Traveling Light: COLLECTED AND NEW POEMS (Illinois Poetry (Paperback)) Paperback – 25 May 1999
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"Wagoner ... is best known as an intelligent, adroit, remarkably consistent poet. This generous retrospective, drawing from some 45 years of published work, confirms his reputation. He writes poems about nature based on his hiking and camping in mountain wilderness, about urban angst and paranoia based on his everyday urban existence, about American Indian legends out of acquaintance with knowledgeable Indians, and about literature, love, and death out of personal experience... It is hard to think of another living U.S. poet more pleasurable to read - and reread." - Booklist "Magic. I felt I'd found magic the first time I read my first words by David Wagoner. And strangely enough, it was a novel that sent me scurrying toward his poetry...Poetry that stops you in your tracks and makes you see as you've never seen before... If you don't know the poetry (or novels) of David Wagoner, let not another day or night fall before you do. He is our national Poet Laureate, whether he knows it or not, we do." - Ruthe Moose, The Pilot-Southern Pines, NC "Wagoner has a deceptive ease of manner in the presence of an amazing range of experiences... It is cause for wonder and celebration that such a book is here among us. Mr. Wagoner has sometimes been a finalist for major awards; it is long past time that he got one." - Henry Taylor, Washington Times "When it comes to David Wagoner's poetry, all's been said before: the pragmatic clarity of his language, the dead-on ear for cadence, the authoritative and deeply empathetic nature of his stance. That we can still say these things is to the poet's credit... Think of Hardy, some Dickinson, Frost and Roethke and Wright, and you're in Wagoner territory. It's good land here... These poems lead the way back into memory - at times shot through with bitter nostalgia - and forward into clearings that, though you've never been here before, feel like home ground." - Josie Rawson, Rain Taxi "Wagoner writes so much, so well, and so clearly, that it is hard to assign him a niche in a contemporary pantheon of American poets... Versatile, vigilant, vigorous, there seems nothing Wagoner cannot re-imagine with lines flecked with irony, sympathy, or some other kind of poetic justice." - Virginia Quarterly Review "What sets this particular collection apart from other collected and new works by many other poets is the steadfastness of Wagoner's style. We meet, in the early works, a poet at once sure of, and at ease with, his voice and whose material and voice maintain that surety and ease throughout the forty some years caught here... The attention to the natural world, to getting on with life, surviving it by wit or grace or luck, and the at-once gentle yet often reproachful voice here - all make this collection one that truly captures what's kept David Wagoner's work at the forefront of American poetry for these many years and will keep him there for many more." - Marianna Hofer, Ohioana Quarterly Praise for David Wagoner: "[Wagoner's] study of American nostalgias is as eloquent and moving as that of James Wright, and like Wright's poetry carries on some of the deepest currents in American verse."-Harold Bloom "David Wagoner seems to me one of our best poets, perhaps one of the best we have ever had in this country."-Robert Boyers, Kenyon Review "When Wagoner looks at something, he brings it to vivid and immediate life through an extraordinary power with a simple name: love. He is as formally various as Thomas Hardy, as playful as Dickinson, as wry as Frost."-Dave Smith "A powerful, forthright, and beautifully disciplined writer, Wagoner is both poet and born storyteller... To read him is to live in a larger world."-X. J. Kennedy "Wagoner has the visual acuity of his loved hawks and a lifelong absorption with living and growing things. A lovely wit and a lively intelligence inform these poems." -- Maxine Kumin.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
David Wagoner manages to be accessible and profound at the same time, not an easy thing to do as well as he does it. I don't know about you, but I often find one or two poems I really like in any book of poetry. The rest are often okay, but don't make me dumbstruck like the best poems do. But one poem after another, Wagoner has me. His writing isn't just honest (though it is that), it isn't just from the heart (though it is surely that). It seems to come from a deep well of wisdom within him, and David Wagoner is the kind of guy you'd love to chat with over a pint or two for hours in some quiet pub. Or at least I would.