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A Possible World

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A Possible World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"For the last thirty years or more, Kenneth Koch has been writing the most exuberant poems in America. In an arena where such good spirits are rare, he has become a national treasure. In his book of personal addresses to what has mattered most in his seventy-plus years on the planet, there is a dimension of pathos and joy rare in the poetry of any era." —National Book Award (2000) finalist citation for New Addresses

The three long poems — “Bel Canto,” “Possible World,” and “A Memoir” — in this brilliant successor to New Addresses are ambitious attempts at rendering the complete story of a life. Taken together they present a dazzling picture of the pleasures and confusions of existence, as well as the pleasures and difficulties of expressing them.

Other poems bring Kochs questioning, lyrical attention to more particular aspects of experience, real and imagined—a shipboard meeting, the Moor not taken, or the unknowable realm of mountaintops. As in all of Kochs work, one hears the music of unconquerable exuberance in stormy conflict with whatever resists it—death, the injustice of power, the vagaries of life in Thailand, China, or Rome.

Thomas Disch has written in the Boston Book Review that “Koch is the most capable technician on the American scene, the brightest wit, and the emeritus most likely to persist into the next millennium . . . His work is full of ribaldry and wit, musicianship, pitch-perfect mimicry of the Great Tradition, and the celebration of pleasure for its own sunlit sake.”

The ebullience and stylistic variety that one has come to expect of this protean poet is everywhere present in this scintillating collection.

From the Hardcover edition.

Review:

"In his glorious final work, Koch returns to classical forms to express his profound yet bemused gratitude for life, however strange and imperfect." Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"[An] exuberant record of a life well lived in both seriousness and humor." Melanie Rehak, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Koch at his various best....[This book] display[s] Koch's verve and light touch, but [is] unmistakably colored by requiem....Koch...most definitely remains in our collective performance." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"This is a book of quiet, not-so-obvious farewells. [Koch] still fiddles around with language, does a few high jinks, fails a few times, and then turns around and writes a poem ['Mountain'] that is unlike any poem he has written before..." Charles Simic, New York Review of Books

Review:

"Though these poems were written near the end of Koch's life, they aren't terribly overcast or elegiac....[A Possible World and Sun Out] serve as fine testimonials to an important American poet..." Library Journal

About the Author

Kenneth Koch has published many volumes of poetry, including New Addresses, Straits, and One Train. He was awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1995, in 1996 he received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry awarded by the Library of Congress, and he received the first Phi Beta Kappa Poetry award in November of 2001. His short plays, many of them produced off- and off-off-Broadway, are collected in The Gold Standard: A Book of Plays. He has also written several books about poetry, including Wishes, Lies, and Dreams; Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?; and, most recently, Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry. He taught undergraduates at Columbia University for many years. He passed away in 2002.

Table of Contents

Bel Canto 3
A Review 8
A Momentary Longing to Hear Sad Advice from One Long Dead 9
Mountain 10
To Buddhism 11
A Schoolroom in Haiti 12
The Expansive Water 13
La Ville de Nice 14
Topiary Couple 15
Behavior in Thailand 16
On the Acropolis 19
Zones 24
A Changing China 25
Day and Night in Kuala Lumpur 27
Proverb 30
At Extremes 31
Possible World 35
To a Bug 49
Variations at Home and Abroad 52
Flight 56
A Big Clown-Face-Shaped Cloud 57
Roma non basta una vita 58
Paradiso 67
The Unfinished 68
The Moor Not Taken 69
Thor Not Taken 70
Movement 71
Primus Inter Pares 72
Relations 74
Barking Dogs in the Snow 75
A Memoir 76

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375710001
Author:
Koch, Kenneth
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Location:
New York
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
107-430
Publication Date:
March 9, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
9.30x6.18x.34 in. .42 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

A Possible World Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 112 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375710001 Reviews:
"Review" by , "In his glorious final work, Koch returns to classical forms to express his profound yet bemused gratitude for life, however strange and imperfect."
"Review" by , "[An] exuberant record of a life well lived in both seriousness and humor."
"Review" by , "Koch at his various best....[This book] display[s] Koch's verve and light touch, but [is] unmistakably colored by requiem....Koch...most definitely remains in our collective performance."
"Review" by , "This is a book of quiet, not-so-obvious farewells. [Koch] still fiddles around with language, does a few high jinks, fails a few times, and then turns around and writes a poem ['Mountain'] that is unlike any poem he has written before..."
"Review" by , "Though these poems were written near the end of Koch's life, they aren't terribly overcast or elegiac....[A Possible World and Sun Out] serve as fine testimonials to an important American poet..."
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