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The Apple Trees at Olema includes work from Robert Hass's first five books-Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials-as well as a substantial gathering of new poems, including a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musings on the nature of storytelling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative that meditate on personal relations in a violent world and read like small, luminous novellas. From the beginning, his poems have seemed entirely his own: a complex hybrid of the lyric line, with an unwavering fidelity to human and nonhuman nature, and formal variety and surprise, and a syntax capable of thinking through difficult things in ways that are both perfectly ordinary and really unusual. Over the years, he has added to these qualities a range and a formal restlessness that seem to come from a skeptical turn of mind, an acute sense of the artifice of the poem and of the complexity of the world of lived experience that a poem tries to apprehend. Hass's work is grounded in the beauty of the physical world. His familiar landscapes-San Francisco, the northern California coast, the Sierra high country-are vividly alive in his work. His themes include art, the natural world, desire, family life, the life between lovers, the violence of history, and the power and inherent limitations of language. He is a poet who is trying to say, as fully as he can, what it is like to be alive in his place and time. His style-formed in part by American modernism, in part by his long apprenticeship as a translator of the Japanese haiku masters and Czeslaw Milosz-combines intimacy of address, a quick intelligence, a virtuosic skill with long sentences, intense sensual vividness, and a light touch. It has made him immensely readable and his work widely admired.
Black Light is a voyage of discovery and transformation. Set in Iran, it tells the story of Jamshid, a quiet simple carpet mender, who one day suddenly commits a murder and is forced to flee. With this violent act his old life ends and a strange new existence begins.Galway Kinnell combines his gift for precise imagery with a storyteller's skill in this journey across the Iranian desert-away from the fragile self-righteous virtues of adopted moral tradition, into the disorder and sexual confusion of agonizing self-knowledge. First published in 1966 by Houghton Mifflin, this extensively revised paperback edition of Black Light brings a distinguished novel back into print.
Born in 1793, John Clare lived and worked during the Golden Age of British poetry, the time of Shelley, Byron, Keats, and Coleridge. In the grand tradition of English nature writing, he stands alongside Wordsworth as a poet of extraordinary humanity and great spirit. Clare was 18 years old when the first Luddite riots occurred. He was deeply resistant to the first years of England's Enclosure, and he offers a contemporaneous look at what the world was like for those struggling with the impact of the first Industrial Revolution. Uneducated but remarkably well read, Clare was briefly celebrated in London, only to spend his final years in a lunatic asylum. He died in one on May 20, 1864, almost exactly one year before William Butler Yeats was born and the world set out on the path to Modernism.As James Reeves, an early critic and admirer, has said, "The existence of Clare the poet is, of course, a miracle . . . This is its most precious gift. Clare was a happy poet; there is more happiness in his poetry than in that of most others. This was no mere animal contentment of body and senses, but a quiet ecstasy and inward rapture. Such happiness is not to be had except at a price."Tom Pohrt's drawings and watercolors have been widely admired. There are few alive whose sensibility more properly matches Clare's-it's as if Samuel Palmer had taken the commission to illustrate a selection of the peasant poet. Pohrt has himself made the selection of poems from the vast quantity that survived Clare's chaotic life. Robert Hass joins the project to place Clare's work in the larger context of nature poetry in the West. The result is a book sure to please those who know already of Clare's fine poems and those for whom this book will be their exciting introduction.
Definitive and daring, The Ecopoetry Anthology is the authoritative collection of contemporary American poetry about nature and the environment--in all its glory and challenge. From praise to lament, the work covers the range of human response to an increasingly complex and often disturbing natural world and inquires of our human place in a vastness beyond the human.To establish the antecedents of today's writing,The Ecopoetry Anthology presents a historical section that includes poetry written from roughly the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Iconic American poets like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are followed by more modern poets like Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and even more recent foundational work by poets like Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hayden, and Muriel Rukeyser. With subtle discernment, the editors portray our country's rich heritage and dramatic range of writing about the natural world around us.
An acute and deeply insightful book of essays exploring poetic form and the role of instinct and imagination within form—from former poet laureate, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Robert Hass.Robert Hass—former poet laureate, winner of the National Book Award, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize—illuminates the formal impulses that underlie great poetry in this sophisticated, graceful, and accessible volume of essays drawn from a series of lectures he delivered at the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.A Little Book on Form brilliantly synthesizes Hass’s formidable gifts as both a poet and a critic and reflects his profound education in the art of poetry. Starting with the exploration of a single line as the basic gesture of a poem, and moving into an examination of the essential expressive gestures that exist inside forms, Hass goes beyond approaching form as a set of traditional rules that precede composition, and instead offers penetrating insight into the true openness and instinctiveness of formal creation.A Little Book on Form is a rousing reexamination of our longest lasting mode of literature from one of our greatest living poets.
The 20th century was a time of great change, particularly in the arts, but seldom explored were the female poets of that time. Robert Hass and Paul Ebenkamp have put together a comprehensive anthology of poetry featuring the poems of Gertrude Stein, Lola Ridge, Amy Lowell, Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven, Adelaide Crapsey, Angelina Weld Grimke, Anne Spencer, Mina Loy, Hazel Hall, Hilda Doolittle, Marianne Moore, Djuna Barnes, and Hildegarde Flanner. With an introduction from Hass and Ebenkamp, as well as detailed annotation through out to guide the reader, this wonderful collection of poems will bring together the great female writers of the modernist period as well as deconstruct the language and writing that surfaced during that period.
"Wilson brilliantly analyzes the force, at once creative and destructive, of our biological inheritance and daringly advances a grand theory of the origins of human culture." -STEPHEN GREENBLATT, author of The Swerve on Edward O. Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth"Hass [is] a philosophically attentive observer, deep thinker, and writer who dazzles and rousts." -Booklist on Robert Hass' What Light Can DoIn this shimmering conversation (the outgrowth of an event co-sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and Poets House), Edward O. Wilson, renowned scientist and proponent of "consilience" or the unity of knowledge, finds an ardent interlocutor in Robert Hass, whose credo as U.S. poet laureate was "imagination makes communities." As they explore the many ways that poetry and science enhance each other, they travel from anthills to ancient Egypt and to the heights and depths of human potential. A testament to how science and the arts can join forces to educate and inspire, it ends in a passionate plea for conservation of all the planet's species.Edward O. Wilson, a biologist, naturalist, and bestselling author, has received more than 100 awards from around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize. A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.Robert Hass' poetry is rooted in the landscapes of his native northern California. He has been awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He is a professor of English at University of California-Berkeley.
The California-based River of Words (ROW) has gained fame as an important nonprofit that trains teachers, park naturalists, grassroots groups, and others to incorporate observation-based nature exploration and the arts into young people's lives. One of the group's most important annual projects is to take the youth pulse from the United States and 22 other countries, by asking for writing on water and nature. This anthology collects the best of that writing, with accompanying artwork. Divided into nine geographical areas (California, Pacific Northwest, Inland West, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest, Mid Atlantic, South, and International), the book presents writers from ages six to 18. In poems such as "I Love My Dog," "Seasons in Our Watershed," "History of a Cornfield," and "Swamp Shack,"River of Words exhibits diverse voices, as well as some bilingual poems. A remarkable confluence of K-12 curriculum, children's literature, environmentalism, and poetry, this thoughtful book, in the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder, gives us "pleasure and hope. "
"This miracle of a book, perhaps the most beautiful group of poetic translations this century has ever produced," (Chicago Tribune) should stand as the definitive English language version.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The poems in Robert Hass's new collection-his first to appear in a decade-are grounded in the beauty and energy of the physical world, and in the bafflement of the present moment in American culture. This work is breathtakingly immediate, stylistically varied, redemptive, and wise.<P><P> His familiar landscapes are here—San Francisco, the Northern California coast, the Sierra high country—in addition to some of his oft-explored themes: art; the natural world; the nature of desire; the violence of history; the power and limits of language; and, as in his other books, domestic life and the conversation between men and women. New themes emerge as well, perhaps: the essence of memory and of time.<P> The works here look at paintings, at Gerhard Richter as well as Vermeer, and pay tribute to his particular literary masters, friend Czeslaw Milosz, the great Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, Horace, Whitman, Stevens, Nietszche, and Lucretius. We are offered glimpses of a surprisingly green and vibrant twenty-first-century Berlin; of the demilitarized zone between the Koreas; of a Bangkok night, a Mexican desert, and an early summer morning in Paris, all brought into a vivid present and with a passionate meditation on what it is and has been to be alive. "It has always been Mr. Hass's aim," the New York Times Book Review wrote, "to get the whole man, head and heart and hands and everything else, into his poetry."<P> Winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Poetry, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Milosz writes poems about the inadequacy and despondency of modern life interjected with hope for the future.
Universally lauded poet Robert Hass offers a stunning, wide-ranging collection of essays on art, imagination, and the natural world—with accompanying photos throughout. What Light Can Do is a magnificent companion piece to the former U.S. Poet Laureate’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poetry collection, Time and Materials, as well as his earlier book of essays, the NBCC Award-winner Twentieth Century Pleasures. Haas brilliantly discourses on many of his favorite topics—on writers ranging from Jack London to Wallace Stevens to Allen Ginsberg to Cormac McCarthy; on California; and on the art of photography in several memorable pieces—in What Light Can Do, a remarkable literary treasure that might best be described as “luminous.”
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