From Publishers Weekly
Young rose to some fame during the 1970s, a slightly belated but undeniably talented inheritor of the Deep Image style: his short poems and free verse sequences relied on quick leaps between landscapes and memories, moments of nostalgia and episodes of transcendence. Also known as a prolific translator from the Chinese, Young has grown clearer and calmer, more receptive to the literal, over the decades, as this second selected shows. œWhen the dead walk, do they need to use their feet? one early sequence asked; œVermont Summer offers instead œA trefoil in the hand, a meteor trail/ crossing the retina, a black and glinting/ tart-sweet berry in the mouth. The long œNight Thoughts takes its name from a famous 18th-century poem, its structure from an insomniac's hour-counting: œI'm the sleight-of-hand man still/ here in this summer sunrise. Young's awareness of literary precursors and allies saturates the poems: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Spenser, Miroslav Holub, Wallace Stevens, Henry Vaughan, James Wright are a few of the writers addressed or described. Yet the late poems (including nine new ones) seek instead the simplest possible pleasures--equanimity, companionship, and ease: œThen I remember to breathe again/ and the blue snow shines inside me.
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About the Author
David Young is the author of ten previous books of poetry, including Black Lab
and At the White Window
. He is a well-known translator of the Chinese poets and of the poems of Petrarch. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships as well as a Pushcart Prize, he is the Longman Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at Oberlin College and the editor of the Field Poetry Series at Oberlin College Press.