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Once I Gazed at You in Wonder: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets) Paperback – April 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080712365X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807123652
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,719,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is such a brave first book of poems! Levi delves into utmost intricacies of origins and destinies, as in mother, as in father, as in husband, as in self bound and un-bounded: A deeply lyrical pursuit sustained by an astonishing intelligence. . . " June Jordan

"In her beautifully realized first book, Jan Heller Levi testifies, with immoderate compassion, to the wonder that we are here at all, witnessing a now in which every moment is spacious. . . . Ardent yet free of gush, the spontaneity and conversational ease of her poems assure that the quality of wonder, like that of mercy, is not strained. In addition to unguardedness and heart, there is backtalk bite and edge, lip and lash. . . . [Once I Gazed at You in Wonder] draws upon the powers intrinsic to poetry and helps me remember its unextinguishable necessity." Alice Fulton, from the judge's citation for the 1998 Walt Whitman Award

"These are passionate poems growing through time into a rueful, black humorous self-knowledge and a constant, edgy love for life in spite of everything: as Zbigniew Herbert says, 'Sometimes you have to offer even the betrayed world a rose.'" Jean Valentine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jan Heller Levi is the editor of A Muriel Rukeyser Reader and is working on a biography of Rukeyser. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Antioch Review, New Orleans Review, and Pequod. She divides her time between New York City and St. Gallen, Switzerland. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book of amazing poems reads like a novel - the kind you can't put down. A thrilling, funny, sad, sexy, and incredibly moving collection. A poetry book that will convince and convert all of those people who think they can't read poetry. Already the recipient of the destinguished Walt Whitman award, "Once I Gazed at You In Wonder" will surely accumulate many more. A poetry book to read and reread.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
For those of us who have followed her poetry over the past two decades, this book is a long-awaited reason for celebration. Heller Levi is among the best of the NY poets of the 70's and 80's, gifted with both the highest level of poetic craft and a piercingly insightful perspective on how people love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LAURENCE C EGERTON on April 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have re-read books before, but, never have I read the same book every week for 10 weeks running. You find more in Jan's words each time you read her book. She if gifted at expressing her feelings and experiences in life.I begin to shed tears just thinking of this book-[yes,men do cry! because we love more as we get older-see the book] I plan to buy many copies to share. I dropped the author a brief note congratulating her after my 8th re-read- I should have done it sooner. I am looking forward to breaking the cycle by moving on to her next work. Buy the book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on May 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love poetry. I read all types and kinds. But unfortunately Poetry has evolved from Ballads and love songs to a very introspective type of self-analytical intellectualism. Many of this genre seem to go out of their way to find words that no one understands or that are never used in everyday speech and include it in their poem ...somehow. Or they try to convince readers that they are intelligent by putting words in combination that are not translatable even in the host language. Occasionally, they may say something intelligent by accident but who would know.

This book is different. Many of her poems are stories, slices of real life, broken images, and real feelings and emotions. "My Father Calls me Every Sunday Morning" would be a good example. It is just a tidbit. Hardly worth the effort of a short story. Certainly not the material for a tragic novel. It is just one of those simple heart-felt things common to all of us. And much of poetry is just that ... stepping in a puddle, a bit of a phone call, a frustrating thought on our own vulnerability, an attempt to describe a tear. I love poetry ... The kind that says something. The kind that makes me feel something or think a thought I wouldn't normally think. There can be an intimacy in poetry. Jan Levi opens up and brings us in.

This is a nice book of poems. I enjoyed reading them.

Richard Noble - The Hobo Philosopher - Author of:

"A Little Something: Poetry and Prose
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