In a collection that represents over thirty-five years of her writing life, this distinguished poet explores a wide range of subjects, which include her cultural and family history and reflect her fascination with music and the discoveries offered by language. In fact, her book is a testament to the miraculous power of language to interpret and ...
In a collection that represents over thirty-five years of her writing life, this distinguished poet explores a wide range of subjects, which include her cultural and family history and reflect her fascination with music and the discoveries offered by language. In fact, her book is a testament to the miraculous power of language to interpret and transform our world. It is a testament that invites readers to share her vision of experiences we all have in common: sorrow, tenderness, desire, the revelations of art, and mortality - "the hard, dry smack of death against the glass." To this community Mueller presents moments after moment where the personal and public realms intersect, where lives ranging from her own to those of Mary Shelley and Anton Webern illuminate the ways in which history shapes our lives. In "Brendel Playing Schubert, " Mueller's breathtaking linguistic virtuosity reminds us how music can transport us out of ourselves and into "the nowhere where the enchanted live"; in "Midwinter Notes, " the crepuscular world, stripped of its veil, shines forth as a signal from some realm where the sense of things may be revealed. In the title piece Mueller brings a sense of enduring and unclouded wonder to a recognition of all those whose lives might have been our own.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-10-28 "When I am asked/ how I began writing poems,/ I talk about the indifference of nature," Mueller writes in "When I Am Asked." Many of the new and previously published poems here seem intent upon correcting that indifference. With images of flowers, trees, birds, snow and sun, Mueller is ruminating and philosophical without being doctrinaire; she inhabits a world the Romantics might recognize and offers poems with such titles as "Joy," "Immortality" and "Tears." The next line in "When I Am Asked," however, is "It was soon after my mother died," indicating another central concern. Often using her exodus from Hitler's Europe as a quiet backdrop, she probes family relationships, as in "Happy and Unhappy Families II, which references Electra: "In the play, we know what must happen/ long before it happens,/ and we call it tragedy./ Here at home, this winter,/ we have no name for it." Tapping the resources of narrative, she revisits tales, ancient and modern, always insightful in her revisions and extensions of the originals. Mueller's The Need To Hold Still won the 1981 National Book Award. Readers will be struck by the poet's steadfast ability to sustain the same focus and techniques over six volumes spanning 35 years. (Nov.)
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.