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Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 Hardcover – 31 Dec 1992

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press,U.S. (31 Dec. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556590482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556590481
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,459,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A collection of works by the poet using such diverse modes as narrative, sonnet, song, monologue, satire, and meditation, yet all dealing with his perspective on life.

From the Publisher

1992 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
"Carruth, like Whitman, like Chaucer, is large; he contains multitudes. Dip into his work anywhere and there is life--and death--as stirringly felt and cogitated as in some vast, Tolstoyan novel." --Booklist

"Technically he is a virtuoso. He writes subtle, finety tuned poems in rhyme and meter; syllabics; and in highly formalized free verse. He also writes free verse so invisibly artful that under its spell we are not in the presence of a poem, but of the world." --Galway Kinnell -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 18 Jan. 1997
Format: Paperback
Especially poignant is Carruth's poem "Marvin McCabe," the story of a man who loses his power of speech in a drunk-driving accident...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Gathering of the Best of the Best 30 Aug. 2006
By Allen Hoey - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the most significant poetry publications at the end of the twentieth century is Hayden Carruth's Collected Shorter Poems. For too long Carruth suffered the lack of a consistent publisher; as a result, much of his best work has gone unnoticed or too little noticed. Notable in a volume as diverse as this are Carruth's monologues and poems about characters delivered in lines that echo their speech; as the speaker in "John Dryden" notes, "have you noticed / I can't talk about him without talking like him?" Like Frost, Carruth captures a sense of character and place while subtly presenting a complex set of meanings, discovering the kind of "natural symbol" ordinary people grapple with to understand their lives. One of the most powerful, "Marvin McCabe," is a monologue by an inarticulate speaker whose friend "Hayden" acts as amanuensis for the poem. Marvin McCabe details his upbringing and the accident that left him incapacitated--able to think but not talk. Other poems in this mode include "Johnny Spain's White Heifer," "Lady," "Marshall Washer," and "Regarding Chainsaws."

Carruth's lyrics display a range of diction and vocabulary which allows him to modulate easily from low to high style and to incorporate moments of humor in otherwise serious, even solemn poems without violating that tone. His lyrics often derive from careful observation of the natural world, not merely to see things but to consider. Typically, Carruth presents his observations through details objective enough to allow us to "see" the situation yet in language that renders the emotional construct of the subject.

The later poems in the volume, following Carruth's move to Syracuse, New York, in 1979, shift not only idiom and locale, as in Asphalt Georgics, a group of poems written in syllabic ballad stanzas employing frequently hyphenated enjambments, but open up very different poetic territory in the Whitmanesque-lined and loopingly discursive poems from Tell Me Again How the White Heron Rises and Flies Across the Nacreous River at Twilight Toward the Distant Islands. The first of these laments the passing of the agrarian lifestyle that provided the basis for traditional georgics while celebrating the persistence of human life amid suburban sprawl that threatens that spirit. The strategies of apparent tangent and indirection Carruth uses to build these poems evolves into structures, in the second, which accumulate like jazz riffs and motifs: they seem to diverge wildly from the "point" of the poem only to swoop around at the end to enlarge the idea of point.

Finally, a collected poems provides a perspective on a poet's career. And this volume demonstrates what some readers have long known: Hayden Carruth possesses greater range of style, scope of subject, and diversity of formal skills than any other poet working in the United States today.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What More Can Be Said 15 Sept. 2012
By speechrock - Published on
Format: Paperback
Underground The Darkness Is The Light
When I first started out to make what later became known as Hayden's Runaway Pond, I borrowed
Baldy Langdell's little Cat that he used mostly for sap-gathering in his hillside sugar orchard
Over in Waterville, but he had a blade on it, and once I got the hose connections tight
It worked well. I had a good spot, and Pop Foster, the county agricultural agent, agreed. "Ideal," he said. It was a gentle downslope sort of folded in the middle, where a brook
Ran straight down from a spring in the woods behind, a good spring, never known to run less than nine quarts a minute in the driest season. I went to work. "Now watch you don't scrape too deep in the hardpan," Pop said and I nodded. I pushed dirt to all sides, but mostly to the front, where the embankment would be highest,
Like a dam. Pop showed me how to set up the standpipe with a wing valve at the bottom, the outlet pipe
Headed straight forward under the bank and into the brookbed again. It didn't take long,
A day and a half with the dozer. Then I set the valve just a mite open
So some water would continue flowing out into the brook and on downstream,
But enough would catch in the pond to fill it. I watched. Slow, very slow, only a puddle
After the first two days. But I expected that. I sowed the banks to rye, clover, and orchard grass.
Of course that summer, after the pond filled and water spilled into the standpipe so I could close the bottom valve,
It was a sterile pond. But the next spring I had frogs, big ones and little ones, and that summer
What I call the purple water flower seeded in and some bullrushes on the far side. Then the following spring
The stoneflies hatched, and the mosquitoes, so I stocked some minnows and brim. By the end of July
I had a muskrat hole on the upper back just over the water-line. Next spring I stocked brookies.
A couple of dozen, and they took to it, and I used to go at twilight with my part-shepherd bitch Locky
To feed those trout bits of hamburger. How they rose to it! Locky would stand downbank
With her front paws extended and bark at them, and sometimes I thought maybe the trout
Were barking back. It was a fine pond, alive, a going concern. Swallows from Marshall's barn
Skimming the surface. Once I saw a heron. Then two summers later I saw the water
Was sinking. "Must have scratched the bottom a mite hard," Pop said. It went down slowly
The same way it had filled, but after six weeks it was all gone, nothing left but mud and the brook trickling across the bottom and down into a hole I could see plain enough,
Jagged, about eight inches across. No fish, no frogs. They must have gone down too.
Down into the earth, a live pond flowing into all those channels and chambers down there.
Strange to think of. Locky went trotting and sniffing here and there on the sun-dried mud,
Looking half scared, "Don't that beat all?" Marshall said. And I said, "Yes, it does."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! 18 Feb. 2013
By Judi - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another fine collection by Hayden Carruth that doesn't disappoint. I can't rate it as highly as I do Scambled Eggs but Scrambled Eggs sets the bar very high.
Four Stars 20 Feb. 2015
By Larry L, Rubendall - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife was pleased with the book. She is a fan of Carruth work.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The poems are shortER, not always short. Book ... 29 Sept. 2014
By Carolyn B. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The poems are shortER, not always short. Book was in decent shape, though marked up a bit more than I expected.
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