For fifty years, Hayden Carruth's poetry has been distinguished by the indelible presence of passion, compassion, and radical philosophy. Collected Longer Poems gathers the poet's choice of his narrative work and poems in sequence, including his epic on the nature of romance, The Sleeping Beauty, and meditative poems on the rural northeast that ...Read MoreFor fifty years, Hayden Carruth's poetry has been distinguished by the indelible presence of passion, compassion, and radical philosophy. Collected Longer Poems gathers the poet's choice of his narrative work and poems in sequence, including his epic on the nature of romance, The Sleeping Beauty, and meditative poems on the rural northeast that have made him the most accessible "regional" poet since Robert Frost. Our pre-eminent poet of improvisation within form, Carruth's renowned technical genius is perfectly matched to his ear for spoken language and narrative structure. By turns caustic and hilarious, his observations of that life, his own and his neighbors', ring as true as his ear for native speech. Collected Longer Poems completes the two-volume Collected Poems begun with the publication of Collected Shorter Poems in 1992, a volume that was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1994-01-31 This is the companion volume to Carruth's Collected Shorter Poems, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992. ``Here am I--drowned, living, loving, and insane'' the first poem ends. Yet even taking on a nervous breakdown as a subject does not throw this poet into a confessional mode. The work here seems to break every rule of modern poetry, yet it succeeds. Carruth speaks in generalities about concepts such as Ecstasy and Death. Emotional landscapes are set against the harsh New England winters, creating a force of nature as violent and complicated as Robinson Jeffers's California. The veiled, elegiac stance in early sequences sets the stage for the most powerful and lyrical work in Carruth's oeuvre, the book-length ``Sleeping Beauty.'' Here the woman, reclining in a Vermont landscape, becomes a collage of all women: friends, strangers, literary figures: ``North / Means the way, loneliness, a snow-blurred field, / Existence, seeking what a life is worth.'' The poet relates her dreams, haunted by male figures whose names begin with H --Hamlet, Hitler, HIV. This volume displays the huge range, both in theme and form, of a poet who pushes his art to its limits, then beyond. (Mar.)
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