On the Edge is a collection of the six longer masterpieces by one of the most beloved and accomplished poets of our time. Full of exclamation and exaggeration but also graced with dry wit and comic sophistication, these poems contain some of Kenneth Koch's most original work. When the Sun Tries to Go On is a young man's radical song of himself and ...Read MoreOn the Edge is a collection of the six longer masterpieces by one of the most beloved and accomplished poets of our time. Full of exclamation and exaggeration but also graced with dry wit and comic sophistication, these poems contain some of Kenneth Koch's most original work. When the Sun Tries to Go On is a young man's radical song of himself and his freshly discovered and expanding universe. Ko, or A Season on Earth is an epic invention filled with such memorably powerful characters as a rookie baseball star whose pitches knock down grandstands, and Joseph Dah, whose poems transform him into whatever he writes about. In The Duplications Koch's inventions expand into Ovidian twists as Commander Papend builds a life-sized replica of Venice in Peru and a chemist discovers a way to make young women out of the soil of Finland. In the elegiac Seasons on Earth and in two meditative autobiographical sequences, Impressions of Africa and On the Edge, Koch's protean expressions of emotion make obvious his genius for evoking the mystery and excitement of the fact of existence and the passage of time. Distinctly and irrepressibly Koch throughout, these works heighten our appreciation of his achievement. On the Edge is the perfect companion volume to the critically acclaimed Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch, about which John Ashbery, in Publishers Weekly, said, The products of a lifetime are on display in this awe-inspiring banquet of a book.Read Less
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Very Good. Alfred A Knopf 2007 stated first edition hardcover, fine quarter cloth, small tear by bottom fold and a few light creases along bottom edge of fine dust jacket, interior like new, tight binding, clean unmarked text.
Very good. No dust jacket as issued. Clean, unmarked pages, tight binding, moderate wear, including a reformed back cover bend. Ultra FAST shipping! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 432 p. Audience: General/trade.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-15 One doesn't go to Koch to experience the opening of the poet's mind to the world (Ashbery's stated desire), but for urbane, often vaudevillian, entertainments. This volume-a companion to 2005's Collected Poems (also Knopf), which gathers all of Koch's shorter poetry-shows Koch stretching out in his six extended works. The early Dada epic "When the Sun Tries to Go On" is a 60-plus page list of syntactical detritus, punctuated by bizarre apostrophes: "O tuxedo/ May conceited lobster!" "Ko, or a Season on Earth" is Koch's masterpiece, a mock epic in Byronic stanzas about a Japanese baseball player who hits it big, punctuated this time by impossible synchronicities: "Meanwhile the entire continent of Asia/ Was moving sideways unpredictably/.../ Hawaii, meanwhile, feeling simply great/ Was speeding toward acceptance as a state." "Impressions of Africa" shows Koch opening up a more personal space: the poem is a journal of his long journey to Africa. At last, there is a psychological element (of sorts), as Koch finds himself silenced: "I look at nothing for a while." This book may change some opinions on Koch; readers may ask whether his prodigious formal inventiveness thrives given more room, or if the poems remain surface-oriented, like a body of wate that never moves but looks lively wherever you are watching. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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