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The History of Forgetting (Poets, Penguin)

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The History of Forgetting (Poets, Penguin) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

#LINK<>#
Lawrence Raab's richest work to date-his saddest, funniest, most personal, and most searching book

Of Lawrence Raab 's 1972 debut, Mark Strand wrote:

"This is a first book with more authority and wisdom in it than most poets are able to manage in their entire careers. I am amazed by its casualness and clarity, its forcefulness, its engrossing strangeness." Mystery and strangeness remain at the heart of Raab's work, but now they are revealed more fully through the world around us-everyday deceptions, inexplicable violence, unexpected tenderness, the comedy of hope and desire. In one poem, Proust appears in Raab's class to confront a student who disputes the great author's claim that "the true paradises are the lost paradises." And in the title poem, set just before the Fall, the snake alone understands how people will come to yearn "for whatever they'd lost, and so to survive/ they'd need to forget."

Review:

"Raab's seventh outing pursues the same theme throughout, in tones as subdued as the subject is harrowing: the poems concern the end of everything — human life, humanity as a species, all that we can be or know or do. 'A child dies, love fades, then friendship,/ and soon enough almost everything is gone,' says 'Nothing There'; 'The God of Snow' concludes, regretfully, 'that it had all started out so well.' Environmental destruction plays a role, too, in these pessimistic tableaux, which at their best recall Thomas Hardy: like Hardy's, though, Raab's sadness is finally personal and has something to do with advancing age. 'The sea encourages me/ to think about the past,' he writes, 'as if I could leave it where it is.' His free verse and restrained diction complement his conversational phrasing. There are glimmers of humor as well: 'The life of the Japanese beetle/ is pointless and ugly.' Raab was a poet to watch in the 1970s, when his early, mildly surrealist collections drew extravagant praise: he has since settled down into quieter modes, the poems' lack of sparkle offset — and then some — by the quality of pathos within their lines. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Lawrence Raab is the author of six previous collections of poems, including What We Don't Know About Each Other, a winner of the National Poetry Series and a finalist for the National Book Award. He teaches literature and writing at Williams College.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143115823
Author:
Raab, Lawrence
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series:
Poets, Penguin
Publication Date:
20090531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
8.70x5.90x.30 in. .35 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

The History of Forgetting (Poets, Penguin) New Trade Paper
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Product details 112 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143115823 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Raab's seventh outing pursues the same theme throughout, in tones as subdued as the subject is harrowing: the poems concern the end of everything — human life, humanity as a species, all that we can be or know or do. 'A child dies, love fades, then friendship,/ and soon enough almost everything is gone,' says 'Nothing There'; 'The God of Snow' concludes, regretfully, 'that it had all started out so well.' Environmental destruction plays a role, too, in these pessimistic tableaux, which at their best recall Thomas Hardy: like Hardy's, though, Raab's sadness is finally personal and has something to do with advancing age. 'The sea encourages me/ to think about the past,' he writes, 'as if I could leave it where it is.' His free verse and restrained diction complement his conversational phrasing. There are glimmers of humor as well: 'The life of the Japanese beetle/ is pointless and ugly.' Raab was a poet to watch in the 1970s, when his early, mildly surrealist collections drew extravagant praise: he has since settled down into quieter modes, the poems' lack of sparkle offset — and then some — by the quality of pathos within their lines. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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