The French poet Francis Ponge took his subjects largely from the worlds of inanimate objects and natural phenomena, but also sometimes wrote of humans and other creatures. His most important volumes, "Le Parti Pris des Choses" and "Pieces", are both well represented in this selection of his work.
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His Selected Poems sets the violent brooding of Williams's (A Dream of Mind) early writing against the lucid equanimity of his more mature work. The poetry spans three decades and offers an outline of his development. We get only occasional glimpses of the crude brutality that characterizes the poems from Lies (1969) and I am the Bitter Name (1972) in the mostly affirmative selections from Tar (1983), Flesh and Blood (1987) and his other recent books. Early, physically explicit and jarring poems like "Saint Sex" lead to the more cerebral work that has come to represent his style. The poems excerpted from The Lark. The Thrush. The Starling. (1983) reinforce a reader's impression of Williams's versatility while offering a formal alternative to the lengthy, Whitmanesque lines that he appears to prefer. And, though not ground-breaking, the dozen new poems here offer a closing, microcosmic view of his career with topically and stylistically familiar work. In "Villanelle of the Suicide's Mother," however, Williams unexpectedly uses a formal rhyme scheme to achieve the chilling impression of a cyclic children's song. Selected by the poet, this volume is a formidable retrospective.
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Williams plucks the plums from three decades and 10 books for this delicious selection. Sometimes when a poet releases a selected works, it's easy to see in it the slow evolution from trembling, green beginner to self-confident, mentally expanded stylist. But Williams has always been the languorous observer who changes only his form, not his voice. (Still, far more substantially represented here than any other form is the powerful long line that has become his trademark and that he first explored in With Ignorance.) His subject matter consists of world events, instances of human frailty, and others of shameless romanticism in a wild congeries, so that, for instance, a short poem about a child's incontinence on Easter precedes another on Bishop Tutu's visit to the White House. A complete and thoughtful collection that represents a remarkable career. Elizabeth Gunderson
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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0374258813
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0374258813
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110374258813
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0374258813 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1050410