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Buckdancer's Choice: Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Series) Paperback – January 1, 1965


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Product Details

  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Program
  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press; 1st edition (1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819510289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819510280
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,140,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“James Dickey’s fourth volume, Buck dancer’s Choice, establishes him as one of the most important younger poets of our time. It has a passionate quality, an intense clarity, a cleansing of the totality of being into a kind of carefully separated madness that makes it one of the remarkable books of the decade.”—Joseph Bennett, New York Times Book Review

“One of the remarkable books of the decade”—Joseph Bennett, New York Times Book Review

“When he is at his best, as he is in [‘The Firebombing’], Dickey reminds one of the fire sermons in the work of T.S. Eliot, but unlike Eliot, Dickey is offering us a way out of the agony through his own vision of memory and hope. He travels away from the fire, taking us with him.”—Sandra Hochman, Book Week

“Dickey’s work is full of dramatic energy, superb observation, and honesty. He remains one of the foremost poets of his generation.” —The Virginia Kirkus’ Service

From the Publisher

6 x 8 trim. LC 65-21079

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
James Dickey, Buckdancer's Choice (Wesleyan, 1965)
Buckdancer's Choice, Dickey's fourth book, should have been the one that catapulted him into the national spotlight. (That didn't happen for another five years, until he released his first novel: Deliverance.) Buckdancer's Choice won Dickey the 1965 National Book Award for poetry, as well as getting him named consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress. But, as is usually the way with these things, in the wider world, Dickey remained just as obscure as ever for another half-decade.
There are few nits that can be picked with a book full of stuff as powerful as James Dickey's. Two of the best poems he wrote in his long and illustrious career, "The Fire-Bombing" and "The Fiend," both found their first homes in this slim volume. Both are in the style Dickey invented, presumably nameless, which plays with line breaks by putting them in the middles of lines. (Yes, folks, I know these are called caesurae, but they're not regular, like one would find in Old English poetry; think of it more as a form of Gerard Manley Hopkins' sprung rhythm applied to free verse.) The effect is to get the reader to pause more often than normal, and thus to force the reader to emphasize images in his reflections on the poem than he otherwise normally would:
"He descends.....a medium-sized shadow.....while that one sleeps and turns
In her high bed in loss.....as he goes limb by limb.....quietly down
The trunk with one lighted side...."
("The Fiend")
Coupled with these are, of course, poems written in a more "regular" style, equally as powerful, combining enchantment and revulsion. It was said in Victorian times that the mark of British gentility was to have a copy of one of Tennyson's works prominently displayed in one's home.
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By Andy Arick on January 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This hard cover book was in great condition just as described. I'm very happy with the results of this order.
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By Kevin Orth on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dickey may be somewhat unpopular because his work is politically incorrect by today's standards. He fought in WWII, was a Southerner, wrote a bestselling novel that was made into a popular film--all things academics are uncomfortable with. But his poetry is up there with the best of his generation.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book of poems for dudes. A little too masculine for my tastes.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Doug Vaughn HALL OF FAME on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Am I the only poetry lover who thinks that James Dickey is tremendously overrated as a poet? I realize that the standards for judging greatness in poetry are vague and complicated by the lack of any generally agreed upon poetic theory in our day and age, but some poets seem to emerge - either buoyed up by developing a loyal following of readers or held up by academic attention. I have to believe that Dickey is one of those whose prominence was based on academic attention - for whatever reason - and not on on a real readership. I have never known anyone who read poetry to voluntarily turn to Dickey's work when they needed a poetry fix. His poems seem selfconscious, too aware of their images, too quick to use a word because of some association that the average reader could not possibly know. To me, they always seemed in bad faith, as if the 'poet' had developed a personal checklist of what he should include in each of his poems and how he would go about being 'poetic'. Most important, I feel that these poems are bloodless. I don't sense real passion in them.
I can spend pleasant time with Wallace Stevens and with Russell Edson, two poets as different from one another as can be, even when I have no idea what they are saying - because I at least always have the sense they are trying to say something important. With Dickey, I frequently have no idea what he is saying and worse, feel that he doesn't either, beyond the message, 'see, I've written a poem.'
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