Mystery Train (Pitt Poetry Series)

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9780822954293: Mystery Train (Pitt Poetry Series)
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David Wojahn deftly mixes personal history and recollections with a wide range of character studies and monologues, but the center of this book is a sequence of thirty-five poems, mainly sonnets, in which rock and roll music is a strange, kaleidoscopic mirror of recent American history.  Combining rhapsodic homage, grim humor, human folly, and tragedy, these poems are like nothing else in contemporary poetry.

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About the Author:

David Wojahn is professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author of Spirit Cabinet, The Falling Hour, Late Empire, Mystery Train, Glassworks, Icehouse Lights, and Interrogation Palace, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wojahn is the recipient of four Pushcart Prizes, the William Carlos Williams Book Award, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the George Kent Memorial Prize, and the O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize, among other honors. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

From Publishers Weekly:

In the opening poem of this highly accomplished and daring collection, the speaker is called upon by a deaf friend to record a mystifying Buddhist ceremony: " Write this down , he scrawls, something must be made of this. " Indeed, in the poems that follow, Wojahn ( Icehouse Lights ) attempts to "resurrect" both his personal and the readers' collective past and infuse these with meaning. At the center of the book is a commanding sequence of 35 poems that interweave historical incidents with real and imagined episodes in the lives of legendary rock 'n' roll figures to recreate the zeitgeist of the last four decades of popular American culture. But what we're finally left with, Wojahn suggests, is "page after page / of undecipherable description" and a "fading" past: "And you try to remember what it is that you believed in . . . / You wait. You watch until it's gone." As in his earlier works, Wojahn proves himself a master of the narrative poem, extending his range here with expertly fashioned dramatic monologues and quirky, rhythmic sonnets.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780822936374: Mystery Train (Pitt Poetry Series)

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ISBN 10:  0822936372 ISBN 13:  9780822936374
Publisher: Univ of Pittsburgh Pr, 1990
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