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Ashes & Stars

Daniel Hughes Edited by Mary Hughes Foreword by Edward Hirsch Introduction by Michael Scrivener

Publication Year: 2006

Daniel Hughes's final volume of poetry, written during his years of struggle with multiple sclerosis, displays his characteristic wit, intelligence, and imagination. While the poems in Ashes & Stars deal with themes such as love and mortality, the conflict between imagination and actuality, and the pleasures of the world around us, they are never somber or overly serious. Even the shortest ones have a wry comic sense. Additionally, Hughes's poems demonstrate a remarkably economical and precise use of language, without a wasted word in the entire collection. Although the concentrated emotion of the poems may remind readers of Emily Dickinson and Robert Lowell, Hughes's poetic forms-quatrains, tercets, irregular sonnets, irregular rhymes-also illustrate the deep influence of the English Romantics, whom he championed throughout his academic career. In addition, many poems draw inspiration from numerous individuals and works of art from the Italian Renaissance, as they weave abstract themes from Western culture with the sensual data of the poet's experience. Despite these deep historical and literary roots, the conversational tone of Ashes & Stars ensures that it is never dry or academic. The poems speak to the reader as to an intimate, giving a sense of transmitting hard-earned experience and knowledge. All readers will appreciate the passionate energy and worldly air of these unique and exactingly honest final poems.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

The poet Daniel Hughes, a radiant presence, left behind an enormous hole when he died in October 2003, at the age of seventy-four. He lived the majority of his adult life in Detroit, where for twenty-four years...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xviii

When I saw Dan Hughes at Providence Hospital that Sunday in early October 2003, he was eating chocolates, reading the Sunday New York Times, and making wisecracks about George Bush. I did not expect him...

part I

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pp. 1-19

I Whip Around

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pp. 3-

If We Let Go, Of Course Death Has Us

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pp. 4-

Icarus

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pp. 6-

At Last

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pp. 7-

Please

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pp. 8-

“The Book Fell from His Hand”

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pp. 9-

Take the Big Subject: Exile

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pp. 10-

Travel

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pp. 11-

Torn, Filthy Maps

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pp. 12-

Narcissus (Caravaggio)

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pp. 13-

I Have Lived

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pp. 14-

Nature

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pp. 15-

Frond

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pp. 16-

I Have Been Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

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pp. 17-

Not Seeing Vermeer

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pp. 19-

part II

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pp. 21-34

To Charles Harte, Not Alive When Heaney Won the Nobel Prize

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pp. 23-

Why Didn’t You Tell Me You Were the Great Poet’s Muse?

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pp. 24-25

Mother from Beyond the Grave

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pp. 26-

Next Time

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pp. 28-

Self-Wounding

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pp. 29-

Obituaries

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pp. 30-

Steve: The Silences

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pp. 31-33

Anywhere Out of the World

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pp. 34-

part III

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pp. 35-51

To Mary 5:00 A.M.

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pp. 37-

Glimpse

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pp. 39-

Best Choices

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pp. 40-

O I Like

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pp. 41-

You Feed Me

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pp. 42-

The Steady-On Agnostic Needs a Muse

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pp. 43-

Epipsychidion Again

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pp. 44-

To K——

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pp. 45-

Let It Out

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pp. 46-

Your Dead Lovers

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pp. 47-

Easter 1996

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pp. 48-

The Divine Sparks Trapped in the World

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pp. 49-

Were I

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pp. 50-

It’s All

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pp. 51-

part IV

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pp. 53-68

Saint Mary’s Schoolyard

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pp. 55-

Lament of Goliath

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pp. 56-

My Brutal Face Has Lasted Four Hundred Years

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pp. 57-

Painting Destroyed:Caravaggio

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pp. 58-

Berlioz Killed an Opera in His Head

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pp. 59-

To a Poet

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pp. 61-

The Fate of Books

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pp. 62-

Reading a Writer Recently Dead

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pp. 64-

Not for Poets

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pp. 65-

After All

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pp. 66-

My Poem Making Its Way in the World

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pp. 67-

Here Come the Notes to My Poems

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pp. 68-


E-ISBN-13: 9780814335819
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814333099

Page Count: 86
Publication Year: 2006