well learned. His poetry is so vivid and ten levels above what most people even think about in their finest moments.