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Gulf Music: Poems

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Gulf Music: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned
For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

— from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.

Review:

"The 'gulf' in the title of Pinsky's seventh collection is both the large southern body of water that has been the site of so much weather-related misery, and the unavoidable distances between an author's thoughts and feelings and his expression. Poems from the first section frequently butt up against subjects 'too large for speech,' and break down into music and mystery. The title poem begins with a devastating hurricane in Galveston in 1900 and reaches after fragments and song to recall what was lost: 'O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah wallah-woe.' Another poem describes the 'ecstasy of forgetting,' in which an enraptured audience at once hears and doesn't hear what it's being told. Pinsky (Jersey Rain) describes solid things in the second section, though he can't help noting that 'thing' itself first meant 'to confer or address.' Of a camera, he writes, 'The flash of your hammer/ Fashions the shelter.' Signs of Pinsky's craftsmanship abound. Perhaps most laudable is that Pinsky — a former Poet Laureate and one of America's best-known poets — is not above self-criticism: in writing about peace, his last thought compares his own mind to a monkey 'who fires his shit in handfuls from the cage.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"I think that Robert Pinsky would agree that every act, event, performance and whooziwhatsis is two things at once: itself and an instruction manual on the class of phenomena to which it belongs. Thus, a badly sung song hurts our ears, but it also describes by negation the way a good song sounds. A wonderful sandwich is a deli full of good sandwiches that haven't been made yet. A leather shoe, a jewelry... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of Gulf Music are among the best examples we have of poetry's ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation." New York Times

Review:

"This anthology contains some of Pinsky's most invigorating work." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.

Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his

Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?

All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned

For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

--from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.

Synopsis:

One of Americas most accessible and engaging poets takes readers on a lively and surprising night tour of Americas public places.

Night of the Republicshowcases one of Americas best poets not only working at the height of his powers but pushing into new and exciting territory as well. InNight of the Republic, Alan Shapiro visits a gas station restroom, a shoe store, a convention hall, and a racetrack, among other placesand in stark Edward Hopper–like imagery reveals the surreal and dreamlike quality of these familiar but empty night spaces. Shapiro finds in them not the expected alienation but rather an odd, companionable spirit of a community of solitude rising from the quiet emptiness. The collection also includes moving meditations of his childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts, and of tragic and haunting events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of JFK. WhileNight of the Republicis Shapiros most ambitious, inventive, and accessible collection to date, it is also his most timely and urgent for the acute way it illuminates the mingling of private obsessions with public space.

About the Author

Robert Pinsky was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Creator and director of the Favorite Poem Project and poetry editor at Slate, he also teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374167493
Author:
Pinsky, Robert
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
Shapiro, Alan
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Poetry, American
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Gulf Music: Poems Used Hardcover
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Product details 96 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374167493 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The 'gulf' in the title of Pinsky's seventh collection is both the large southern body of water that has been the site of so much weather-related misery, and the unavoidable distances between an author's thoughts and feelings and his expression. Poems from the first section frequently butt up against subjects 'too large for speech,' and break down into music and mystery. The title poem begins with a devastating hurricane in Galveston in 1900 and reaches after fragments and song to recall what was lost: 'O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah wallah-woe.' Another poem describes the 'ecstasy of forgetting,' in which an enraptured audience at once hears and doesn't hear what it's being told. Pinsky (Jersey Rain) describes solid things in the second section, though he can't help noting that 'thing' itself first meant 'to confer or address.' Of a camera, he writes, 'The flash of your hammer/ Fashions the shelter.' Signs of Pinsky's craftsmanship abound. Perhaps most laudable is that Pinsky — a former Poet Laureate and one of America's best-known poets — is not above self-criticism: in writing about peace, his last thought compares his own mind to a monkey 'who fires his shit in handfuls from the cage.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of Gulf Music are among the best examples we have of poetry's ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation."
"Review" by , "This anthology contains some of Pinsky's most invigorating work."
"Synopsis" by ,
Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.

Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his

Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?

All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned

For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

--from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.

"Synopsis" by , One of Americas most accessible and engaging poets takes readers on a lively and surprising night tour of Americas public places.

Night of the Republicshowcases one of Americas best poets not only working at the height of his powers but pushing into new and exciting territory as well. InNight of the Republic, Alan Shapiro visits a gas station restroom, a shoe store, a convention hall, and a racetrack, among other placesand in stark Edward Hopper–like imagery reveals the surreal and dreamlike quality of these familiar but empty night spaces. Shapiro finds in them not the expected alienation but rather an odd, companionable spirit of a community of solitude rising from the quiet emptiness. The collection also includes moving meditations of his childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts, and of tragic and haunting events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of JFK. WhileNight of the Republicis Shapiros most ambitious, inventive, and accessible collection to date, it is also his most timely and urgent for the acute way it illuminates the mingling of private obsessions with public space.

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