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Where Water Comes Together with Other Water: Poems Paperback – March 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (March 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039474327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394743271
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best-known for his wonderful short stories (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, etc.), Carver works the same narrative magic in these poems. In everyday language he offers memories of his family and past loves, uses fishing and hunting events to portray his innermost thoughts about life and death. PW called these poems "accessible and lovely."
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Over the years, Raymond Carver has been writing poetry alongside his fiction -- same of his earlier verse appeared in a recent anthology titled Fires -- and the most vigorous poems in this new collection function as distilled, heightened versions of his stories, offering us fugitive glimpses of ordinary lives on the edge." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Carver's voice is direct, his themes universal."

-- The Seattle Past-Intelligencer

"The emotional impact of his scenes and slices of life is imparted without strain; the voice speaks: with such an uncanny directness and ease -- and remarkable intimacy -- that the reader may wander at poem's end how such simplicity can carry such power...Somehow the nuances of daily experience, the warmth, humor, and reflection the poet brings to his subject are quite unlike anyone else's, bath in his immediacy and in the ability to make us identify and be moved. A splendid book."

-- Joseph Parisi, Booklist

"The stories poems tell are so wonderfully self-contained, so self-evident, so gracefully metaphorical." -- The Village Voice

"There is a severity of language, an understatement of emotion, that endows the poem of his first major collection with the feel of extraordinary experience. To read them is to have the sense this man has l lived more than most of us. We trust him because of the plainly conversational diction and the lapel-grabbing rhythms....They are very moving, very memorable."

-- Dave Smith, Poetry

More About the Author

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience. This was the year in which he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage. In 1977 he met the writer Tess Gallagher, with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral and Elephant. Fires, a collection of essays, poems and stories, appeared in 1985, followed by three further collections of poetry. In 1988 he completed the poetry collection A New Path to the Waterfall.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RNS VINE VOICE on October 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Place a copy on the table by your bed and read a poem or two a night. Carver's thoughtful meditations on what he sees, hears and smells in the world around him will help you relax and think good, deep thoughts as you ponder the joys and sorrows of your own life.

I especially like the story-telling method he uses, first describing something he has seen and then -- before you know it -- he's talking in a universal language of the heart and soul. Yes, he writes in a sort of manly-man language that women may not appreciate, but whether he writing of his daughter trying to explain the energy between him and his ex-wife, camping along the Olympic mountain range, or his realization of his own darker deep-down feelings of love and laziness, his poetry is worthy of attention.

Here are some portions of one of his poems that serves as a good example of his skill and style; it's titled, "Happiness":

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.

They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take each others' arm....
[five lines are skipped]

Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond,
really, any early morning talk about it.

It is so tragic that such a voice was stilled at only fifty of lung cancer.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Carver can break your heart without seeming to try, and there is that quality in many of these poems. Written in the mid 1980s, in the last years before his death, they are that mix of bittersweet memory, melancholy, and joy taken in the here and now. Living with poet Tess Gallagher in a house overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington (Carver grew up in Yakima, Washington), he writes of the days that pass there, the frequent rains and the boats passing on the water, and he tracks the course of fleeting emotions, often triggered by long-forgotten memories.

He has this ability to discover the extraordinary in the absolute ordinary, and he can bring together ideas with images drawn from everyday life that disturb and shock the heart, as when he recalls an old relationship while describing the drops and smears of blood left in a kitchen sink after gutting fish. As with his stories, these poems are written in plain, conversational language while evoking at the same time the darkly inexpressible. Simple and direct on the surface, they are like being in a small boat on deep waters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
These poems have the beauty of life in them. They have real pain and an honest confrontation with whatever it is Carver meets, and tries to contend with. The honesty comes with the brokenness of the life .And there is a sense that the man is telling you what he feels and what he knows and what he has learned from life. And its not an easy life. It has martial discord, and distance between loved ones, and a lot of drinking, and mixed- up relationships. But what I think redeems it and makes the poetry of Carver so appealing is that it too talks genuinely of what is good and meaningful in the life. It can be a phone - call from a brother which connects them remotely again and reminds them of the world they had once together now largely gone. It can be a meditation on a writer ( Machado) which evokes a sense of how Literature can deepen our perception into the world, it can be a lament in understanding a former wife's feelings.

It is simple language and understandable. It tells a story. It has a lot of the disorder of life in it, and the kind of scandalous things most of us would rather do without . It has embarassment and shame and failure and poverty and regret and sorrow and love- much much love. As in the poem in which he takes the time to himself given by his beloved's absence but refuses to do one thing sleep in their common bed without her. It has a rough integrity of a real human being and poet.

This is the real stuff. Enjoy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is fine poetry to start Raymond Carver with. "The Ashtray" demonstrates an excellent portrayal of a selfish man and his girlfriend. "My Daughter's Apple Pie" is probably one of Carver's best works as far as showing his understatement style especially with a serious subject (which, actually, is very common with Carver). The book contains everything: nature, death, love, father/son relationships, water, everything. Carver's death is only a loss if you do not read his work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1997
Format: Paperback
For fans of Raymond Carver, it may seem strange to start with this book of poetry, as I did, rather than with one of his collections of short stories. I can only say that I came away from this work amazed at what this writer was able to do with a short form of writing and determined to rush out and start reading his short stories as well. These are reflective pieces of a man who has experienced and processed much, who has had time to reflect on the true essentials of life. While these poems are beautifully and artfully written, they are filled with universal messages that will reach, touch and change every reader. The title poem alone, with its theme of personal growth, is worth the price of the book. This is poetry for every man (and woman) written by someone who was clearly not.
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