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This Time : New and Selected Poems

Stern, Gerald

176 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393046400 / ISBN 13: 9780393046403
Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Fine/Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000316

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Bibliographic Details

Title: This Time : New and Selected Poems

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


An exhilarating new collection by the poet often applauded as the modern Walt Whitman. "For over two decades," the Library Journal has said, "no one has equaled Gerald Stern's compassionate, surreal parables about the burden of and the exaltation of being alive." The poems in this substantial volume, the majority of which are no longer available in other editions, have been selected from seven previous collections (1972-1995). Along with favorite poems redeemed, Stern offers a generous array of new poems, including moving tributes to Larry Levis, "Eggshell," and Allen Ginsberg, "Lilacs for Ginsberg."


Gerald Stern is often compared to Walt Whitman, and his verse does possess a similar oracular urgency. Yet his lines are shorter and more digestible to the modern ear, and his emotional sensibility is more likely to search for analogies in wildlife--maple trees and blue jays in Iowa backyards, spiders on New Jersey bridges--than in Whitman's worlds of labor and war.

Stern was 48 years old when his first collection, Rejoicings, appeared in 1973. A quarter century later, he has selected his finest work for This Time. Immediately one notices a consistency of style and concern. Indeed, one of his earliest poems, "When I Have Reached the Point of Suffocation," foreshadows his major themes of desolation and survival:

It takes years to learn how to look at the destruction
of beautiful things;

to learn how to leave the place
of oppression;

and how to make your own regeneration
out of nothing.

In his most moving poems, Stern witnesses this destruction of beauty and learns or resolves or forgets to take it on the chin. Many embody glimpses of delight made all the more poignant by their brief duration, the "one minute / to study the drops of silver hanging in the sun / before you turn the corner past the gatehouse." And though they focus intensely on their literal subjects, their scope expands to encompass what has been lost in this century--not just people and places, but an attainable sense of peace and solitude. --Edward Skoog

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