Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies

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9780393049725: Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies

A collection of poetic responses to loss―both consolation and inspiration to any reader. Death has always served as one of the most powerful catalysts for poetry. Whether with Dylan Thomas, counseling readers to "Rage, rage against the dying of the light," or with Walt Whitman, taking comfort in the serene arrival "sooner or later" of "delicate death," poets throughout history have faced the mortal losses that all of us inevitably encounter.

Inventions of Farewell collects English language poems of mourning from the late Middle Ages to the present. Aesthetic assumptions and poetic styles have altered over the centuries, yet the great and often terrifying themes of time, change, age, and death are timeless. The poems here―from Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to Sharon Olds, Stanley Kunitz, and W. S. Merwin―trace the trajectory of grief, but they also illustrate how the deepest sorrow has produced countless poignant and resonant works of art―words that can aid us as we struggle with our own farewells.

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About the Author:

Sandra M. Gilbert has published numerous volumes of criticism as well as collections of poetry and a memoir. She is coeditor (with Susan Gubar) of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. A Distinguished Professor of English emerita at the University of California, Davis, she lives in Berkeley, California.

Arguably America’s greatest poet, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) published fewer than a dozen of her eighteen hundred poems during her lifetime.

Wallace Stevens was an American poet and lawyer.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950, was an American lyrical poet and playwright. She is the author of Renascence and Other Poems. She is known by the pseudonym Nancy Boyd.

Stanley Kunitz, much-honored poet, was cofounder of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and of Poets House in New York City. He died in 2006.

From Booklist:

It seems astonishing that an anthology of elegies like Gilbert's did not already exist. Here are all the great, sonorous lines one might have expected: "How do you like your blue-eyed boy Mister Death" and "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" and "I am the grass, I cover all." Here are Milton's "Lycidas" and Shelley's "Adonais," Donne's "Death, be not proud," John Crowe Ransom's "Elegy for Jane, my student thrown from a horse," and A. E. Housman's "With Rue My Heart Is Laden." If this book gathered only all those together with Shakespeare's sonnets and Dickinson's lyrics, it would have been enough. But Gilbert, who herself was widowed young, gathers such contemporary work as searing selections from Without, Donald Hall's book-length elegy for his wife, poet Jane Kenyon; Ruth Stone's hallucinatory yet ordinary memories; and Tess Gallagher's devouring grief for Raymond Carver: "oh-me-of-the-last-of-his-lastness." Like poems of love, elegies articulate universal experience and, so doing, speak to a large readership, which this collection certainly deserves. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 288 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 6.0in. x 1.5in.A collection of poetic responses to lossboth consolation and inspiration to any reader. Death has always served as one of the most powerful catalysts for poetry. Whether with Dylan Thomas, counseling readers to Rage, rage against the dying of the light, or with Walt Whitman, taking comfort in the serene arrival sooner or later of delicate death, poets throughout history have faced the mortal losses that all of us inevitably encounter. Inventions of Farewell collects English language poems of mourning from the late Middle Ages to the present. Aesthetic assumptions and poetic styles have altered over the centuries, yet the great and often terrifying themes of time, change, age, and death are timeless. The poems herefrom Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to Sharon Olds, Stanley Kunitz, and W. S. Merwintrace the trajectory of grief, but they also illustrate how the deepest sorrow has produced countless poignant and resonant works of artwords that can aid us as we struggle with our own farewells. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393049725

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