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title

Taken In Faith

Poems

Helen Pinkerton

Publication Year: 2002

“Her poetry, in form and in content, is both traditional and original. In the best sense of the word, it is poetic.� —John Baxter, in Sequoia “However belated the publication of this book, time is on Pinkerton’s side.� —Timothy Steele In 1967, Yvor Winters wrote of Helen Pinkerton, “she is a master of poetic style and of her material. No poet in English writes with more authority.� Unfortunately, in 1967 mastery of poetic style was not, by and large, considered a virtue, and Pinkerton’s finely crafted poems were neglected in favor of more improvisational and flashier talents. Though her work won the attention and praise of serious readers, who tracked her poems as they appeared in such journals as The Paris Review, The Sewanee Review, and The Southern Review, her verse has never been available in a trade book. Taken in Faith remedies that situation, bringing Pinkerton’s remarkable poems to a general audience for the first time. Even her very earliest works embody a rare depth and seriousness. Primarily lyrical and devotional, they always touch on larger issues of human struggle and conduct. More recent poems, concerned in part with history, exhibit a stylistic as well as a thematic shift, moving away from the rhymed forms of her devotional works into a blank verse marked by a quiet flexibility and contemplative grace. Like Virginia Adair, another poet who waited long for proper recognition, Pinkerton speaks as a woman who has lived fully and observed acutely and who has set the life and observations down in memorable verse. Swallow Press is delighted to be publishing Taken in Faith, which represents a half-century of her poetic efforts, in the hope of bringing this poet the audience she so richly deserves. Helen Pinkerton is a poet, essayist, and scholar of American and English literature. The 1999 winner of the Allen Tate Poetry Prize, she has taught poetry, fiction, and the writing of poetry at Stanford, Michigan State, and other universities. She lives in Palo Alto, California.

Published by: Ohio University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-

Contents

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pp. ix-xi

Part I

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pp. 1-45

Coast Hillside

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pp. 3-

The Pool

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pp. 4-

Subjectivity

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pp. 5-

Red-Tailed Hawk

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pp. 6-

Nature Note: The California Poison Oak

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pp. 7-

Elegy at Beaverhead County, Montana

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pp. 8-

Point Lobos, 1950

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pp. 9-10

The Return

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pp. 11-16

Holy Sonnets

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pp. 17-18

Error Pursued

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pp. 19-20

The Romantic Eros

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pp. 21-

Autumn Drought

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pp. 22-23

Celebration

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pp. 24-25

Visible and Invisible

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pp. 26-

Three Poems from Michelangelo

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pp. 27-28

Degrees of Shade

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pp. 29-

Indecision

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pp. 30-

Good Friday

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pp. 31-32

The Gift

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pp. 33-

For an End

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pp. 34-

On the Two Marys in a Fresco of the Crucifixion

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pp. 35-

On Emily Dickinson

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pp. 36-

For Edgar Bowers

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pp. 37-

Melvilliana

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pp. 38-39

Original Sin

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pp. 40-

Sierra Nevada Hike

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pp. 41-

Epigrams

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pp. 42-43

Literary Theorist

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pp. 44-

On a Painting by Todd Price of the 16th Michigan Infantry on Little Round Top, July 2, 1863

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pp. 45-

Part II

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pp. 47-91

Lemuel Shaw’s Meditation

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pp. 49-61

Melville’s Letter to William Clark Russell

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pp. 62-72

Alike and Yet Unlike: General Richard Taylor Writes to Henry Adams

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pp. 73-82

Crossing the Pedregal

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pp. 83-91

Part III

On an Early Cycladic Harpist (2600 - 2500 B.C.) in the J. Paul Getty Museum

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pp. 95-

On an Early Cycladic Harpist (2500 B.C.) in the Archaeological Museum in Athens

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pp. 96-

On an Attic Red-Figured Amphora (490 B.C.) by the “Berlin Painter” in the Metropolitan Museum

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pp. 97-

On the Jamb-Statues of the Portail Royal (1150) of Chartres Cathedral

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pp. 98-

On the Virgin and Child Carved in Oak (Auvergne, 1150 - 1200) in the Metropolitan Museum

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pp. 99-

On Dieric Bouts’s Virgin and Child (1460) in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor

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pp. 100-

On Dürer’s Etching of Pilate Washing His Hands (1512)

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pp. 101-

On Breughel the Elder’s The Harvesters (1565) in the Metropolitan Museum

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pp. 102-

On Caravaggio’s Conversion of St. Paul (1600) in Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome

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pp. 103-

On Rembrandt’s Etching of Joseph Telling His Dream (1636)

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pp. 104-

On Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait (1658) in the Frick Museum

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pp. 105-

On Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Water Jug (1658) in the Metropolitan Museum

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pp. 106-

On Watteau’s Pilgrimage to Cythera (1717) in the Louvre

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pp. 107-108

On Jan van Huysum’s Vase of Flowers (1722) in the J. Paul Getty Museum

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pp. 109-

On G. B. Tiepolo’s Etching Adoration of the Magi (1753) in the Stanford Museum

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pp. 110-

On Goya’s Duel with Cudgels (ca. 1820), a “Black Painting” in the Prado

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pp. 111-

On the Southworth and Hawes Daguerreotype of Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw (1851)

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pp. 112-

On Fitz Hugh Lane’s Approaching Storm, Owl’s Head, 1860

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pp. 113-

On Erastus Salisbury Field’s The Israelites Crossing the Red Sea (1863?)

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pp. 114-

On Winslow Homer’s Moonlight on Water (1895) in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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pp. 115-

On Blakelock’s Moonlit Landscape in the de Young Museum

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pp. 116-

On Gari Melchers’s Writing (1905) in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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pp. 117-

On Leonard Baskin’s Etching Benevolent Angel

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pp. 118-

Notes

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pp. 119-122

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Afterword

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pp. 123-129

In “Subjectivity,” Helen Pinkerton imagines a person who can “measure years by days and days by hours,” and it would require a similarly peculiar sense of time to regard the present collection as anything but long overdue. For fifty years, Pinkerton has been writing beautifully crafted poems, but the...


E-ISBN-13: 9780804040082
Print-ISBN-13: 9780804010405

Publication Year: 2002