Marianne Moore's Observations stands with T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Ezra Pound's early Cantos, and Wallace Stevens's Harmonium as a landmark of modern poetry. But to the chagrin of many admirers, Moore eliminated a third of its contents from her subsequent poetry collections while radically revising some of the poems she retained. This groundbreaking book has been unavailable to the general reader since its original publication in the 1920s.
Presented with a new introduction by Linda Leavell, the author of the award-winning biography Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, this reissue of Observations at last allows readers to experience the untamed force of Moore's most dazzling innovations. Her fellow modernists were thrilled by her originality, her "clear, flawless" language--to them she was "a rafter holding up . . . our uncompleted building." Equally forceful for subsequent generations, Observations was an "eye-opener" to the young Elizabeth Bishop, its poems "miracles of language and construction." John Ashbery has called "An Octopus" the finest poem of "our greatest modern poet." Moore's heroic open-mindedness and prescient views on multiculturalism, biodiversity, and individual liberty make her work uniquely suited to our times.
Impeccably precise yet playfully elusive, emotionally complex but stripped of all sentiment, the poems in Observations show us one of America's greatest poets at the height of her powers.
After this all-but-unknown poet was called an "American master" in a long, gorgeous review in The New York Times, Tom Hennen was finally "discovered," and his book became a poetry best-seller
"It's hard to believe that this American master--and I don't use those words lightly--has been hidden right under our noses for decades. But despite his lack of recognition, Mr. Hennen...has simply gone about his calling with humility and gratitude in a culture whose primary crop has become fame. He just watches, waits and then strikes, delivering heart-buckling lines." --Dana Jennings, The New York Times
"As with Ted Kooser, Tom Hennen is a genius of the common touch. . . . They are amazingly modest men who early accepted poetry as a calling in ancient terms and never let up despite being ignored early on. They return to the readers a thousandfold for their attentions."--Jim Harrison, from the introduction
"Many readers will appreciate this evocation of a life not as commonly portrayed in contemporary verse."--Library Journal
"There is something of the ancient Chinese poets in Hennen, of Clare and Thoreau, although he is very much a contemporary poet."--Willow Springs
"One of the most charming things about Tom Hennen's poems is his strange ability to bring immense amounts of space, often uninhabited space, into his mind and so into the whole poem."--Robert Bly
"America is a country that loves its advertising. That loves its boxes we can put people and places into. We love 'Heartland' as opposed to 'Dustbowl.' We also love to be surprised. Rural Minnesota, as written by Tom Hennen in Darkness Sticks to Everything, is a world of realistic loneliness and lessons. It's a collection of sincere poems about man and the land."--The Rumpus
"Hennen is a master of the prose poem who] can take little details, tiny details and make them universal."--River Falls Journal
"What separates Hennen from many of his contemporaries is his willingness to identify with the natural world in a way that feels neither possessive nor self-serving, but simply (once again) sincere."--Basalt Magazine
"There is something strong in all Tom Hennen's poems, an awareness and a clear, sure voice... I don't usually want to end by saying 'Buy this book, ' but I'm going to say it this time: 'You should buy this book.'"--Fleda Brown, Interlochen Public Radio
" A] delight to read for the person who is willing to slow down with Hennen and take a look under a leaf, or at a bee, or into their own reflection in a rain drop."--The Corresponder
Tom Hennen gives voice to the prairie and to rural communities, celebrating--with sadness, praise, and astute observations--the land, weather, and inhabitants. In short lyrics and prose poems, he reveals the detailed strangeness of ordinary things. Gathered from six chapbooks that were regionally distributed, this volume is Hennen's long-overdue introduction to a national audience. Includes an introduction by Jim Harrison and an afterword by Thomas R. Smith.
"In Falling Snow at a Farm Auction"
Straight pine chair
In anyone's company,
Older than grandmother
It enters the present
Its arms wide open
Wanting to hold another young wife.
Tom Hennen, author of six books of poetry, was born and raised in rural Minnesota. After abandoning college, he married and began work as a letterpress and offset printer. He helped found the Minnesota Writer's Publishing House, then worked for the Department of Natural Resources wildlife section, and later at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Now retired, he lives in Minnesota.
In Nine Horses, Billy Collins, America s Poet Laureate for 2001 2003, continues his delicate negotiation between the clear and the mysterious, the comic and the elegiac. The poems in this collection reach dazzling heights while being firmly grounded in the everyday. Traveling by train, lying on a beach, and listening to jazz on the radio are the seemingly ordinary activities whose hidden textures are revealed by Collins s poetic eye. With clarity, precision, and enviable wit, Collins transforms those moments we too often take for granted into brilliant feats of creative imagination. Nine Horses is a poetry collection to savor and to share."
Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style in Glass, Irony and God. This collection includes: "The Glass Essay," a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson's reading of the Bronte sisters; "Book of Isaiah," a poem evoking the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism; and "The Fall of Rome," about her trip to "find" Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of a terrible alienation there.
"Zucker is a poet of bottom-scraping, blood-chilling existential anxiety, one among many, and a poet of New York City, one among many, and a poet of American Jewish inheritance, one among many, and one of the funniest, too."--Boston Review
Rachel Zucker returns to themes of motherhood, marriage, and the life of an artist in this double collection of poems. Fables, written in prose form, shows the reader different settings (mountains, ocean, Paris) of Zucker's travels and meditations on place. The Pedestrians brings us back to her native New York and the daily frustrations of a woman torn by obligations.
That Great Diaspora
I'll never leave New York & when I do
I too will be unbodied--what? you
imagine I might transmogrify? I'm from
nowhere which means here & so wade out
into the briny dream of elsewheres like
a released dybbyk but can't stand
the soulessness now everyone who ever
made sense to me has died & everyone I love
grows from my body like limbs on a rootless tree
Rachel Zucker is the author of Museum of Accidents, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of The Bad Wife, The Last Clear Narrative, Eating in the Underworld, and Annunciation.
"McDaniel's language trains every particle of your attention on the surface and what stirs beneath."--C.D. Wright
Inspired by the comic series The Legion of Super-Heroes, Raymond McDaniel's poems morph superheroes into religious and mythological narratives. Using a range of traditional forms--versets, kennings, and sonnets--his poems consider the history of how we look at the future and take on an almost Talmudic complexity.
Raymond McDaniel is the author of Saltwater Empire and Murder (a violet), a National Poetry Series selection. Born in Florida, McDaniel now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, teaches at the University of Michigan, and writes for The Constant Critic.
Jack Marshall draws linkages between past, present, and future to advocate for appreciating what we have, and being better stewards of it.
From "Birth took the bait"
Beaks of birds who earthward break
their songs, in drought soar
to clouds for a drink,
a sip of what earth doesn't offer
anymore, and summer vanishes,
like a stain that was once a shore.
Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Marshall has received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.