Read New and Selected Poems 1974-1994 by Stephen Dunn Free Online
Book Title: New and Selected Poems 1974-1994|
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Reader ratings: 6.9
The author of the book: Stephen Dunn
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
Date of issue: May 17th 1995
ISBN 13: 9780393244960
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
i am still "currently reading" this (not that i ever classified this in goodreads under "currently reading," because in a way one is always "currently reading" poetry, so i don't know, i just don't know) but i feel like i am able to "review" this anyway.
i am doing what my poetry teacher from camp last year said she always did with books of poetry; i've been flipping to random pages, reading backwards, reading forwards, reading in small sequences. i have read some poems in here five times, some poems three, some poems once; some poems i have not yet read at all. this method comes especially in handy for this book, which is nearly three hundred pages.
i'm still not sure how to "review" poetry when the reason the poetry exists is to speak itself. literature, poetry especially, always comes off as a sort of review of life to me. here is what you are doing. here is what you have done. here is what i wish you had done better. here is what you could do better. maybe that i am writing all this in particular after reading poems and poems by stephen dunn is the review—i mean, yes, of course it is.
stephen dunn writes in his poem "not the occult":
'I've always been drawn
to such ordinary mysteries, women
and men, the broken bridge
(this explains much of his oeuvre.) and later on in the poem:
'It's not the occult
and those obvious stakes
in the heart
that makes me wonder.
And I confess
I have trouble speaking to people
fond of outer space.
I don't like riddles.'
basically, stephen dunn is arranging your life into verses, which doesn't mean he's making it neat, or explainable, or at least not in a conventional manner. it's okay if you don't like him, i guess, in the same way that it's okay if you don't like anything.
the cover features a painting by cezanne, whose still lifes weren't about the objects featured in the still life—the bread, the fruit—but about the visual experience of the objects. about seeing them. so these paintings about external unrelated objects are very internal, very personal. this makes a lot of sense, in relation.
here is a poem in full. it is called "beneath the sidewalk" and, though i like it, it is nowhere near my favorite, but i have probably randomly flipped to it, page fifty-one, the most, for some chaotic reason, and that felt like reason enough to show it here (and because it's short):
Whispers collect there, the bad news
from our subconscious,
tears that have dripped down
the inside of faces,
apologies that have gotten lost
in all of our throats.
So much has been held in,
so much has seeped through
the soles of our shoes,
that half our lives are beneath the sidewalk.
We sense the deep riot
that is always going on.
In spring there are small explosions.
Signs. This is why
the sidewalk must be repaved.
We hire someone to do it for us,
our tight bodies watching from windows.
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Read information about the authorStephen Dunn was born in New York City in 1939. He earned a B.A. in history and English from Hofstra University, attended the New School Writing Workshops, and finished his M.A. in creative writing at Syracuse University. Dunn has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as a professor of creative writing.
Dunn's books of poetry include Everything Else in the World (W. W. Norton, 2006); Local Visitations (2003); Different Hours (2000), winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry; Loosestrife (1996); New and Selected Poems: 1974-1994 (1994); Landscape at the End of the Century (1991); Between Angels (1989); Local Time (1986), winner of the National Poetry Series; Not Dancing (1984); Work & Love (1981); A Circus of Needs (1978); Full of Lust and Good Usage (1976); and Looking For Holes In the Ceiling 1974. He is also the author of Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry (BOA Editions, 2001), and Riffs & Reciprocities: Prose Pairs (1998).
Dunn's other honors include the Academy Award for Literature, the James Wright Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has taught poetry and creative writing and held residencies at Wartburg College, Wichita State University, Columbia University, University of Washington, Syracuse University, Southwest Minnesota State College, Princeton University, and University of Michigan. Dunn is currently Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and lives in Port Republic, New Jersey.
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