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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:

The tenth collection of poems from Alan Shapiro, author of SONG AND DANCE and OLD WAR

Synopsis:

An urgent and timely collection by one of Americas most inventive and accessible poets

In Night of the Republic, Alan Shapiro takes us on an unsettling night tour of Americas public places—a gas station restroom, shoe store, convention hall, and race track among others—and in stark Edward Hopper-like imagery reveals the surreal and dreamlike features of these familiar but empty night spaces. Shapiro finds in them not the expected alienation but rather an odd, companionable solitude rising up from the quiet emptiness.

In other poems, Shapiro writes movingly of his 1950s and 60s childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts, with special focus on the house he grew up in. These meditations, always inflected with Shapiros quick wit and humor, lead to recollections of tragic and haunting events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of JFK. While Night of the Republic is Shapiros most ambitious work to date, it is also his most timely and urgent for the acute way it illuminates the mingling of private obsessions with public space.

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.

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.

Table of Contents

Contents

I. Night of the Republic

Gas Station Restroom 3

Car Dealership at 3 A.M. 5

Supermarket 7

Park Bench 10

Downtown Strip Club 12

Hotel Lobby 14

Race Track 15

Dry Cleaner 17

Shoe Store 18

Stone Church 20

Playground 23

Gym 25

Indoor Municipal Pool 26

Hospital Examination Room 27

Senior Center 28

Funeral Home 31

II. Galaxy Formation

Triumph 33

Forgiveness 34

Conductor 36

Edenic Simile 37

Close to You 39

Galaxy Formation 41

III. Night of the Republic

Amphitheater 43

Museum 44

Bookstore 45

Barbershop 48

Post Office 50

Convention Hall 51

Government Center 52

Courtroom 53

The Public 55

IV. At the Corner of

Coolidge and Clarence

Beloved 73

Flowerpot 74

The Family 75

Light Switch 76

Sickbed 77

Coffee Cup 78

Cigarette Smoke 79

Piano Bench 80

Dryer 81

Bathtub 82

Family Pictures 83

Color 84

Faucet 85

Bedroom Door 86

Solitaire 87

Cellar 88

White Gloves 89

Shed 90

Hallway 91

The Doorbell 92

Notes 95

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:
80
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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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 80 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 ,

The tenth collection of poems from Alan Shapiro, author of SONG AND DANCE and OLD WAR

"Synopsis" by , An urgent and timely collection by one of Americas most inventive and accessible poets

In Night of the Republic, Alan Shapiro takes us on an unsettling night tour of Americas public places—a gas station restroom, shoe store, convention hall, and race track among others—and in stark Edward Hopper-like imagery reveals the surreal and dreamlike features of these familiar but empty night spaces. Shapiro finds in them not the expected alienation but rather an odd, companionable solitude rising up from the quiet emptiness.

In other poems, Shapiro writes movingly of his 1950s and 60s childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts, with special focus on the house he grew up in. These meditations, always inflected with Shapiros quick wit and humor, lead to recollections of tragic and haunting events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of JFK. While Night of the Republic is Shapiros most ambitious work to date, it is also his most timely and urgent for the acute way it illuminates the mingling of private obsessions with public space.

"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.

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