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Praise Paperback – July 10, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"He writes in many shapes, moods, even styles. Yet everywhere one recognizes this reverence for the power of language, words in their full-flight of syntax, what we--or our ancestors--used to call eloquence." -- Hayden Carruth, Harper's

"His second book, Praise, has an architectural grandeur that even his nearly flawless first -volume, Field Guide, did not aim at. Poem after poem sets limits for itself as stern as gravity: white on white, block on block of stone, frames around pictures." -- Peter Davison, The Atlantic Monthly

About the Author

Robert Hass was born in San Francisco. His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco, 2010), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and Materials (Ecco, 2008), Sun Under Wood (Ecco, 1996), Human Wishes (1989), Praise (1979), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer's Selected Poems (2012) and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994). His essay collection Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (July 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880012420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880012423
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 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: #469,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Hass was born in San Francisco in 1941. He attended St. Mary's College and Stanford University. His books of poetry include Time and Materials, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 and the National Book Award in 2008; Sun Under Wood, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1996; Human Wishes; Praise, for which he received the William Carlos Williams Award in 1979; and Field Guide, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also worked with Czeslaw Milosz to translate a dozen volumes of Milosz's poetry, including the book-length Treatise on Poetry and, most recently, A Second Space. His translations of the Japanese haiku masters have been collected in The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. His books of essays include Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1984, and Now and Then: The Poet's Choice Columns, 1997-2000. From 1995 to 1997 he served as poet laureate of the United States. He lives in northern California with his wife, the poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches English at the University of California at Berkeley.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dana Garrett on October 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is Hass at his finest. In this work he deftly moves within and around human experience with a Rilkean penetration and tautness of line. In my view, Hass' later work labors because it attempts to emulate the vogue chattiness of current free verse poetry and doesn't adhere to the intensity he achieves in Praise.
There is not disappointing poem in this book, something that many "great" poets haven't achieved in their volumes. All of these poems deserve to be reread often and serious poets should study this book to learn exactly how Hass creates his magic.
This book is as good as poetry gets. By all means, buy it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can't imagine having not read this beautiful volume of poems. Haas is a master. His poems are holygraphic. You end up being inside them! What he does with time and space is unequaled in all of poetry. No, I'm not his mother! I'm just a totally awed reader who thinks great poetry is one of the hardest things in the world to write. Praise be to Praise!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Le on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Once upon a time, I was a naive college freshman who felt that contemporary poetry just wasn't for me: I felt that I didn't "get" modern poetry and that I just couldn't relate to it. Then, one day, I read Robert Hass's poem "Meditation at Lagunitas," and I was like, "Oh!"

After that, there was no turning back.

My favorite poems in this sublime collection, besides "Meditation at Lagunitas," are "Heroic Simile" and "Against Botticelli." All three are poems in which Hass masterfully combines intellectual rigor, lucid expression, wistful romanticism, muted sensuality, and an almost Euclidean reverence for form, structure, symmetry, and recursion.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Former Poet Laureate Robert Hass has created lyrical mastery- with a decidely Californian touch- in 1979's "Praise", the writers second volume of poetry. The book is most certainly a wildly rich, fufilling journey into what may be an admirable ideal structure. Hass uses lilting, engrossing language, wisping by like a breeze but with all of the intensity of the view through which he looks upon his powerful and immense subject matter. Of particular note is "Meditation at Lagunitas", a beautiful soliloquoy that may be the finest and most languid of our American poetic voices.
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