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61. New and Selected Poems : Volume
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62. Oryx and Crake
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63. The Annotated Waste Land with
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64. Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem
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65. The Random House Book of Poetry
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66. The Book of Job
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67. The Cambridge Companion to Dante
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68. Poemcrazy : Freeing Your Life
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69. Ten Poems to Change Your Life
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70. Overlord : Poems
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71. Leaves of Grass (Bantam Classics)
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72. The Place Within : The Poetry
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73. The Simple Feeling of Being :
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74. Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
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75. The Ulysses Voyage: Sea Search
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76. The Best Poems of the English
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77. The Essential Neruda : Selected
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78. Good Poems
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79. Life Doesn't Frighten Me
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80. Flying At Night : Poems 1965-1985

61. New and Selected Poems : Volume One
by Mary Oliver
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
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Asin: 0807068772
Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
Publisher: Beacon Press
Sales Rank: 7419
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Strikingly redesigned to accompany the publication of New and Selected Poems, Volume Two

Praise for the poetry of Mary Oliver:

"One of the astonishing aspects of Oliver"s work is the consistency of tone over this long period. What changes is an increased focus on nature and an increased precision with language that has made her one of our very best poets . . . There is no complaint in Ms. Oliver"s poetry, no whining, but neither is there the sense that life is in any way easy . . . These poems sustain us rather than divert us. Although few poets have fewer human beings in their poems than Mary Oliver, it is ironic that few poets also go so far to help us forward."
—Stephen Dobyns, New York Times Book Review

"Mary Oliver"s poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing. Her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations."
—Stanley Kunitz

"One would have to reach back perhaps to [John] Clare or [Christopher] Smart to safely cite a parallel to Oliver"s lyricism or radical purification and her unappeasable mania for signs and wonders."
—David Barber, Poetry

"I have always thought of poems as my companions—and like companions, they accompany you wherever the journey (or the afternoon) might lead . . . My most recent companion has been Mary Oliver"s The Leaf and the Cloud . . . It"s a brilliant meditation, a walk through the natural world with one of our preeminent contemporary poets."
—Rita Dove, Washington Post
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-editon from one of America's Greatest Living Poets
The only problem with a volume of Mary Oliver's collected poems is that whichever poems end up excluded are likely to be the reader's loss. Such incomparable consistency of craft and soul can be expected, every single time, from Ms. Oliver!
That said, no poem here is undeserving of its inclusion, and if it took an anthology like this to have you wonder about reading her for the first time, then thank God for this book.
Included here -note that this is only the first volume- are works from her earlier books, all of which are worth buying separately. A particularly important inclusion are the selections of American Primitive, in my opinion her most moving and accomplished collection.
Those who adore poems like the glorious "Wild Geese" or were moved by the wisdom of "The Journey," will be happy to know that they are, of course, contained in this volume, along with many others begetting similar acclaim.
So, five stars for Ms. Oliver only because I can't give her ten.
As far as the publisher, I would have liked a clearer indication that this is the very same edition already published years ago. At least in my case, the additional subtitle -"Volume One"- confused me and led me to buy something I already owned. In the other hand, if such mention indicates the upcoming release of a second volume -specially if more uncollected poems may be part of it, I'll be satisfied and forgiving.
For those who own everything by her and do not possess this volume, this is still a valid purchase on the basis of the, once, "new poems" contained and not available anywhere else.
Welcome -or welcome back- to the poetry of Mary Oliver. Let these words take your breath away with its exquisite and gently fierce call to opening your heart and be intelligent toward all beings. ... Read more


62. Oryx and Crake
by MARGARET ATWOOD
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0385721676
Catlog: Book (2004-03-30)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 5809
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A stunning andprovocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood’s new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into a conceivable future of our own world, an outlandish yet wholly believable place left devastated in the wake of ecological and scientific disaster and populated by characters who will continue to inhabit your dreams long after the book is closed.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews (150)

5-0 out of 5 stars Atwood's Best?
Perhaps not. In terms of her use of language, form, depth of charaterisation etc. the 'The Blind Assassin' is technically Atwood's greatest novel so far. But having read all her novels, I've got to say that 'Oryx and Crake' is my personal favourite. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book, how engrossed I was with every word, and how moving, shocking and disturbing I found it. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's one of those books that, once you've finished the last page, stays with you, and when you're not reading it you're thinking of it. And it's one of those books that, when you finally close it, you so wish that you could've put your name to it yourself. It's an immense work of imagination. I finished it well over a week ago and still think of it. I found it extraordinary. The way Atwood evokes her distopian futuristic world in every detail and makes it come alive and breathe is quite incredible. I was hooked. I was hoping it would be good but it far exceeded my expectations. The book's nightmarish vision of the future makes 'The Handmaid's Tale' look like a picnic, and while you're reading Atwood makes you live in that world, makes you feel what Snowman is feeling. What horror. Frighteningly, plausibly, brilliant!

3-0 out of 5 stars A page-turner but not Atwood's best
This books follows Atwood's usual formula of a slight mystery and a slow revel. The plot centres around one character, Snowman, who is living in an abandoned post-global warming world. He retraces the events of his life, starting with his childhood on an elite research compound where people work to develop genetically modified creatures, a place separate from the "pleeblands" where most ordinary humans leave. Snowman also slowly reveals the characters Oryx and Crake and their role in his life and current situation.

Atwood definitely succeeds at creating a sense of place - a terrifying, overgrown world of characters split between the elite research facilities of Snowman's childhood and the dangerous "pleeblands" where average people live. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to find how Snowman got to the place he was.

But the characters in this novel aren't fleshed out. At the end we are still left wondering about the motivations of Oryx and Crake and Snowman himself.

There is also a child pornography sub-plot that was kind of pointless. We are expecting a great denouement but get none. I was left wondering "so what?" Why was this tawdry industry explored if not to offer us some sort of meaningful criticism of it?

To a lesser degree, the same is true of the genetic modification theme. Atwood is clearly horrified by the dangers but also seems fascinated by the possibilities, and in the end the question is not entirely resolved.

While I enjoyed this book, it felt more like a tawdry paperback than a novel by one of Canada's foremost authors. I am shocked that of all of her novels, this one won the Booker Prize. If you want Atwood sci-fi read The Handmaid's Tale. And if you want a compelling, mysterious read try Alias Grace.

4-0 out of 5 stars Compelling story
Atwood is a poet. This book, while not her best, is nonetheless a chilling, riveting story. Fans of The Handmaid's Tale will enjoy her return to sci-fi writing. Those who prefer Atwood's more traditional novels may not love this one, but even they won't be able to help being tranfixed by her craftsmanship.

1-0 out of 5 stars Atwood's worst
All authors have a weakness. Ms Atwood's seems to be her (vehement) refusal to accept her science fiction roots: there may be no flying cars or space aliens (terrestrial aliens, however, abound), but this is SciFi, try as she might to deny it. Perhaps she does this to avoid a less 'prestigious' genre and win another award? Not like she really needed it.

"Orynx and Crake" is mostly backstory, and we never really get a good sense of how Snowman develops, after the backstory, because there really isn't much actual story. The lovely prose is subverted by a much too unsubtle 'warning' about genetic technology that feels overly pedantic.

And then there's that warning itself, and all the ideas she uses to demonstrate it. If she'd accepted her scifi roots, and done some homework, she'd know that Heinlein and Dick (and others) did them all decades ago, and she could have revisited them with something new to say. She clearly did not.

2-0 out of 5 stars The author herself got tired
This is the first book I've read by Mrs. Atwood, so I can't compare it to her other work. Suffice it to say that it was not a compelling reading debut. "Oryx and Crake" is nothing: it's not science fiction simply because the "science" part could have been written by anyone who has no scientific background and has simply listened about scary fantasies like global warming and genetic manipulation. Both, of course, can be fascinating subjects, but here it's only cliches and commonplaces. It's also not a character study: Jimmy is sometimes compelling, but most of the times seems like a regular loser. Crake is never explored as a character, perhaps because he is like any other mad scientist so common in paperbacks and movies a la James Bond. But Oryx is the most absurd of the characters. What's with the child pornography story? I can imagine a very good novel written about the horrific world of child pornography and the human degradation it must imply, but the novel simply mentions the thing and doesn't give it any significance. It's not a thriller either. Certainly, what kept me reading was the interest to find out how the catastrophe came about, but in the end the author got bored or had to go to the supermarket, and it simply ended with some virus killing everybody, and we readers get nothing interesting about the process. An atomic bomb could have dropped from the sky and finished everything. Not recommended. ... Read more


63. The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot's Contemporary Prose
by T. S. Eliot
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0300097433
Catlog: Book (2005-04-11)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 56762
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Book Description

One of the twentieth century’s most powerful--and controversial—works, The Waste Land was published in the desolate wake of the First World War. This definitive edition of T. S. Eliot’s masterpiece presents a new and authoritative version of the poem, along with all the essays Eliot wrote as he was composing The Waste Land, seven of them never before published in book form. The volume is enriched with period photographs and a London map of locations mentioned in the poem.
Featured in the book are Lawrence Rainey’s groundbreaking account of how The Waste Land came to be composed; a history of the reactions of admirers and critics; and full annotations to the poem and Eliot’s essays. The edition transforms our understanding of one of the greatest modernist writers and the magnificent poem that became a landmark in literary history.

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64. Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out
by Ralph Fletcher
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
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Asin: 0380797038
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 9958
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Maybe you've heard before that poetry is magic, and it made you roll your eyes, but I believe it's true. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak.

I wrote this book to help you write poems and to give practical ideas for making your poems sound the way you want them to sound. We're not going to smash poems up into the tiniest pieces. This book is about writing poetry, not analyzing it. I want this book to help you have more wonderful. moments in the poetry you write. I want you to feel the power of poetry. it's my hope that through this book you will discover lots of ways to make your poems shine, sing, soar...

-- Ralph Fletcher

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Great Book for learning how to write poetry!
Hi, I really enjoyed reading Ralph Fletcher's book "Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the inside out." He gives lots of good examples. He has interviews with two other poets in the book for ideas on poetry. He makes poetry interesting and fun to learn! I also enjoyed his poetry!

4-0 out of 5 stars Well Done
If you feel like you are a real poet within, this book will help you get it out. One word of caution, everyone thinks he or she is a poet. Yes, everyone is a bad poet and every once in a great while a great poet will emerge. ... Read more


65. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House Book of)
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0394850106
Catlog: Book (2000-09-26)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 6756
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children was recognized upon itspublication in 1983 as an invaluable collection--a modern classic--and it has not since beensurpassed. Five hundred poems, selected by poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky, are divided intobroad subject areas such as nature, seasons, living things, children, and home. The poems of Emily Dickinson, Robert LouisStevenson, RobertFrost, LangstonHughes, NikkiGiovanni, and Gwendolyn Brooks populate the book's pages, while Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and Shel Silverstein ensure thatthe collection delights even the most reluctant readers of rhyme. Playground chants, anonymousrhymes, scary poems, silly verse, and even some sad strains are carefully indexed by title, author,first line, and subject. With illustrations of cheerful, round-faced children and animals on everypage, Arnold Lobel (a Caldecott medalist and creator of the Frog and Toad series) unifies thediverse poems to form a satisfying whole; Lobel can draw anything and make it funny--orpoignant, if he chooses. This collection, one of the most varied and complete around, will carryany budding poetry lover through childhood and beyond. (Ages 5 to 11.) ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Remembered Forever
I taught myself how to read with this book. I remembered it all my life and bought it for my neice when she was learning to read. I am buying one for my cousin's baby and my friend's baby, and every little child I know. And I'm getting another copy for myself. Every child, boy or girl, should at least have this book of poetry if they can have no other.

5-0 out of 5 stars After all these years...
I'll be 26 this year, but I'm still able to recite some poems in their entirety... and I haven't seen a copy of the book since I was in the fourth grade. I'm amazed to see that it is still in print and I can't wait to add it to my library again after losing it 16 years ago. This is an excellent gift for any child who enjoys reading and/or poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever
You should buy the book The Random Book of Poetry for Children because it has funny poems, sad poems, and happy poems. All together it has 572 poems. It can be for children and adults. Also it is my favorite poem book. I think you should buy it. Thank You

5-0 out of 5 stars *LOVE* this book
Wonderful, just wonderful, this collection of children's poetry sparkles and adds life and verve to any classroom. From the opening stanza of "The Boy What Done A Poo" and the haunting reworking of Goldstein's "Ahhh, I'm telling Miss of you" this anthology will thrill children of all ages, and grown ups too!
(I must point out, however, that the inclusion of controversial poet Sean Hickey's "Bang Bang You're Dead 50 Bullets In Your Head" might cause younger readers some concern).

5-0 out of 5 stars a real treasure
this book is both wonderful and entertaining. A great book to read to a child and it will bring laughter to you both. Funny adventurous and beautifully illustrated. Introduce your little one to poetry with this great selection. ... Read more


66. The Book of Job
by Stephen Mitchell
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0060969598
Catlog: Book (1992-08-03)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 51832
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The theme of The Book of Job is nothing less than human suffering and the transcendence of it: it pulses with moral energy, outrage, and spiritual insight.

Now, The Book of Job has been rendered into English by the eminent translator and scholar Stephen Mitchell, whose versions of Rilke, Israeli poetry, and the Tao Te Ching have been widely praised. This is the first time ever that the Hebrew verse of Job has been translated into verse in any language, ancient or modern, and the result is a triumph. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Off to a good start...
Contemporary translations of the book of Job are needed. Stephen Mitchell provides a good one. There are many passages where he translates in a very every-day even street language manner. He takes great liberty in translating some passages and in my opinion some passages have their meaning a bit distorted because of it. If you are used to reading a strict translation of Job, this could be a good version to help give it real power and meaning but, I wouldn't recommend it to be the main translation of use by anyone who really wants to do a study on the book of Job.
Being a former student of Zen Buddhism myself, I reconnized many of the the ideas from Zen suddenly being imposed on the book of Job. He raises some good points, but in general I disagree with much of the interpretation he tries to write into the book. He also, in my opinion, misunderstands the purpose of the book by denouncing the prologue and epilogue as being mostly irrelevant to the theme of the book. Without the prologue and epilogue it is impossible to find any of the significant truths which the book was intended to convey.

It was a fun translation, the New Living Translation and the New International Version of the Bible also give good translations for those who really want to study it. Would have been better without the intro. by the translator. I also recommend the interpretation by Bob Sorge "Pain, Perplexity and Promotion" as an interesting and somewhat uplifting accompangiment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Why?
Job has a sudden change of fortune, he losses his health, wealth, family, and status. He addresses the question "Why?" Four human counselors --Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar-- (Elihu is not present in this translation) are unable to provide the insight Job desperately needs. It remains to Jehovah to address Job and let him know that he must trust in the goodness and power of God in adversity by enlarging his concept of God. Job is perhaps the earliest book of the Bible, author unknown. Set in the period of the patriarchs, the main character is a Gentile. Oddly enough, he has been personified as the virtue of patience, contrary to the Biblical Job who is angry to the point of blasphemy, and rightly demands justice.

This beautiful translation into English, directly from Hebrew, is to be praised for its sound, strong, energetic poetry and more so for its scholarly introduction. Mitchell's interpretation of the book of Job is not one of spiritual acquiescence, of capitulation to an unjust, superior force, but of a great poem of moral outrage, a Nietzchean protest. In it, Job embodies Everyman and grieves for all human misery, and acquiescence at the end of the poem is a result of spiritual transformation, a surrender into the light, the acceptance of a reality that transcends human understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars All right, I'll give it five stars
. . . even though I'd like to deduct a star for its omissions.

As with so much of Stephen Mitchell's work, it's easy to pick on him for what he's decided to leave out. Here, his translation of Job omits the hymn in praise of Wisdom and the speech (in fact the entire presence) of the young man Elihu. I tend to disagree with his reasons for skipping them. But having read his translation for nearly a decade now, I have to admit we don't miss them much.

His work has been described as "muscular," and that's a very apt term. Not only in Job's own language (from his "God damn the day I was born" to his closing near-silence after his experience of God) but in the voices of all the characters -- and most especially in the speech of the Voice from the Whirlwind -- Mitchell's meaty, pounding, pulse-quickening poetry just cries out to be read aloud.

And as always, I have nothing but praise for Mitchell's gift of "listening" his way into a text and saying what it "wants" to say. In particular, his translation of the final lines has a wee surprise in store for anyone who hasn't already read it. (He disagrees with the usual repent-in-dust-and-ashes version and offers a denouement more fitting to the cosmic scope of Job's subject matter.)

Moreover, all this and much else is discussed in a fine introduction that -- in my opinion as a longtime reader of Mitchell -- may well be his finest published commentary to date.

Essentially, he deals with the so-called "problem of evil" by simply dissolving it. The God of Mitchell and of Mitchell's Job is not a feckless little half-deity who shares his cosmic powers with a demonic arch-enemy and sometimes loses; this God, like the God of the Torah itself (and incidentally of Calvinist Christianity, at which Mitchell takes a couple of not-altogether-responsible swipes), is the only Power there is. Ultimately God just _does_ everything that happens, because what's the alternative? "Don't you know that there _is_ nobody else in here?"

As I suggested, there are a handful of half-hearted jabs at traditional (usually Christian) religion, but for the most part it should be possible for a theologically conservative reader simply to read around them. (This is a nice contrast with Mitchell's Jesus book, which -- to the mind of this non-Christian reviewer -- seems to be brimming with anti-Christian "spiritual oneupmanship.")

So it's not only a fine translation that properly recognizes Job's central theme of spiritual transformation, but a universally valuable commentary into the bargain. If you haven't read any of Mitchell's other work, this is a great place to start. And if you _have_ read some of Mitchell's other work, do get around to this one. It's probably his best.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Glowing Book
I first read the Book of Job in the New King James translation. That was a truly amazing event--I felt that somehow I had experienced what Job had, and that I was learned the same painful lessons that Job had. Great poems can do that.

I'm sure if I had read this version, it would have had the same effect.

Job essentially worships an idol. He worships an orderly God who runs an orderly, boring universe where the good get rewarded and the evil get punished. The real God shows him that things are a bit different. The universe is not simple, it is a grand, messy explosion of beauty where frail, innocent humans often get trampled. Is it just in a way that would conform to human standards of justice? God basically says, "Who cares, look at it."

Thus, a translator/poet has a tough job. In a few pages, he or she has to show the reader God's glorious universe. No easy task (except for G.M. Hopkins).

Mitchell gets it done with short "muscular" phrasing, reminscient of the way Lombardo treats the Iliad. I.e., Job ch 3 reads something like "Damn the day I was born/Blot out the sun of that day . . ." Along the way Mitchell eliminates some of the "interpolations" and "corruptions" that scholars have found were not part of the original text. And I don't think this detracts from either the beauty or the meaning of the poem.

I would have added a more detailed introduction however. If I may recommend a book, please also take a look at The Bitterness of Job: A Philosophical Reading, by John T. Wilcox. If you read these two together along with an orthodox translation like the JPS (mentioned in another review) or the NRSV, I think you will have a good grasp of this text from a wide variety of viewpoints, secular and religious. You can't get too much Job. As Victor Hugo said, "If I had to save one piece of literature in the world, I'd save Job."

5-0 out of 5 stars This Story is Timeless
While Mitchell's own translation of the Book of Job is the central text of this book, I find the author's commentary to be of greatest value. Mitchell offers interpretations that transcend the limited notions proposed by Christianity. While a spirituality of piety predisposes one to read the prose and poetry of the bible in a certain way, Mitchell's eclectic and soaring viewpoint allows a perspective that encompasses the greater region of human existence. We are offered not a simple theology of submission to an all-powerful deity, but insights to the very the fundamental questions of who or what God is, what evil and suffering are.

The biblical Book of Job, or as I fondly call it, the myth of Job is probably the Christian world's quintessential story on suffering. It is no denying it dwells upon an awesome and moving existentialist theme. To anyone who has suffered (and who hasn't?) the story cannot fail to speak and address itself to. If we read intently we somehow lose ourselves in the story. We sympathize with Job. We recall our afflictions. We relive our losses. We become Job himself and cry with the Holocaust victims and all who suffer gravely: Why!?

Avivah Zornberg, professor of Judaism and author of "The Beginning of Desire", has said "We read stories that wound and stab us." We need to--to come to terms with reality. And Mitchell in his translation of the Job story has given us much to ponder once again. Yet in light of his compelling and enlightening prologue we 'see' God and suffering differently. ... Read more


67. The Cambridge Companion to Dante (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $23.99
our price: $23.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521427428
Catlog: Book (1993-04-29)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 407823
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book provides an introduction to Dante that is at once accessible and challenging.Fifteen specially-commissioned essays by distinguished scholars provide background information and up-to-date critical perspectives on Dante's life and work, focusing on areas of central importance.Three essays introduce the three canticles of the Divine Comedy, and others explore the literary, intellectual and historical background to Dante's writings, his other works and his reception in the commentary tradition and in literature in English. The book also includes a chronological table and suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for scholars and just plain readers
This companion is an excellent guide to Dante's life, work, and thought. It is especially useful for those readers of the Comedy who want more information on specific allusions than most footnoted editions can supply. It is also helpful for an understanding of the complex political and religious turmoils in which Dante was embroiled, and which showed up continuously throughout his work. ... Read more


68. Poemcrazy : Freeing Your Life with Words
by SUSAN G. WOOLDRIDGE
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0609800981
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 67196
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Poemcrazy is the poetic analog to Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird or Natalie Goldberg'sWriting Down the Bones, twoclassic works on how to forget that you "can't write" and just startthe pen moving. Susan Wooldridge is a swimming instructor in the wide ocean oflanguage, encouraging us to move ever farther from the shore, dive deep, anddance on the waves. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poemcrazy: The Best Book I've Ever Read!
A friend of mine picked up this book when we were in a book store, knowing that I had come to an almost sudden halt in my poetry writing for the past year or so after having been a poet for four or five years. I was pretty depressed about my writer's block, so I thought, "What the heck," and I bought the book. Not long into the book, which is magnificently written, I began to write again. I haven't stopped since, and my poetry has made massive improvement. The book helps to inspire and recreate that passion that writers can sometimes lose in the midst of the stresses of our days and our constant state of change and growth. --And best of all, it's fun, easy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning to capture the coyote in all of us
In this book, Susan G. Wooldridge helps us capture our personal coyote and run wild with words. She provides exercises that tap into those regions of one's soul where it is sometimes frightening, yet exhilarating. Real writing comes from those precarious zip codes, and Wooldridge's book is a road map to take us there. She demonstrates how self-examination makes poetry accessible, and she shares stories from her own life that have helped her create poetry. Wooldridge also discusses how poetry is all about enlarging minor details: "we can make a small occasion large by the focus of our attention." (p45) The exercises included are appropriate for all ages and are not limited to the creation of poetry. Whether you are writing fiction, essays or just want to play with words, Poemcrazy is a good addition to your writing reference library.

5-0 out of 5 stars For artists in all media
I'm a visual artist, not a poet or fiction artist. This small book made more difference in my artistic output this winter than any other influence. I've ordered copies for my walking buddy (so we can share the excercises) and a writer friend in the cold north. Heart-full and not hokey...these chapters appeal to the 7th grade child in all of us. Before we knew what was "cool", we knew how to tap the muse.

Order extra copies for all your friends!

5-0 out of 5 stars Admittedly Loca for Poemcrazy.......
Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge is one of those rare books which is best read slowly, over time, perhaps as you read other books so that you can take the time to try the different exercises, revisit favored passages and really take the time to listen to exactly what Wooldridge is teaching.

Is it poetry or is it life?

Is it writing or is it personal freedom and individuality?

From my experience, it is a bit of both and all of the above and more.

The book is presented in 5 major sections. I found sections 4 and 5 to be crescendo-esque, filled with a-ha moments and ideas for me to take into my poetry (and other) writing practice.

Earlier reviews concur that this title is reminiscent of Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott: in my estimation, these are really great indications of a solid, enjoyable, applications oriented read. I was not disappointed.

My only disappointment in regards to this book is that I have not been able to find anything else by the same author..... hopefully this will change!

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for non-poets and teachers too
I have been unsuccessfully trying to get students interested in poetry. I keep pointing out how interesting, how beautiful, etc. it is, with dead stares back at me...But I introduced Susan Wooldridge's word tickets as an exercise and the students loved it! So did I. I just listened to some songs and wrote tons of adjectives, nouns and a few verbs in MS Word using an address label format, then changed the fonts to be fun and different, printed them out and made copies, then cut up all of the individual words. I probably have 600 words times 3-4 copies. The students loved picking the words out of such a plentiful supply, and even the least interested ones got into the exercise. I love experiential exercises, and this one really works. My hope is that now when they look at poems again, they'll see them differently. At least after a few sessions maybe.

If Susan Wooldridge is reading this, then I would like to say thank you with great feeling...learning to teach has been difficult and sometimes discouraging...with several great highs. This was definitely a peak. I'll close by saying that I'm looking at a word ticket now and it says "plum pebbles"... ... Read more


69. Ten Poems to Change Your Life
by Roger Housden
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0609609017
Catlog: Book (2001-06-26)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 8072
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain and joy and delight. It amazes, startles, pierces, and transforms us. It can lead to communion and grace.

Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of Sacred America shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires that stir the human heart and soul. These poems explore such universal themes as the awakening of wonder, the longing for love, the wisdom of dreams, and the courage required to live an authentic life. In thoughtful commentary on each work, Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites readers to contemplate the significance of the poet's message in their own lives.

In Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Roger Housden shows how these astonishing poems can inspire you to live what you always knew in your bones but never had the words for.


"The Journey" by Mary Oliver
"Last Night as I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado
"Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman
"Zero Circle" by Rumi
"The Time Before Death" by Kabir
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
"Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell
"For the Anniversary of My Death" by W. S. Merwin
"Love After Love" by Derek Walcott
"The Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross
... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ten Times a Momentary Trembling
I need no convincing to read poetry. It is second nature to me... if not first in line. There is this quick, pointed injection of life that poetry offers that lengthier prose cannot. An image. A snap of sound. A gut punch. A sudden miracle. A flash of light. A surprise. Housden has recognized this and, with this book, presents his own miracle of found poetry to the general reader. He has chosen ten poems by ten very different authors out of ten different planes of existence (time, space, culture) and presented them here to - more than not, I think - the mostly uninitiated. Certainly these are not complex poems. No argument on their quality. They are definitely not the ten that I would choose (although one or two of them might indeed make it onto my list also)... but they don't have to be! Poetry is, after all, as personal and intimate as making love. Indeed, it is making love... the mind in the most intimate relationship with life in all its juices and flavors.

Housden's choices range from Whitman's enthused "Song of Myself" (this one would make it onto my list also)... to the simple pleasures of "Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda... to the inspirational "The Journey" by Mary Oliver... to the old age reborn to new age "Zero Circle" by Rumi... to the deliciously sensual "Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell... to the always impressive "For the Anniversary of My Death" by W.S. Merwin... and more. Each poem is followed by Housden's essay elaborating his choice, the poem's effect on him, it's life-changing (at least for him) message. He kindles the poetry flame, and that is a wonderful thing.

For those who are reasonably well acquainted with poetry, there is little new here. The authors should all be familiar ones, several by now considered classics. There are Pulitzer Prize winners along with those appearing in smaller literary presses. None of that, I suspect, was part of Housden's criteria in his choices. He appears to have chosen poems for their ability to stop time, for just a moment, and cause some kind of metamorphosis, an epiphany, a momentary trembling of the earth beneath his reading feet. While a few of these choices left me unmoved, as a whole, I enjoyed the book and sharing in his perspective while keeping my own. Revisiting Whitman was a nostalgia of youthful enthusiasm, for instance. Whitman showed us that poetry need not be stodgy or stiff with rhyme and iambic pentameter. While both Neruda and Rumi left me cool, and Machado had only a mild effect... the encounter of "Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell... mm, left me purring. Never underestimate the power of the written word, indeed. Not only is it more powerful than the sword, but nothing can compete... no trash magazine, no cheap celluloid... with the eroticism of such well chosen words. Kinnell's poem evokes ripples of sensation, sweet sweet, savory, leaving all the senses tingling... but also stimulates the most erogenous zone of all: the mind. It is not shy. It is not embarrassed to be precise in its description. Yet here is a most wonderful example of the difference between erotic art... and pornography. One being of beauty, uplifting, lasting... while the other is ugly and base. One enriches while the other degrades. In his essay following the poem, Housden writes:

"...pornography divorces body from soul and turns body into a thing, which can be used like any other thing for profit in the marketplace. Pornography is a caricature of the erotic; it can only exist by demanding anonymity, and substituting fantasy for relationship. Without relationship, there is no soul. There is only sensation, for its own sake; and sensation is no more than skin deep. Sensation on its own - however orgasmic - fails to deliver the goods. To skim the surface of life ultimately leaves us on our own, and predictably, lonely. One reason we seem to be such a pleasure-hungry society is that we are habitually looking for it in all the wrong places."

As Housden says of Kinnell (and oh yes, I am looking up this poet on my next trip to the library), this slim volume of applause to poetry, its word-play and its word-ecstasy and its word-power, is one of immersion into the experience. "Great poetry," Housden says, "can alter the way we see ourselves. It can change the way we see the world... suddenly you see your own original face there; suddenly find yourself blown into a world full of awe, dread, wonder, marvel, deep sorrow, and joy.... poetry bids us... to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind; it calls to us, like the wild geese, from an open sky."

Whether these ten poems call to us, some of these ten, or another ten of our own choosing... poetry is an experience worthy of immersion. Housden's enthusiasm for the literary form is contagious. That enthusiasm, taken to be one's own, that understanding of the power of the word, is what can change lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ten life-changing poems.
Roger Housden's collection delivers what its title promises, ten poems with the potential to change your life. Let the reader beware: reading poetry like this can be dangerous; dangerous, we're told, "because you may never be the same again" (p. 1). "Great poetry can alter the way we see ourselves," Housden explains in the Introduction to this ten-poem collection. "It can change the way we see the world . . . Poetry at its best calls forth our deep Being, bids us live by its promptings; it dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind; it calls to us, like the wild geese, from an open sky" (p. 2).

Housden (TEN POEMS TO OPEN YOUR HEART; RISKING EVERYTHING: 110 POEMS OF LOVE AND REVELATION) knows great poetry, the kind of poetry that "has the power to start a fire in your life" (p. 1). He has drawn the ten poems collected here from around the world and from different centuries, including accessible selections from Mary Oliver, Antonio Machado, Walt Whitman, Rumi, Kabir, Pablo Neruda, Galway Kinnell, W. S. Merwin, Derek Walcott, and St. John of the Cross. Each poem encourages us to "Wake up and Love," and to open our eyes "to the wonder of what is around us; to the wonder of what is deep inside the human heart; and above all, to be awake to the presence, the sensation, of our own being, in the midst of all of it" (p. 116). Housden annotates each poem with insightful commentary based on his own personal experience.

G. Merritt

2-0 out of 5 stars Ten Poems to Enjoy, and Ten Passages to Annoy
Roger Housden is a blowhard.

There, I said it. His book is the epitome of arrogant spirituality gone wrong.

Housden's book is a mere outlet for his own revelation, and does very very little for a reader who thinks for himself. Housden claims that the book can change the life of the religious, and even those without religion. Yet he ends his introduction with prayer-like words. "May these poems set free your unlived dreams [...] may you wake up one morning in 'the new life.'" I expected to see an "Amen" after that. I wonder if "the new life" is so blatant an allegory to heaven that most readers will pick it up, or if people kept reading mindlessly? The quotes around "the new life" open it up for such an allegory, but my guesses are fans of the book weren't paying attention.

I do give Housden credit though. He picked some fine poems (poems he admits he picked out of "personal prejudice"). But while the poems are good (there are many better, too), his analyzations of the poems are half-way decent to laughable at best. He forms the analyzations, like a University Freshman English student, to his own theories, rather than taking into account other possible readings. Read another way, Machado's "Last Night as I Was Sleeping" could be an ironic blemish on Housden's book. "Marvelous error!" could easily be interpreted to mean that the dream is a marvelous escapist thought while wholly wrong (an error).

This book might change your life for a day or two, IF you are Christian (Housden talks about Jesus being the light of the world, despite his claiming that non-religious people can exsperience life change with this book), and IF you allow yourself to be guided step-by-step through Housden's biography and convoluted interpretations. If you think for yourself in regards to spirituality and have any sort of ability in literary analysis, the poems will be enjoyable at best, and Housden's interludes will be PAINFUL.

But hey, the cover is nice.

(2 stars for the poem selections. 0 for Housden.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read More and Be Inspired By these Great Books!!!
Can't get enough of visionary fiction? Neither can I! These are just a few titles that will inspire you: The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) ; The Butterfly (Jay Singh); The Monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma) ; The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo); Chasing Rumi (Roger Housden). My favorite is by far and away THE ALCHEMIST! Go ahead...be inspired. Happy reading. Donald S. Buckland.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near ordinary
I picked up this book in a bookstore in Las Vegas last May, read one poem, and got hooked. I was only able to get my hands on it today, because this book is practically non-existent in my country.

Anyway, what I like about this book is that the author not only explains to us all the poems in relation to life and the soul, but it is quite obvious that this guy is just as affected by these poems. This book seems to also be the story of his life in direct relation to the poems.

As it seems to say throughout the book, you can't really describe the feeling, it's just...indescribable. Buy this book. It's really great. ... Read more


70. Overlord : Poems
by Jorie Graham
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0060745657
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 39225
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What does it mean to be fully present in a human life? How -- in the face of the carnage of war, the no longer merely threatened destruction of the natural world, the faceless threat of spiritual oversimplification and reactive fear -- does one retain one's capacity to be both present and responsive? And to what extent does our capacity to be present, to be fully ourselves, depend on our relationship to an other and our understanding of and engagement with otherness itself? With what forces does the sheer act of apprehending make us complicit? What powers lord over us and what do we, as a species, and as souls, lord over?

These are among the questions Jorie Graham, in her most personal and urgent collection to date, undertakes to explore, often from a vantage point geographically, as well as historically, other. Many of the poems take place along the coastline known as Omaha Beach in Normandy, and move between visions of that beach during the Allied invasion of Europe (whose code name was Operation Overlord) and that landscape of beaches, fields, and hedgerows as it is known to the speaker today. In every sense the work meditates on our new world, ghosted by, and threatened by, competing descriptions of the past, the future, and what it means to be, as individuals, and as a people, "free."

... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Chicken Soup for the Anaesthetized Soul
OVERLORD covers a range of issues, but the poems alternate primarily between two different voices: the stoic voice of the D-Day soldier and the spastic, prayerful voice of what is presumably the poet herself. The former borrows from actual letters written home by young soldiers. What is there to say? Her poems distill the tragedy. The facts are sad. The facts are particularly sad if the reader provides what Graham does not: the fact that soldiers are boys . . . or were, at least, the day before they became soldiers, perhaps right up to the moment they knew they were to storm the beach. Graham has never been such a boy, though she does seem to have researched certain of their aspects and behaviors.

I am a fan of Graham's oeuvre, and many of the pleasures of her writing are to be found here. But in the end I question what is to be learned from these meditations and prayers, except the fact that there was once, in France, an American woman, confused and prostrate, who wanted to mend the world without touching it. ... Read more


71. Leaves of Grass (Bantam Classics)
by WALT WHITMAN
list price: $5.95
our price: $5.36
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Asin: 0553211161
Catlog: Book (1983-07-01)
Publisher: Bantam Classics
Sales Rank: 23674
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Described by Emily Dickinson as "disgraceful" and by Emerson as "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America had yet contributed" to world literature, Leaves of Grass is more than a literary performance.In his departure from the rules of conventional poetry, his breaking down of the metered line, and his discarding of the obligatory rhyme-scheme, Whitman captures the vigorous spirit of the whole American nation.This edition reproduces the 1891-2 text and includes Whitman's preface to the 1855 edition, as well as Emerson's famous letter of 1855, greeting Whitman "at the beginning of a great career." ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest American Poet's Masterpiece.
Giving Walt Whitman only five stars out of five does him an injustice. Walt Whitman is perhaps the finest American poet ever as well as the most quintessentially American poet. His poetry never dates itself. It is as contemporary as if he just wrote it last week. Walt Whitman's poems overflow with life and energy, pulsate with excitement, and contain deep though simply-told truths that rival those of any wise man in history. Much maligned during life and after for the eroticism of his writing, he never let his inhibitions hold back his writing and thus it sparkles with honesty. Walt Whitman was also a great patriot, who loved America in a way modern Americans would do well to emulate. He sought it out on its own terms and recorded what he saw in his poetry. His war poems, written during the American Civil War, are some of the best war poems existing in literature. Whitman knew his subject, having spent much time caring for the wounded soldiers in the hospitals and visiting battlefields. His poems create vivid pictures, richly textured, as real as you read them as if you were seeing the scene yourself. And the dialog he carries on with the reader makes the reader feel that Whitman, if he were still alive, would like nothing more than to sit down and discuss life. He is one of the few poets who manages to establish a rapport with his reader, to anticipate his reader's reactions and talk to each one through the poem. Walt Whitman should be read by any and every literate American. 'Leaves of Grass' will change anyone who dares to read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The True American Patriot
After reading a portion of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", particularly the preface and "Song of Myself", I found it to be inspiring and uplifting. Whitman is the most enthuiastic American poet I have ever read and his passion for life and nature is amazing. He did not ever want to miss a second of life or the smallest detail of nature. He shares his limitless love for all Americans, including, of course, himself. I particularly enjoy his frequent usage of listing without commas, which I find livens his excitement for life even more. Whitman, although he may come off as a bit over eager to some, truly makes you realize how blessed you are and how lucky you are to live in this beautiful place, and he reminds us all that we should not take any of these blessings for granted. Something I find I need to be reminded of more than I should. I recommend this book to all.

5-0 out of 5 stars a classic of American poetry
No doubt influenced by the free verse of ancient Greek poetry, Walt Whitman wrote about 19th c. America in the same way that the ancient Greek and Roman poets wrote about their own time and world. Much praised and criticized when it was first published, "Leaves of Grass" remains a wonderfully innovative, original, observant, wise, sensually unashamed, and heroic portrait of American identity, and a eulogy in praise of American people, places, ideas and things.

David Rehak
author of "Poems From My Bleeding Heart"

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Poems here
This is one of the first books of poetry that I ever read. My Great Grand Father had this book, and it was very old looking to me when I first seen it 25 years ago, I was young then and didn't know that the book held a value. I don't know where it is now but I know the poems were really good and I enjoyed them immensely. Walt Whitman is a great writer, and I enjoy is poems.

3-0 out of 5 stars the American's American
Several reviewers state that Whitman is a "real American." Fair enough. But when his "bravado and self-love" are defended in the name of some sort of humility then someone is projecting their own romantic reading onto a person who was a self-proclaimed imperialist. He was hardly someone who wanted everyone to find their own truth. Of course, in today's post-9/11 America, being an imperialist certainly makes Whitman seem like a contemporary American. ... Read more


72. The Place Within : The Poetry of Pope John Paul II
by KAROL WOYTILA
list price: $15.00
our price: $15.00
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Asin: 0679760644
Catlog: Book (1994-10-25)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 358738
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Beautiful...
The first poem that I read of his was "Shores of silence," a beautiful poem, very profound, and the best that I've ever read. The poetry of Pope John Paul II, should not be missed. You will most certainly gain much more from reading it. So I encourage you all to order it. Really, it is mesmerizing, and you won't be sorry. ... Read more


73. The Simple Feeling of Being : Visionary, Spiritual, and Poetic Writings
by KEN WILBER
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 159030151X
Catlog: Book (2004-07-13)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 10577
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple.....
zakmeg@ecoisp.com

Writing as someone who's read everything of Wilber's, I can attest that this book is a welcome addition to Wilber's corpus. The volume is finely edited and superbly designed. It is a compilation so it contains no previously unpublished materials (although it does bring to light some obscure but valuable passages). The book consists of nine sections into which some of the most powerful pieces of Wilber's writing have been collected and organized.

The section titles are as follows: The Witness; Memoirs; Spirit-in-Action; Immediate Awareness; Passionate Philosophy; Always Already; Being-in-the-World; One without a Second; The Brilliant Clarity of Ever-Present Awareness.

As can be gleaned from these headings, this is a book that distils and makes available a particular aspect of Wilber's vision- the mystical. While it could be argued that insight into the Divine is the catalyst behind all his writing; no one would claim that the freeing Dionysian energy dripping off the passages in this book seep into all his meticulous system building.

This book does not read like his others. It is not a detailed matrix of knowledge, not a blueprint of the possible, not a many-roomed mansion of human potentials. Rather, it is a simple and radiant testament. It is beautiful.

So, perhaps the most valuable aspect of the book is that it will not be misunderstood (although I'm sure some critic may be able to manage).

To conclude, if you're looking for an intro to Wilber's system don't look here (look instead to Integral Psychology or A Brief History of Everything). But, if you're looking for an invitation to party for One, this book will do that- throwing you back against your self and leaving you alone. But it may just take you from that alone to the Alone. ... Read more


74. Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
by Mary Oliver
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 0306809958
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 17712
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A dazzling new collection of essays, poems, and prose poems by the best-selling author of The Leaf and the Cloud and What Do We Know.

"The gift of Oliver's poetry is that she communicates the beauty she finds in the world and makes it unforgettable" (Miami Herald). This has never been truer than in Long Life, a luminous collection of seventeen essays and ten poems. With the grace and precision that are the hallmarks of her work, Oliver shows us how writing "is a way of offering praise to the world" and suggests we see her poems as "little alleluias." Whether describing a goosefish stranded at low tide, the feeling of being baptized by the mist from a whale's blowhole, or the "connection between soul and landscape," Oliver invites readers to find themselves and their experiences at the center of her world. In Long Life she also speaks of poets and writers: Wordsworth's "whirlwind" of "beauty and strangeness"; Hawthorne's "sweet-tempered" side; and Emerson's belief that "a man's inclination, once awakened to it, would be to turn all the heavy sails of his life to a moral purpose." With consummate craftsmanship, Mary Oliver has created a breathtaking volume sure to add to her reputation as "one of our very best poets" (New York Times Book Review). ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Only Wish? That "Long Life" was Longer.....
I will be perpetually grateful to my friend who introduced me to Mary Oliver's work. I was so excited to read she had released another book I could not wait to get my hands on it. The Amazon box arrived and I excitedly tore it open and began to read.

Exquisite. One simple word to describe Mary Oliver's work.

I enjoy her poetry and her books about how to write poetry so I was curious about how this mostly essay book would fare.

I was not disappointed.

A couple of the chapters wobbled very slightly: I was curious about the inclusion of the previously published essays on Emerson and Hawthorne. While they were interesting, they seemed a bit out of place with the other chapters.

I especially appreciated the peek into parts of the author's personal life that I had not been privy to in the past. I loved witnessing more of her life, connecting to the stories and nodding my head as she observed the day unfold about her.

My favorite quote from the book goes like this:

"It is the intimate, never the general, that is teacherly. The idea of love is not love. The idea of the ocean is neither salt nor sand; the face of the seal cannot rise from the idea to stare at you, to astound your heart."

Ahhhh - yes!

The book is short - only 101 pages - and I know I will read it again and again and again and hope Mary Oliver blesses us with another book soon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Plowing the natural world with prose-horse in harness.
For Pulitzer-Prize and National-Book-Award winning poet, Mary Oliver, the big question the world throws at her every morning is, "Here you are, alive. Would like to make a comment?" This book, she says, is her comment (p. xiv). Given the choice of prose-horse in harness, or the horse of poetry with wings, Oliver says that she would rather fly than plow (p. xiv). However, in this rare collection of essays (punctuated with an occasional poem), Oliver mostly plows.

Oliver's prose here is both memorable and radiant. As in most of her poetry, these essays draw their inspiration from the natural world, which has always offered Oliver the hint of our single and immense divinity--"a million unopened fountains" (p. 19). In her solitude--a "prerequisite to being openly and joyfully susceptible and responsive to the world of leaves, light, birdsong, flowers, [and] flowing water" (p. 22), we find Oliver contemplating the "connection between soul and landscape" in these essays, which explore death, the poetry of unleashed dogs, the town dump, sprawl, Wordsworth, Emerson, and Hawthorne. In one of my all-time favorite Oliver moments, she asks, "What would it be like to live one whole day as a Ruskin sentence, wandering like a creek with little comma bridges" (p. 85)?

In her poetry, Oliver soars. In her prose, she digs deep.

G. Merritt ... Read more


75. The Ulysses Voyage: Sea Search for the Odyssey
by Tim Severin
list price: $50.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525246142
Catlog: Book (1987-09-01)
Publisher: E P Dutton
Sales Rank: 346797
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Coming Face to Face with Ulysses
Tim Severin's "The Ulysses Voyage" is more than a fascinating adventure/detective story. It is, above all, a fine piece of scholarship, marshalling evidence from Homer, from a modern understanding of the geology and meteorology in Ulysses's time, and from what is known about local myths to construct a convincing account of the reality behind Homer's wondrous tale. The book, which includes color photographs of the likely waypoints on Ulysses' journey, inspired me to visit some of these waypoints, myself. I've now been to the land of the Cyclops and had coffee with the local expert Tim Severin spoke with, visited the Isle of Aeolius, and snorkeled in the bay where the Laestrygonians destroyed all but one of Ulysses'last 12 boats. "The Ulysses Voyage" is among the most valued books in my collection. Others of Severin's books are not far behind.

4-0 out of 5 stars The story behind the myths?
I read this book many years ago, and it gave me a new perspective on the Odyssey. Tim Severin is an adventurer, but here he is searching for a reality behind the old myths. He does it in a very convincing as well as entertaining manner. As the Iliad was brought from the sphere of myths back to history by the discovery of the ruins of Troy, Tim Severin's re-tracing of a route from Troy to Ithaca, at least in my mind has turned the Odyssey into a historical event.

5-0 out of 5 stars search
i am producer and i look for to join Tim Severin i work on Ulysse's documentary and i would like to known if Tim Severin get always his boat called Argos.

Thanks a lot

Hervé ... Read more


76. The Best Poems of the English Language : From Chaucer Through Frost
by Harold Bloom
list price: $34.95
our price: $20.97
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Asin: 0060540419
Catlog: Book (2004-03)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 2874
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Best Poems of the English Language is the culmination for Harold Bloom of his lifelong love of poetry. It is a comprehensive anthology that offers the reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry.

The vast scope of this anthology begins with Chaucer and ends with poets whose births predate 1900. Bloom has culled his selection according to his three absolute criteria: aesthetic splendor, intellectual power, and wisdom.

Featured in this volume is a substantial and significant introductory essay called "The Art of Reading Poetry." This essay presents Bloom's critical reflections on more than a half century devoted to reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves best, and conveys his passionate concern for how a poem should be interpreted and appreciated. Throughout this anthology, Bloom includes extensive introductions to each poet and to many of the individual poems. In such commentaries, Bloom guides the reader through what is most relevant for a true understanding of the more than one hundred poets selected.

The Best Poems of the English Language is regarded by Harold Bloom as his most significant meditation upon all those poets in English who have formed his mind. Here in one volume is an abundance that can never be exhausted.

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Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too much Bloom
The cover of this anthology, with Harold Bloom's name looming larger than that of the title, should prove a clue as to its content.

On a positive note, the selection of poems is exquisite but in choosing to represent some of the finest poets of the language with no more than a scattering of their works, that should come as no surprise; exclusion of most of the poems would be criminal, especially from a canonizer such as Bloom. Outside of the 17th century selections, there are few surprises.

Overall, however, Bloom is a bully of a critic: he provides long-winded commentary yet neglects annotation to the poetry, revealing his priorities to lie with his judgement of the poems rather than with the poems themselves. If you are in agreement with his evaluations (or revaluations), you have found a bombastic and articulate ally to you opinions. Howevever, should Bloom prove (can such things ever be proven?) off the mark on some of his majesterial assertions, then his voice sounds all the more ridiculous for its timbre and volume.

Particularly annoying in Bloom's commentaries (on which this review has focused since, in all honesty, they are the determining factor in whether to buy this otherwise predictable anthology): his perpetual egotism, most poignant when he compares himself to his blind students reading Milton; insistent self-parallels with Samuel Johnson (for Bloom, the greatest of all critics); disparagement of modern critical trends which, even when warranted, seems unnecessarily belligerent ; quasi-spiritual epiphanies, which shake Bloom (admitted into a gnostic sect?) with each great poet he hears echo in another.

It is a shame that Bloom does not provide more disciplined, attentively textual readings in his commentaries; perhaps grounding himself to the poetry, Bloom would feel less inclined to try to outdo it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not The Selection, But The Process
I was a bit surprised when I first skimmed through the book, mainly from the stopping point selection at Hart Crane, born in 1899. I was looking foward to Bloom consolidating some of the 20th century for me, but it wasn't to be. After I sulked a while and started reading, I have found it to be one of, if not, his most approachable and rewarding book (and I have about thirteen of his latter books). What I found especially rereadable and delightful is his essay--"The Art of Reading Poetry," which is in the beginning 30 pages, divided in 8 sections. Bloom takes a very practical approach towards READING poetry and gives some advice that reminds me of his assumed heir: Helen Vendler. For instance HB says we should ask ourselves 4 questions when reading a poem. The first, (roughly from memory) is what does the poem mean, and is that meaning clearly attained. Next, can we deem the poem as simply good, or is it intrinsically well-crafted. And finally does this poem transcend its time or is it a period piece? There are other nuggets that I strongly believe will make their way into anthologies across America in due time, probably once the obtuse personality of Bloom fades and we are left with just his passion and wisdom for literature.
There are also introductory essays before the authors that offer us bio information, but of special interest and relevance. Just this morning I read that Willaim Blake and his wife, after a struggling marriage in the beginning, lived the rest of their life in contentment, by all accounts.
As a potential buyer, don't be scared of another technical, verbose, theoretical book. And don't think BLoom is trying to make his favorite poems your favorite poems; but see that he is using these poems to illustrate how to interpret and engulf your own favorite poems. This book is Bloom at his most genial and wise, and at times his most personal.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some of the best...
This is a very good collection of poetry. It is not the collection I would choose were I to compile such a tome, but this is no surprise. The sense of poetry, what makes a good poem technically, emotionally, artistically is a very personal matter. What is presented here is a particular collection from one of the 'experts' of the day in the field of poetry, and an interesting survey it is.

Bloom freely admits to not being 'equal' with all the poets here in terms of their introductory material -- sometimes this is because of the breadth or unique character of their poetry, or sometimes (as in the case of Shakespeare, which is rather short given his overall relationship to the English language) because there is more general accessibility, either of the texts or of outside information readily available. Bloom has used modernised texts for the poetry for the most part, save where the original text is crucial for understanding and appreciating the poetry (as is the case with Chaucer) -- in which case there are helpful notes to aid in 'translation'.

Despite the title's proclamation of the poetry cycle being from Chaucer to Frost, in fact there are more than a dozen poets after Robert Frost included in the text --the poets are arranged chronologically, beginning with Chaucer and leading up to Hart Crane, who was born in 1899. Bloom did not include 'twentieth-century' poets -- in other words, any poet born in 1900 or later. Thus there are some notable figures missing at the end of the volume; there are no selections from Odgen Nash, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, or other notable contemporaries. There are also a few omissions from earlier times -- e.e. cummings, born in 1894, is not represented here (and yet John Brooks Wheelwright (who? you might ask) is), nor is Robert Graves. One might quibble here, and say that this book is a collection of 'some' of the Best Poems of the English Language, but hardly all. However, that criticism could likely be levelled against any volume daring the title 'Best Poems'.

Bloom has decided tastes, developed over a decades-long career in literary pursuits that have included poetry, prose, sacred literature, modern culture and more. His introductory essay (about 30 pages of the text) gives the reader little doubt where Bloom's tastes lie, and that is ultimately the reason for the selections in the remaining 950-odd pages. Bloom also pulls no punches in the commentary-biographies introducing the poets -- for example he states 'I confess a lifelong hostility to T.S. Eliot,' as the first sentence (in capital letters, no less) to the biographical introduction to Eliot; one wonders if the inclusion of the relatively unknown Wheelwright mentioned above has as much to do with his political affinities as to do with his literary merit.

Ultimately there are three strengths to this text -- first, it is a selection of some of the greatest poems in English, despite the absence of a few notables, including the absence of anything Old English or Anonymously written; second, Bloom's commentaries from lifelong experience and study make worthwhile reading whether or not one agrees with his tastes and interpretations; finally, it does trace in chronological order an interesting glimpse through well-known and sometimes overlooked poets and poems the overall development of English as a language of art, lyric expression and passion.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth Having
The Best Poems is a great collection to have. It is something you can read on a rainy day, when you are in love, when you are angry, or when you simply want to explore a whole other world. This is the kind of book that will just fit in anywhere. Keep it in your den and bring it down whenever you need a great quote or some insight on life. With so many modern poets writing about no-so-lovely things (with the drugs, the negativity, etc.) it is refreshing to go back into these times of past when the roses smelled just a little sweeter. As long as you are celebrating poetry month, I might suggest a book of poems by an author named Geraldi called Lowilo. The book is reminiscent of the great poets like Frost and Longfellow. It is (mostly) rhyming, which is also refreshing because it is safe and innocent in it's way.

2-0 out of 5 stars Shameless or shameful?
You are better off getting the Norton Anthology of Poetry. This book is marketed as a personal selection, yet contains a fairly standard array of poems taken from other anthologies. Do we need Bloom to select some chestnut by Robert Frost for us? ... Read more


77. The Essential Neruda : Selected Poems
by Pablo Neruda
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0872864286
Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
Publisher: Consortium
Sales Rank: 5524
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This collection of Neruda's most essential poems will prove indispensable. Selected by a team of poets and prominent Neruda scholars in both Chile and the U.S., this is a definitive selection that draws from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. An impressive group of translators that includes Alistair Reid, Stephen Mitchell, Robert Haas, Jim Harrison, Stephen Kessler and Jack Hirschman, have come together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems; and a handful of previously untranslated works are included as well. This selection sets the standard for a general, high--quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.

Pablo Neruda was born in Chile in 1904. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars By one of the greatest known Spanish poets
The Essential Neruda Selected Poems presents fifty poems by Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest known Spanish poets, both in their original language and in new translations created by a collaboration of eight poets, translators, and Neruda scholars. A captivating celebration, and a superb introduction to the pathos of Neruda's work one hundred years after his birth. "Winter Garden": It shows up, the winter. Splendid dictation / bestowed on me by slow leaves / suited up in silence and yellow. // I'm a book of snow, / a wide hand, a prairie, / an expectant circumference, / I pertain to earth and its winter...

5-0 out of 5 stars Teach and enjoy Neruda
I teach Neruda in Chile, we often see the work of this poet in translation, since the students come from different countries. I've read the Essential Neruda and decided that this is the best choice to teach and enjoy Neruda's poems in the English language. First of all it covers all important poem collections published by Neruda, its affordable for any reader and above all, Eisner's versions of the romantic poetry and the joint translations of Alturas de Macchu Picchu -just to name a couple of many examples- are accurate and close to the strength of the poems in the original language. ... Read more


78. Good Poems
by Garrison Keillor
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142003441
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 4350
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every day people tune in to The Writer's Almanac on public radio andhear Garrison Keillor read them a poem. And here, for the first time, is an anthology of poems from the show, chosen by Keillor for their wit, their frankness, their passion, their "utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with at 7 a.m."

Good Poems includes verse about lovers, children, failure, everyday life, death, and transcendance. It features the work of classic poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost, as well as the work of contemporary greats such as Howard Nemerov, Charles Bukowski, Donald Hall, Billy Collins, Robert Bly, and Sharon Olds. It's a book of poems for anybody who loves poetry whether they know it or not.
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's an anthology, but don't let that frighten you...
These kinds of major-press anthologies (especially when put together by a celebrity) tend to be worthless: either heartwarming sop (i.e. "Poems that have Inspired Me") or the same English-class warhorses trotted out again. So I thumbed through "Good Poems" and was surprised to find...good poems; a mix of the standards (Frost, Dickinson, Shakespeare), modern academics (Oliver, Simic), and poets who seldom appear in these kinds of anthologies (Carver, Ferlinghetti, Bukowski.) Well-selected, thoughtfully placed, and (thank God) fun to read, this collection is a real jewel; a perfect gift for someone who thinks they could never like poetry.

Even if the poetry was less than stellar, this book would be worth buying just for Keillor's introduction. Instead of gushing empty platitudes, he takes a hard look at what makes a poem good (as opposed to just technically proficient.) Anyone interested in writing poetry should do themselves a favor and read it (Personally, I'm thrilled that someone else thinks Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and Allen Ginsberg are overrated, though I have to admit T.S. Eliot is growing on me...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Title Says it All
I don't normally read poetry. It's one genre I'm very ignorant about but I like Garrison Keillor's story telling and figured I might like the same type of poetry he likes. I was right! Although I didn't enjoy every single one (and who can expect to in a compillation of more than four hundred pages) but I did enjoy or take meaning away from enough of them to count this book as a page turner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better "Good" than "Best"
Keillor's title seems intended to suggest a contrast with the "Best American Poetry" series, and what a contrast it is! Whereas BAP routinely and inexplicably celebrates dreck (it's a scandal how many terrific poems it excludes in favor of the mediocre and that most banal of banalities, the avant-garde), Keillor's anthology is full of readable, memorable, enjoyable poems--poems that can honestly be said to be _valuable_. How refreshing it is, too, to see poems by the likes of Lisel Mueller and Robert Morgan, poets whose work has long been highly lauded but who nevertheless get overlooked by most anthologists. Rita Dove may be right to complain about the small number of minority voices (see her letter in the June/July 2004 issue of Poetry magazine), but this is still the best general-interest poetry anthology to come along since Czeslaw Milosz's BOOK OF LUMINOUS THINGS.

5-0 out of 5 stars HERE IS AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY....
....that's worth its weight in gold! Brings together a marvelous choice of past and present, old and new, and is full of surprises! Poetry lover or no, buy this now!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection of Good Poems
I liked this collection because it contained alot of poetry that I was never taught in school. And some of it is straight forward it isn't trying to hide behind huge words that the average person doesn't use. I like that kind of poetry too but sometimes I think it's a little more gutsy to write simple straight forward to the average person. Because sometimes people end up hating poetry because of poetry that seems to just exist to show off big words. And that would be too bad because poetry is so beautiful and enjoyable.

I would also recomend the first book by a new poet who writes more on the simple side of things.
It is called Moments in Life:A Book of Poetry (ISBN-0595293859) and it is by Tyler S. Wilson. It is of course available on this site. ... Read more


79. Life Doesn't Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556702884
Catlog: Book (1996-02-06)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 14552
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life Doesn't Frighten Me
This is a wonderful book, both beautifully written and powerfully illustrated. I am a 3rd grade teacher, but I love this book mainly as a unique graduation gift for previous students of mine who are graduating from high school and remember me with graduation announcements. I love the combination of a gift that is both a primary book from their teacher, coupled with the larger message of the poem for the recipient who is soon embarking upon confronting life on his or her own! A very special and meaningful gift!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I thought this book was excellent. It's a great poem for inspiration, as it is a reminder that we all have courage. Maya repeats the line, "Life doesn't frighten me at all", getting her message across. This is a wonderful story for children, as well as adults.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nourish your child's intellect... cautiously
As an adult and a student, I was truly enchanted by this unique concatenation of Maya Angelou's spirited, optimistic poetry and Jean-Michel Basquiat's bold, explosive paintings. "Life" is less a story than an affirmation - the child narrator (whose gender is left to the imagination) lists a dozen or so items that could be causes for concern in young child's mind, but then conquers these fears with "They don't frighten me at all." Equally impressive are the brief, but detailed biographical sketches of both artists that closes the book.

My only reservation lies in the question "Who is this book really for?" While Basquiat's dynamic use of line and color and space make for fascinating pictures, and his style is consciously influenced by the artwork of Native Americans and small children, his habitual use of skeletal imagery and jagged, leering facial expressions might prove too intense for little ones. On the other hand, the beautiful simplicity of Angelou's poetry will probably fail to appeal to kids who are experienced enough to expect a certain level of plot in their reading.

My advice to parents is this: don't give this book to your kids - buy it for yourselves, and keep it someplace where it won't get all trashed up by dirty little hands. When you think they're ready, let your youngsters look at this book with you, so if the pictures should strike them the wrong way, you'll be there for them. Better not do this at bedtime until you're sure how they'll react - this could be the stuff nightmares are made of. But even if they love it, hang on to the book yourself, so that in a couple of years when your child loses interest (they may begin to see it as a "baby book"), you'll still have a beautiful coffee-table book of post-modernist art to share with your friends. And eventually, your kids might grow up into little intellectuals who can see what a delightful creation this book really is. It may not be perfect for anyone, but it certainly has something for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars even 1st graders LOVE this book
I'm a first year, first grade teacher. And before I started teaching I had owned this book for about 6 years. I recently read it to my students and they loved it. One of my students wanted to read it on her own & even read Maya's bio in the back and took notes in her journal so she could read more of Maya's work. This is a great book for adults and children! Basquiat's artwork is very interesting [and childlike] and did not scare the children. Children are exposed to a very violent world on virtually a daily basis and this book helps them cope. p.s. I read this book when the Iraq war started.

1-0 out of 5 stars But The Pictures In This Book Did
While life may not scare me, the pictures in this book did. Perhaps had I been familiar with Basquiat's work I would not have ordered the book in the first place. But I also thought the poem was a bit oversold by some of the other reviews I read. The poem itself is only a few lines long, while the book is more like 20 pages or so. Several more pages are taken up with bios of Angelou and Basquiat. Mainly, the pictures are ugly and seem to me to be completely unaccessible to a child. ... Read more


80. Flying At Night : Poems 1965-1985 (Pitt Poetry Series)
by Ted Kooser
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822958775
Catlog: Book (2005-03-11)
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Sales Rank: 25832
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Book Description

Named U.S. Poet Laureate for 2004-2005, Ted Kooser is one of America's masters of the short metaphorical poem. Dana Gioia has remarked that Kooser has written more perfect poems than any poet of his generation.

In Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985, Kooser has selected poems from two of his earlier works, Sure Signs (1980) and One World at a Time (1985). Taken together or read one at a time, these poems clearly show why William Cole, writing in the Saturday Review, called Ted Kooser "a wonderful poet," and why Peter Stitt, writing in the Georgia Review, proclaimed him "a skilled and cunning writer. . . . An authentic 'poet of the American people.'" ... Read more


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