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Imperfect Thirst Paperback – August 30, 1994

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kinnell (When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone) launches his 12th book of poetry with a witty poem dedicated to "The Pen"-a pen which, "like the person who gets out of the truck, goes/ around to the rear, signals to the driver, and calls, 'C'mon/ back.'" After that beginning, nearly anyone would follow this writer into the past to his quiet father who "bent down out of the gloom like a god," and later, in another poem, step happily into an imagined future near "the idea of paradise." Kinnell's breadth in the volume astonishes: poems range from an expression of poetic resistance to the fashionable scholarly disinterment of language in "The Deconstruction of Emily Dickinson," to the delicate tableau he creates of a woman caring for her father in "Parkinson's Disease," to his gleefully erudite tribute to excrement in "Holy Shit." Primal themes-love, nature, mortality-emerge in newly compelling forms. In "Rapture," for example, conventional poetic language is abandoned for sensuality's purer rhythms: "Simile is useless." Though at times Kinnell's remarks to himself seem needlessly self-referential, when the poet speaks intimately to us, his voice is unsurpassable.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In Kinnell's 12th collection, the Pulitzer Prize winner speaks with a vibrant and sure voice. Most powerful is the poem "My Mother's R & R," a kind of fairy tale based in memory, with a fairy tale's dark, threatening side, "two small/hungry boys enflamed and driven off/by the she-wolf." Kinnell's tone is casual, his imagery evocative. These poems take chances. They confront, examine, and explore deeply the heart of life's mysteries: death, family bonds, love, aging, even bodily functions (the poem "Holy Shit" could have been left out of the collection). But the point that Kinnell (Three Books, LJ 9/15/93) makes with these poems is that it all counts, it's all important, because it's all so transitory: "Could heaven be a time, after we are dead,/of remembering the knowledge/flesh had from flesh?" Recommended for all collections.
Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, Ind.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1st edition (August 30, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039575528X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395755280
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bella May on September 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Something about Galway Kinnell makes you see death for what it is and find peace in that acceptance. His poems characterize the modern push for speed and excess as a search for stillness or contentment. I love the collection.
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Format: Paperback
Was there some kind of electronic mishap which erased all the reviews for this elegant and beguiling book of poems? Or is it possible that I, a mere plodding pedestrian, who approached the world of poetry with deliberate reserve, could be the first person to review this book which has been around since 1994? Tell me it is not possible that no other soul out there in deepest Amazonia has been touched by this wonderful work.
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