World Without Finishing

World Without Finishing

by Peter Cooley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887486302
Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 836,668
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

PETER COOLEY was born and educated in the Midwest and has lived over half of his life in New Orleans, where he is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University. The former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, he received the Marble Faun Award in Poetry from the Faulkner Society and an Atlas Grant from the state of Louisiana. He has published nine previous books, eight of them from Carnegie Mellon. Married and the father of three children, he has published poems in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Atlantic and a number of anthologies.

Table of Contents


World Without Finishing 11

Aubade 12

Pastoral 13

Morning Prayer 14

Rodin, The Cathedral 15

The Immortality Factor 16

Michelangelo, Pietà 17

Is This All the Gods Ask of Us 18

Since You Asked 20

Clair de Lune 21

Incarnation 22

Presentiments 23

The Lessons of the Stars Is Perishing 24

The Question 25


Aubade 29

Morning Walk: Alternative Afterlife 30

Psalm 31

Window Zuihitsu 32

Open Hands, Open Wings 34

Rodin, The Prodigal Son 35

Company of the Morning 36

Holy Saturday 37

Eschatologies 38

The Holy Fool Meets Himself on One of His Highways 39

Bastard Ghazal: Mary Cassatt, Lady at the Tea Table 40

Song 41

A Premature Afterlife 42


Poem for Early Morning, Not an Aubade 45

Another of the Happiness Poems 46

Past the Sexual Rapture Which Isn't Sex 48

Villanelle 49

Carville Leper Colony, Carville, Louisiana, the Cemetery 50

Mayfly Colloquy 51

Blue Window: A Zuihitsu 52

Mary Cassatt, Children Playing on the Beach 54

Sublunaries 55

Poem with a Happy Ending 56

Rembrant, The Adoration of the Shepherds 57

The Light from Certain Houses 58

Spirit Dog Etc. 59


Obits 63

In the Bestiary 64

Dead Cat Log Jam 65

Rembrant, Titus van Kijn Possibly As St. Francis of Assist 66

Epistle to God 67

Tickets, Have Your Tickets Ready 68

Premonition Update 69

Company of the Motel Room 70

The Aviary 71

Madrigal 72

Rodin, The Cathedral 73

Star-Bottom Boat 74

Letter to Summer from the Other Side 75

What People are Saying About This

David St. John

“Reverent and penitent, these poems are devotional in the best sense, celebrating the fruits of the earth while desiring also the ascetic’s hunger.”

Major Jackson

“Peter Cooley knows the notes to the sacred songs. World Without Finishing reveals once again how close to their luminescence he interprets those songs in language such that his poems read like psalms from the constellations. Here we find wisdom in each cadenced utterance, in each spirited chord.”

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