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Goodnight, Gracie (Phoenix Poets) Paperback – Unabridged, May 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0226742052 ISBN-10: 0226742059 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Poets
  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226742059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226742052
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 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: #3,375,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just as George Burns's dialogues with Gracie Allen once taught that apparent wrong turns in conversation often lead to true understanding, Schwartz's poems meander wisely through unexpected territory. The debut collection begins with the sometimes sad, sometimes wry "Reports of My Death" and ends with a description of the poet placing a stone at his father's grave. The writing, seemingly offhanded and vernacular, is precise and balanced, with echoes of Elizabeth Bishop, particularly in the couplets of dialogue. But the material is original and often downright funny. He records stray conversation on a train crossing the Rockies: "I wonder, what's the 'regional specialty' for the Donner Pass?" A visit to a vegetarian household in Hamburg, house hunting near Boston, an excursion through the graves of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance in the Jewish Cemetery in Queens all lead to an enhanced perception of human mortality, man's limitation. In a word self-portrait Schwartz's gaze looks "centripetal" while his legs seem brushed "centrifugally, / into the surrounding swirl." This physical dichotomy translates to the voice of the poet, confident in honest disarray. Schwartz is a regular commentator on NPR's Fresh Air.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Crossing The Rockies
Dead-battery Blues
Fourteen People: Artie Matteosian
Fourteen People: Danny And Mary Kelleher
Fourteen People: Frank Bidart
Fourteen People: Gail Mazur
Fourteen People: Jane Struss
Fourteen People: Joyce Peseroff
Fourteen People: Lloyd Schwartz
Fourteen People: Margo Lockwood
Fourteen People: Mr. And Mrs. Hamilton
Fourteen People: Ralph Hamilton
Fourteen People: Robert Pinsky
Fourteen People: Tom Joanides
Gisela Bruning
Goodnight Gracie
House Hunting
In The Jewish Cemetery In Queens
In The Mist
Pseudodoxia Epidemica
Reports Of My Death: 1. Heroic Measures
Reports Of My Death: 2. A Scare (1969)
Reports Of My Death: 3. Reports Of My Death
Simple Question
Vermeers: 1. Power
Vermeers: 1. The Concert
Vermeers: 2. Personal Reasons
Vermeers: 2. Young Woman Putting On Pearls
Vermeers: 3. Officer And Laughing Girl
Vermeers: 3. Profanity
Vermeers: 4. Rarity
Vermeers: 4. The Artist In His Studio
Vermeers: 5. Inaccessibility
Vermeers: 5. Woman Holding A Balance
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

More About the Author

Poet, music critic, literary scholar, actor, and teacher, Lloyd Schwartz has had an unusually varied career. He is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he teaches in the MFA Program; an editor of three volumes of work on and by Elizabeth Bishop (including the Library of America's Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters); and the author of three volumes of poetry (Cairo Traffic, the most recent) and a chapbook (Lloyd Schwartz: Greatest Hits). His poems have been honored with a Pushcart Prize and publication in The Best American Poetry and The Best of the Best American Poetry.

Schwartz was the Classical Music Editor of The Boston Phoenix, for which he has received wide acclaim, including three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. He is also a reviewer for New York Arts, an International Journal for the Arts.

He began work in radio as a regular cast member of the children's program The Spider's Web. Since 1987, he has been the classical music critic for NPR's Fresh Air, with Terry Gross and has recently published a book entitled Music In and On the Air which features reviews from that program.

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Format: Paperback
A 2007 Summer reading list mini review.

After reading Lloyd Schwartz write in "Prime Times: Writers on their favorite TV shows." that the Burns and Allen show fostered in him a lifelong love of language, I was very interested in reading more of Schwartz's work. I chose Goodnight Gracie as that poem was included in his essay in Prime Times.

I can't tell you that I understood all of his poetry or that I could give it full analysis in the 2-3 paragraphs I have assigned myself to relate here. What I can tell you is that I thoroughly enjoyed his blend of prose and poetry which I have dubbed prosetry. The opening and closing poems relate to death from different angles. "Reports of my death," stems from hearing that he had died (which turned out to be greatly exaggerated.) It is both light and heavy at the same time. Atone which is as refreshing as it is unique. The Final poem "In the Jewish Cemetery in Queens." relates to a visit to his father's grave. Again the tone varies from somber to almost quixotic. It leaves the reader an astonishingly real glimpse into the grieving process.

Jammed between the death you get excellent glimpses of life. Of all the remaining poems I most enjoyed "Gisela Bruning, House Hunting and Love. In all of them he takes prose and arranges it into resonating feelings of loss, love and regret. All in all, I am glad Schwartz was inspired by Burns and Allen with a love of language for Schwartz's love has deepened mine.
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