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The Apple That Astonished Paris

Poems

Billy Collins

In 1988 the University of Arkansas Press published Billy Collins’s The Apple That Astonished Paris, his “first real book of poems,” as he describes it in a new, delightful preface written expressly for this new printing to help celebrate both the Press’s twenty-fifth anniversary and this book, one of the Press’s all-time best sellers. In his usual witty and dry style, Collins writes, “I gathered together what I considered my best poems and threw them in the mail.” After “what seemed like a very long time” Press director Miller Williams, a poet as well, returned the poems to him in the “familiar self-addressed, stamped envelope.” He told Collins that there was good work here but that there was work to be done before he’d have a real collection he and the Press could be proud of: “Williams’s words were more encouragement than I had ever gotten before and more than enough to inspire me to begin taking my writing more seriously than I had before.” This collection includes some of Collins’s most anthologized poems, including “Introduction to Poetry,” “Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House,” and “Advice to Writers.” Its success over the years is testament to Collins’s talent as one of our best poets, and as he writes in the preface, “this new edition . . . is a credit to the sustained vibrancy of the University of Arkansas Press and, I suspect, to the abiding spirit of its former director, my first editorial father.”

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Apples from Shinar

Hyam Plutzik

Apples from Shinar was Hyam Plutzik's second complete collection. Originally published in 1959 as a part of Wesleyan University Press's newly minted poetry series, the collection includes "The Shepherd"--a section of the book-length poem "Horatio," which earned Plutzik a finalist position for the Pulitzer Prize. "The love and the words and the simplicity," that mark Plutzik's poetry, writes Philip Booth, "are all here [in Apples from Shinar], and the poems come peacefully, and wonderfully, alive." With a previously unpublished foreword by Hyam Plutzik and a new afterword by David Scott Kastan, this edition marks the centenary of Plutzik's birth and will introduce a new generation of readers to the work of one of the best mid-century American poets.

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The Araucaniad

Alonso de Ercilla Y Zuniga

Now back in print! The first English translation of this epic masterpiece of Chilean poetry.

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ARCHEOLOGY OF DESIRE

MIRIAM SAGAN

“Sagan’s richly sensual writing blends elements of mature insight with deeply felt experience. These are poems of an examined life with moments of Zen clarity throughout. It is, in fact, the clarity that drives these poems. The language is careful but deliberate, exquisitely crafted and emotionally moving. One gets the sense that her desire to write poetry comes from the desire to give permanent voice to something in the experience of life – to find ourselves spoken for in art gives dignity to our pain, our anger, our lust, and our losses. This is what poetry is about. When Miriam Sagan casts her imaginative eye on something, it stares back.” —Jeanie C. Williams

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Archeophonics

Peter Gizzi

Archeophonics is the first collection of new work from the poet Peter Gizzi in five years. Archeophonics, defined as the archeology of lost sound, is one way of understanding the role and the task of poetry: to recover the buried sounds and shapes of languages in the tradition of the art, and the multitude of private connections that lie undisclosed in one’s emotional memory. The book takes seriously the opening epigraph by the late great James Schuyler: “poetry, like music, is not just song.” It recognizes that the poem is not a decorative art object but a means of organizing the world, in the words of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, “into transient examples of shaped behavior.” Archeophonics is a series of discrete poems that are linked by repeated phrases and words, and its themes and nothing less than joy, outrage, loss, transhistorical thought, and day-to-day life. It is a private book of public and civic concerns. An online reading companion is available at petergizzi.site.wesleyan.edu.

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Ariosto's Bitter Harmony

Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance

Albert Russell Ascoli

Focusing on the fundamental Ariostan pairing of education and madness, with all its implications for poetry, Professor Ascoli generates a global reading of the greatest literary work of the Italian Renaissance

Originally published in 1987.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Ark

John Isles's Ark is about the people and events that pass through a life, leaving a void; about finding a presence in that absence and waking up to the realities of the present moment. It is concerned, at its watery heart, with discovery and confrontation, uncovering and witnessing, whether it be the new world, “the world behind every blouse,” or the tender mysteries that can only be seen through the eyes of belief: that which “starts the wild grasses trembling.”

With its deft maneuvers through both a historical and an emotional landscape, Ark speaks to us with a truly contemporary voice of authoritative vulnerability while never faltering into sentimental digressions. This uncanny authority at the helm of our ark continually surprises us, unfolding its lyrical gems and treasures culled along the journey, letting us in on the inscrutable facts of this life.

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The Army of Truth

Selected Poems

Henrik Wergeland

One of Norway’s most celebrated literary figures of the nineteenth century, Henrik Wergeland worked tirelessly for the civil rights of Jews in Norway. He used the words and structure of his poetry to enliven the ideals of truth, freedom, and equality. This translated volume, containing several of Wergeland’s most prominent poems, beautifully encapsulates the compelling force of his message, allowing its enduring influence to benefit a wider contemporary audience.

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Art and Politics/Politics and Art

D.H. Melhem

Probing, wide-ranging, brimming with passion and outrage, Melhem’s eighth collection of poems grips the reader with accounts of individual triumphs and the ongoing catastrophic conflicts of our world. The author draws on her years as a painter and sculptor to bring a distinct visual and tactile quality to her poetry. In this volume, Melhem proceeds from robust individual portraits through observable terrains to traumatic visions of war. "Certain Personae" ranges from black writers to Abraham Lincoln, from a portrait of the suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the poetry of John Updike, and finishes with paintings of Hannibal crossing the Alps. In "Mostly Political," the poems traverse the local and the universal: melting polar ice caps, capitalism, a painting by Max Ernst interpreted in antithetical ways, and a poem surveying Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the context of international events. "Wars," the third and last section, gives intimate and searing glimpses of the Trojan War, World War I, the Gulf War, the Iraq war, and the conflict over Palestine.

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The Art of Gravity

Poems

Jay Rogoff

George Balanchine, one of the twentieth century's foremost choreographers, strove to make music visible through dance. In The Art of Gravity, Jay Rogoff extends this alchemy into poetry, discovering in dancing -- from visionary ballets to Lindy-hopping at a drunken party -- the secret rhythms of our imaginations and the patterns of our lives.

The poems unfold in a rich variety of forms, both traditional and experimental. Some focus on how Edgar Degas's paintings expose the artifice and artistic self-consciousness of ballet while, paradoxically, illuminating how it creates rapture. Others investigate dance's translation of physical gesture into allegorical mystery, especially in Balanchine's matchless works. Rogoff pays tribute to superb dancers who grant audiences seductive glimpses of the sublime and to all of us who find in dance a redemptive image of ourselves.

The poet reveals dance as an "art of gravity" in the illusory weightlessness of a "dance that ends in mid-air," in the clumsiness of a Latin dance class's members "trip- / ping over each other in the high school / gym," and in the exploration of ultimate Gravity -- a sonnet sequence titled "Danses Macabres." Ultimately, Rogoff confronts with unflinching precision the dark consummation of all our dancing.

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