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Selected Poems, 1960-1990 Paperback – December 17, 1998
2016 Book Awards
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This collection by a versatile elegist and observer of nature features vivid poems that are, refreshingly, about something. Many tell stories that serve to preserve her family's history. Last year , Richard Tillinghast called the book "a welcome addition to any poetry library." -- The New York Times
About the Author
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Kumin’s poems are based on the simple idea of telling a story. Kumin doesn’t write in the abstract, obfuscationist way that many poets do. You won’t need an unabridged dictionary and a degree in Poetry Interpretation to read her poems. Instead, you’ll find them open, warm, accessible (which, in my world, is never, ever, a dirty word when applied to poetry). This isn’t to say that Kumin’s poems are without a deeper meaning. On the contrary. Many of her poems leave you with a new way of looking at the world. Especially if, like me, you’re city born and raised. My sensibilities are very urban in nature, and while I don’t mind a drive in the country, I’m not predisposed to wanting to live there. I don’t want to live off the earth, or as a part of the earth. I’m not one to find pleasure in picking beans, or riding horses, yet, Kumin brings her world to life so vividly that one almost feels as if they’re a guest in her home.
As a poet, Kumin doesn’t go for the verbose, highly metaphoric, dense, lyrical language that some poets rely on. Kumin doesn’t need to use flowery words to disguise a lack of substance (as some poets do). Kumin’s poetry language, like the poems, like her life, is everyday, conversational. Yet, she wields her words with great skill, bringing out the natural poetry of the poem’s subject.Read more ›