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From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize The poems in Carl Dennis's new collection Another Reason assume that our efforts to reason with ourselves and with others about what matters to us are necessary to escape the purely private point of view, to provide the houses we live in with doors and windows. These poems enact a drama of attempted persuasion, as the poet confers with himself, with intimates, and with strangers, if only in the hope that by defining differences more precisely one may be drawn into a genuine dialogue. As the poet asserts and questions his own authority, encountering a wide range of competing claims from other voices, we find ourselves included in a conversation that deepens our notion of the human community. .
From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize This new collection by acclaimed poet Carl Dennis is about vocation in the largest sense, the work that we believe gives our lives meaning, and the challenges that come in defining such work and in doing it well. The poems approach their subject from a variety of perspectives: a calling may involve a compromise with limitations, or be an expression of individual purpose; if a calling in some poems provides an alternative to the disorder of the world, in others it offers a means to shape the world as we are shaped by it. As the poems speak to each other, they form a dialogue of attitudes that makes room for both frustration and achievement, a dialogue that includes us and takes us beyond ourselves.
The New York Times has called Carl Dennis's poetry "wise, original, and deeply moving. " A poet with a growing audience of admirers, Dennis writes in a clear, classically simple language that is both personal and universal. Making use of a rich variety of genres-advice, meditation, elegy, and prophecy-his poems take unexpected turns as they explore their subjects, catching the reader off balance in a way that is liberating. This new anthology gathers the best of his eight previous books along with a generous sampling of new poems.
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Practical Gods is the eighth collection by Carl Dennis, a critically acclaimed poet and recent winner of one of the most prestigious poetry awards, the Ruth Lilly Prize. Carl Dennis has won acclaim for "wise, original, and often deeply moving" poems that "ease the reader out of accustomed modes of seeing and perceiving" (The New York Times). Many of the poems in this new book involve an attempt to enter into dialogue with pagan and biblical perspectives, to throw light on ordinary experience through metaphor borrowed from religious myth and to translate religious myth into secular terms. While making no claims to put us in touch with some ultimate reality, these clear, precise, sensitive poems help us to pay homage to the everyday household gods that are easy to ignore, the gods that sustain life and make it rewarding. .
In his seventh book, Carl Dennis explores the ways in which our wishes - those in our power to fulfill at any moment and those that have no chance of ever being realized - define who we are. While some of the poems view wishing as a failure to do justice to the world we have, others regard it as a recognition that no present, however rich, can satisfy the imagination, and suggest that one of the functions of poetry is to keep significant wishes alive. In showing with moving clarity how wishes are essential to giving shape and direction to the moment, these poems make use of a rich variety of genres: elegy, advice, meditation, warning, consolation, and prophecy. .
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