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Departure: Poems Paperback – April 17, 2005

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The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou
The Complete Poetry
Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium of Maya Angelou's poetry introduces new readers to the legendary poet. Learn more | See related books
$12.30 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Departure: Poems + Stained Glass + Ghost in a Red Hat: Poems
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393326810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393326819
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Warren has worked extensively with translations (especially from Latin and Italian): in this fourth book of her own poetry (the first since 1993's much-honored Stained Glass), long and masterfully elaborate sentences and unrhymed stanzas follow the poet's eye and mind across the landscapes of Europe and New England. Yet her most powerful poems concern a mother's dementia and death: "`I told the daughter it was/ time to call in the Hospice.'// `I am "the daughter"?'" one poem recalls, concluding "So have whole tribes/ passed from the memory of earth." Warren follows this intensely personal work with two sequences based on other artists' lives. Though one (about the composer Leos Janacek) may not transcend its sources, the other, "From the Notebooks of Anne Verveine," becomes a delightfully odd and heartfelt experiment: "That's how we know a god, when the facts/ leap at the tenderest innards." (Warren describes Verveine as "an imaginary French poet" whom she has chosen to translate into English.) Warren concludes with well-made poems about travel and marital love: if some seem all too purely descriptive, others display insight and hidden discipline that recall the last poems of Robert Lowell: in an airplane, "On the wing, the paint/ blisters in gunmetal eczema"; in "Lake," a masterful page-long sentence recalls "the heaviness/ of your own seasons and of illnesses not your own."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Her fourth book and her strongest. -- Charles Simic, New York Review of Books

Throughout this work, Warren's images are evocative and original. -- Library Journal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In flashes of brilliance, Warren calls forth the image of a god, striding down a hillside "vomiting down/ its loosened jaw of scree." It is in such moments that changes are wrought, but often go unnoticed:

"any day, any ordinary hour, when all we see

is a peculiar, shivering brilliance in the air

like a premonition of migraine; and no one else can see

later, how in such a flash, the dark came there." (Arrival)

The word "mother" hovers frequently and cannot help but remind of another mother, brought to life on the pages:

"facing death, my

mother gripped the bedrails but still

stared straight ahead- and

who was it, finally,

who loosened

her hands?" (Simile)

The words of the poet are incredibly personal, as each line resonates, the shared thoughts brought together, filling the mind with possibilities, with connections and memories. The images evoked by Warren are larger than life, caught in the web of myth, yet made accessible to imagination. Ancient civilization meets the modern world, from archetype to the aching loss of a loved one, classical feet mired in feet of clay. Warren speaks with a singular voice, phrases that capture a moment for eternity: "It is enough, this moment, not to speak. To touch your hand." (Ecologue). Luan Gaines/2005.
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