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Collected Poems Hardcover – October 31, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Williams's characteristic poems can be recognized as his on the page, in the ear or indeed from across a room. With long lines and flat language, his best work (in breakthrough books like 1983's Tar and the 1987 tour-de-force Flesh and Blood) has the rangy virtues of well-observed free verse, the spark and force of gritty, realistic short stories and the harrowing inwardness of no-nonsense personal essays about parents and children, lovers and strangers, New Jersey and France. Eschewing hints and symbols, Williams simply says what he knows he has seen: "the frail, false fusions and discursive chains of hope" or "that astonishing thing that happens when you crack a needle-awl into a block of ice." A Dream of Mind (1992) takes Williams's long, long lines into an almost Stevensian territory of abstract nouns and reflexive meditations on pity, fear and memory; later volumes, such as Repair (1999), soften Williams's typically violent pictures, more forgivingly portraying "this wedge of want my mind calls self." This weighty, even daunting, tome shows new and old readers the long arc of this Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner's career, from the morbid sanguinities of his apprentice work to the careful, moving, stanzaic focus evident in 21 new poems. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* No matter when readers first discover Williams--whether in the whiplash-intense collections Lies (1969) and I Am the Bitter Name (1971), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Repair (2002), or the National Book Award-winning The Singing (2003)--they can't help but be subsumed by the disconcerting beauty and unsparing candor of his vision. As this magnificent gathering of more than 400 poems affirms, Williams has not only celebrated life in all its glorious complexity in compassionate, long-lined, tidally powerful poems for four decades but also valiantly protested war and hate. A master of arresting juxtapositions, Williams considers love made and lost, fatherhood, and all the conflicts of city life. Protean and searching, he is also an unsentimental nature writer, addressing environmental fears, the instructive sight of a trapped wasp banging against a window, ubiquitous machine noise, woods felled, and "bloated tract mansions" squatting where horses once ran. Book by book, Williams' resistance to destruction and corruption becomes more concentrated, and more resounding. The contents of 10 previous books are crowned with a set of clarion new poems to create a volume that belongs in every poetry collection Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374126526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374126520
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
C.K. Williams is one of my favorite poets. His poems have a strong narrative element which makes them extremely compelling. They are also, of course, highly personal, and it is wonderful to have the chance to read such a lengthy collection and reflect on how he's matured as a person and developed as a poet over the decades. I'll quote just one, a tribute he wrote to a dear friend:

"...to be able/to tell oneself that once/one knew a man wholly

unsusceptible/to triviality,/bitterness or rancor,/who'd fashioned himself/with such dedication/and integrity

that he'd been released/from those resentments/and envies that make/the fullest life seem mean:
you life was never mean,/never not inspiring."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to the poetry of C. K. Williams through an online video of Mr. Williams reading some of his works. I liked his rhythms of normal speech interwined with almost musical cadences and the everydayness of his topics. Deeper feelings tucked into everydayness. After having heard him read his works, it was easier to read this collection.
Anyone interested in poetry should give this author a try. And by-the-by, the book arrive in very good condition.
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By MariaS on February 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An obligatory purchase for any contemporary poetry aficionado. Great read and great format.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't find many of these poems readable they're just too long.
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