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The River of Heaven was awarded the 1987 Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets for a distinguished second book of poems (judges: Philip Booth, Alfred Corn, Mary Oliver). In it Garrett Hongo has drawn from his unusual background (born in Volcano, Hawaii, of Japanese ancestry, and educated in California at Pomona) to provide the materials for poems that would be highly exotic were they not infused with a level-headed sense of realism and a strong feeling that mundane realities are perfectly natural material for the poetry of our time. Here, Garrett Hongo transforms his mundane realities into elegant poetry. The volcanoes of Hawaii, the gritty urban streets of Los Angeles, a California beach after the death of his father—the places of Garrett Hongo’s past metamorphose into a poetry that is compelling and immediate.
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In its concerns and techniques, Hongo's second bookthe 1987 Lamont Poetry Selectionsuggests comparisons to Wordsworth and Whitman. Combining the former's preoccupation with personal remembrance and the latter's penchant for syntactic repetition and catalogs, Hongo attempts to dazzle the reader with megadoses of imagery both lush ("the harpstring shade of tree ferns") and frank ("a patch of wild land full of blown garbage"). Sometimes he flirts with excess ("spider lilies and ginger flowers like paper cranes/ furling in the tongues of overgrowth"), but the character studies and first-person narratives that speak of life in nonwhite America attain an authority unobscured by imagistic mannerisms.Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ancestral Graves, Kahuku
Billboard: Portrait Of A Lady
The Cadence Of Silk
Crossing Ka'u Desert
Eruption: Pu'u O'o
A Far Galaxy
Four Chinatown Figures
Hilo: First Night Back
Jigoku: On The Glamour Of Self-hate
O-bon: Dance For The Dead
Pinoy At The Coming World
The Sound Of Water
The Unreal Dwelling: My Years In Volcano
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®
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Book Description Knopf, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0394568435
Book Description Knopf, 1988. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0394568435
Book Description Knopf, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110394568435
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0394568435 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1068277