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The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996

Pinsky, Robert

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ISBN 10: 0374525064 / ISBN 13: 9780374525064
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Outrider Book Gallery (Vashon, WA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 308 p. Audience: General/trade. A large collection of poetry by the well-known poet Robert Pinsky. This volume is signed by the poet on the title page. Very good. Signed by author. Soiled along edges. Shelf wear to cover. Very slight crease along spine. Otherwise straight and clean. Bookseller Inventory # Alibris.00010000554

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, ...

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


The Figured Wheel fully collects the first four books of poetry, as well as twenty-one new poems, by Robert Pinsky, the former U.S. Poet Laureate.

Critic Hugh Kenner, writing about Pinsky's first volume, described this poet's work as "nothing less than the recovery for language of a whole domain of mute and familiar experience." Both the transformation of the familiar and the uttering of what has been hitherto mute or implicit in our culture continue to be central to Pinsky's art. New poems like "Avenue" and "The City Elegies" envision the urban landscape's mysterious epitome of human pain and imagination, forces that recur in "Ginza Samba," an astonishing history of the saxophone, and "Impossible to Tell," a jazz-like work that intertwines elegy with both the Japanese custom of linking-poems and the American tradition of ethnic jokes. A final section of translations includes Pinsky's renderings of poems by Czeslaw Milosz, Paul Celan, and others, as well as the last canto of his award-winning version of the Inferno.


Katha Pollitt writes that these are "extraordinarily accomplished and beautiful poems." Pinsky is a respected critic and translator and, as a poet, is a genius of sound and lineation. He also excels at the startling image, as when he describes a brain as "humming to itself, / Like a fat person eating M&Ms in the bathtub." The vividness of the image grabs our attention even as its poignancy and cruel edge complicate the tone of this intricate poem ("History of My Heart"). An impressive and moving collection.

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