Selected Poems of Barbara Guest

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9781557132000: Selected Poems of Barbara Guest

A collection of the poets works spanning her forty year career demonstrates how the writer has evolved to incorporate poetic trends and movements of the times

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From Publishers Weekly:

When first published in the 1960s, Guest was associated with the New York poets, a group, including John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, that was influenced by the art world's abstract impressionist movement. But, as this important selection demonstrates, in the 30 years since then Guest has evolved a style of her own, combining meta-poetical, impressionistic word painting with philosophical musings evocative of symbolists like Mallarme. With rich language and refracted line-breaks and stanzas, she achieves a distinct tapestry-like quality, an effect complemented by a poetic landscape often populated by medieval icons and royal figures. Earlier poems like "Sand" and "A Handbook of Surfing" offer language as a sensual experience; in selections from her most recent collections, Fair Realism (1989) and Defensive Rapture (1993), her interest in visual aesthetics (Guest regularly contributes to Art News) seems translated into poetry: "I/ created a planned randomness in which color/ behaved like a star" ("The Screen of Distance"). Very like beautiful abstract paintings, Guest's poetry defies literal interpretation, its language setting the "tone values" of subjects ranging from the color black to the loss of memory.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The publication of a volume of selected poems by a poet of the stature of Guest is indeed a major event. Over four decades, she has published 11 major books of poetry, a novel, and a biography of the poet H.D. It is hard to think of a poet whose work has grown so smoothly and so in harmony with the course of poetic trends and movements?movement that she has consistently led. Guest's very early poems are lyric, passionate, and visual, but in the late Sixties and Seventies, the poems became more experimental; lines and phrases were juxtaposed in ways that challenged the language. By the 1980s, Guest had furthered her exploration of language?"Heavy violets there is no way/if the door clicks the cushion/makes murmur noise"?thus traveling gently into the Language Poets' movement. She is a quieter, more reflective writer than many of the Language Poets, however, one for whom "white," "snow," "ice," and "chalk" soothe and chill the reader just as patches of artists' white paint contrast with vivid colors of the palette. This selection, which includes poems from all four decades of Guest's work, is highly recommended.?Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Guest, Barbara
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Guest, Barbara
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ISBN 10: 1557132003 ISBN 13: 9781557132000
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