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This Time : New and Selected Poems

Stern, Gerald

167 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

Synopsis:

Offers a selection of the author's poems from his persons collections, including verses from Rejoicings, Lucky Life, Stepping Out of Poetry, The Red Coal, Lovesick, Bread Without Sugar, and Odd Mercy, as well as newer works.

Review:

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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