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Old Heart: Poemsby Stanley Plumly
Synopses & Reviews
Imaginary Logic is a brilliantly expansive, deeply meditative, and at times wildly imaginative collection of poems that combines Joness distinctive storytelling ability, sharp social intelligence, and keen powers of observation in a book that is wistful, satiric, audacious, and remorseless. "The Art of Heaven" opens with a parody of Dante and a down-home, twisted humor that Joness readers have come to rely on: "In the middle of my life I came to a dark wood,/ the smell of barbecue, kids running in the yards./ Not deep depression. This nice Hell of suburbs./ Speed bumps. The way things arent quite paradise." Rodney Jones, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of Americas "best, most generous, and most brilliantly readable poets" (Poetry). Imaginary Logic is Rodney Jones's most eloquent expression yet of his rigorous mind, scrupulous eye, and capacious heart.
"The eighth gathering of poems from Plumly (Now That My Father Lies Down Beside Me) offers many beauties but few surprises. Onrushing, almost whispering, pentameters, divided into lyric meditations, depict the winters, summers, springs, snows, fogs, skies and greenery of Europe and of the American East Coast, where Plumly resides. We see 'a winter city, night city, streetlights/ blurred in mist' (Prague); 'glittering halves of oyster shells'; 'first crocuses and the lavender called redbud' blooming on a college campus; even, in one poem called 'Pastoral,' the 'complexities of leaves,/ the umbels, whorls, bracts, and involucres.' Plumly remains as much a poet of elegy as he is a poet of nature: odes and memorials to other poets, living and dead, show 'how we all change with time but don't.' Plumly can seem morbid, or bathetic, as in a sonnet called 'When He Fell Backwards into His Coffin,' about a corpse found in a bathtub; he can also seem content with mere prettiness, speaking nothing but 'Summer's/ language like sunlight on stone, light itself the stone.' Yet Plumly has admirers for good reason: few poets have sounded so often so comfortable at once with the recollections and strong emotions involved in autobiography, and with attention to a beautiful natural world. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Successor to James Wright and John Keats, with a marvelous ear for the music of contemplation."--Rita Dove
'Stanley Plumly\'s masterful eighth collection--wherein he confronts and celebrates mortality--was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry.\n
A new collection from a Kingsley Tufts Award–winning poet Imaginary Logicis a brilliantly expansive, deeply meditative, and at times wildly imaginative collection of poems that combines Rodney Joness distinctive storytelling ability, sharp social intelligence, and keen powers of observation in a book that is wistful, satiric, audacious, and remorseless.
Rodney Jones, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of Americas "best, most generous, and most brilliantly readable poets" (Poetry).Imaginary Logicis the most eloquent expression yet of his rigorous mind, scrupulous eye, and capacious heart.
In his new collection, Stanley Plumly confronts and celebrates mortality--in the detailed natural world, in the immediacy of the loss of friends, and in personal encounters. Archetypal, sometimes even allegorical, the poems in Old Heart amount to a sustained meditation. The American Academy of Arts and Letters declared of Plumly that "he has in the last thirty years quietly, steadily, expanded the range of lyric poetry in English...[and] reinvigorated our poetry." His ethical rigor and literary modesty combine in Old Heart--his finest book of poetry.
About the Author
Stanley Plumlyis a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. He lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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