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Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems Paperback – May 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Hennen: Tom Hennen, author of six books of poetry, was born and raised in rural Minnesota. After abandoning college, he married and began work as a letterpress and offset printer. He helped found the Minnesota Writer’s Publishing House, then worked for the Department of Natural Resources wildlife section, and later at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Now retired, he lives in Minnesota.

Jim Harrison: Jim Harrison, one of America’s most versatile and celebrated writers, is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction—including Legends of the Fall, the acclaimed trilogy of novellas, and The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems. His books have been translated into two dozen languages, and in 2007 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. With a fondness for open space and anonymous thickets, he divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press; First Printing edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556594046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556594045
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Hennen is a poet from rural Minnesota. He has worked for Minnesota DNR wildlife and Sand Lake NWR in South Dakota.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Martin Zook on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darkness Sticks to Everything has sparked once again my interest in poetry, which I am sad to confess has flagged through the decades since as an undergraduate I scoffed at the notion that poetry's appeal primarily is to the young.

Even more surprising for me is that Tom Hennen's tactile imagery hearken the works of poets I disdained in my youth, particularly Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Carlos Williams. I also detect a little something of Robert Frost there as well. And, I see the ghost of Robert Penn Warren in the melancholy underlying personal relationships.

Each of the poems strikes a chord in me, such as this from Clouds Rise Like Fish:

The island in the lake drifts even farther from shore.
Heat increases.
The afternoon begins its insect hum.
We can tell a storm is coming
By looking into each other's eyes.

Sheep in the Winter Night brings Penn Warren's A Way to Love God to my mind. Both have sheep as their subject.

Penn Warren's poem is considerably more expansive and in contrast to Hennen's now seems less focused. Hennen's concludes:

The owl and rabbit were wondering, along with the trees, if the air would soon fill with snowflakes, but the power that moves through the world and makes our hair stand on end was keeping the answer to itself.

As the title suggests, darkness insinuates itself in these 157 poems, not unlike the darkness Frost saw in the forest in his meditation while Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. Again though, Hennen's poetry is considerably more economical and streamlined than Frost's.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnson on April 30, 2014
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Having been in both places for long periods of time, I can attest to the reality of Hennen's places - New Mexico and North Dakota - as he writes about them. But of course his work is much more than describing places. How do those places work on a person, how does a person settle in to lonely places, how does nature become a partner. Keep this one on the table, not the bookshelf. Read bits frequently.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erik L. Simon on June 21, 2013
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"The poetry of earth is never dead," said Keats, and he's certainly right, although it's a subject so often visited that it must be deucedly difficult to find fresh ways of poetically exploring it as opposed to, say, leukemia or fat children or Native American smoke signals. In the introduction to this marvelous collection, Jim Harrison comments that he knows of no other poet in the United States better informed on the simple rural life, and that's not hyperbole. These poems are breathtaking. I tend not to like short lines, but the short-lined early poems often sledge-hammered me at some point along the way, and the prose poems of later in the career are endlessly staggering, to wit, this final verse from the poem titled, "What the Plants Say:"

"Weed, it is you with your bad reputation that I love the most. Teach me not to care what anyone has to say about me. Help me to be in the world for no purpose at all except for the joy of sunlight and rain. Keep me close to the edge, where everything wild begins."

Hennen's work is a marvel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By robert d gregory on December 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Came to this via Jim Harrison's poems, which I love. Tom Hennen's have their own quiet unshowy authority and beauty. His work has simplicity and strength without being in any way dull or flat or sweet (something which ain't easy--try it). You could easily go from reading Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal to reading these without feeling any discontinuity or maybe from McPhee's Pine Barrens to these is a better comparison.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol W. on May 5, 2014
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I picked up this collection by chance at a bookstore. It is the best I have read in years. I have recommended it to friends and given it as gifts. The connection to nature within the lines of every poem is sublime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ExcaliburScribe on February 1, 2014
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I first learned of this collection from a New York Times article. When I read a few lines, I knew I had to pick up the book. I am delighted to report on what I found.

Hennen reminds me so favorably of Carl Sandburg. He knows how to record the song of nature with originality.

There is such diversity of theme here, within the world of nature. But what lingers most are the recollections of nature's beauty. I am excited to read more of Hennen's work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Tom Hennen effortlessly transports you to a world of dreams and landscapes. The language propels you through dramatic and unexpected maneuvers through space - sometimes up above the trees with a lightning bolt and sometimes on a whim. It's a world of should haves and could bes that sticks with you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Collector on October 30, 2013
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This is the most wonderful book of poetry/prose I've picked up in a long time. Cannot recommend highly enough. I'm getting a few extra copies to send to my friends.
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