“A mix of song and sigh, wisdom and simplicity, reminiscent of the work of both Frost and Bishop, Voigt is fascinated by the dualities of childhood and adulthood, mortality and immortality, humanity’s fall from grace and innocence and our constant struggle to impose a sense of order. . . .She guides us in a modest, detailed manner and exposes the humble patterns humans have woven in a chaotic world.” ―Publishers WeeklyHuman character and human destiny―will and fate―pervade Ellen Voigt’s work, giving her poems of relationship, her exploration of an individual past, rare depth and power. Now, in her fourth collection, a sustained meditation infuses the work, examining the myth of self, the human compulsion to remedy or augment fortune, and the limits of “what’s given and what’s made from luck and will.” Where will and fate collide is what chiefly occupies Voigt.
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Ellen Bryant Voigt is the author of volumes of poetry, including Shadow of Heaven, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Messenger, a finalist for the National Book Award and for the Pulitzer Prize. Voigt was awarded the O. B. Hardison, Jr. Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Merrill Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, where she was subsequently elected a chancellor. Her poems have appeared in an array of national journals and anthologies, including The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. She lives in Vermont and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.From Publishers Weekly:
This fourth collection of Voight's poetry is a mix of song and sigh, wisdom and simplicity, reminiscent of the work of both Frost and Bishop. Voigt ( Claiming Kin ) is fascinated by the dualities of childhood and adulthood, mortality and immortality, humanity's fall from grace and innocence and our constant struggle to impose a sense of order, perhaps in the attempt to recover Edenic bliss. Through the use of fugue-like "variations," Voight discloses and veils--at first setting the poem at a distance, harkening, then gradually manipulating imagery to produce a range of interpretation. This works superbly in "At the Piano" and "First Song," yet much less so in some other attempts. "Soft Cloud Passing" reveals Voigt's virtuosity, her mastery of rhythm and her gift for exquisitely depicting landscapes: "The plucked fields, / the bushes, spent and brittle, the brown thatch on the forest floor / swoon beneath the gathered layers of gauze / before the earth is dragged once more into blossom." She sings, stirs and wakes the reader; she guides us in a modest, detailed manner and exposes the humble patterns humans have woven in a chaotic world. Like the wife of the blind man in "Thorn-Apple," Voight is "the first one up the path." Her appointed "task," "endless and partial," is "willed attention."
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Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110393033929