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Collected Poems Paperback – September 4, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In the 10 years since Jane Kenyon's death at the age of 47, her reputation has only grown. Her books are assigned; her life has been memorialized by husband Donald Hall in the book-length elegy Without (1998) and The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon, a memoir out just last month from Houghton (Reviews, Mar. 7). This collected edition reproduces verbatim the four books Kenyon saw through to press; the poems from two posthumous collections, Otherwise and A Hundred White Daffodils; Kenyon's translations of Akhmatova; and four previously uncollected poems. It's a case of more being less: gems like "Let Evening Come," "Otherwise" and "Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks" feel a little hidden here, despite Kenyon's careful composition and ordering of her work. The selected Otherwise will remain the Kenyon standard, but fans will be glad to have everything portable and in one place. Kenyon's struggles with depression are central to her work; taken as a whole, Kenyon's poems remain a sustaining record of a life staked out in very difficult terrain.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The sixteenth-century sonnet allowed some self-disclosure in the context of courtly love, and romanticism licensed philosophical autobiography, as in Wordsworth's Prelude. But the intimate, even offensive soul-and-body--baring the mid-twentieth-century confessional poets (Robert Lowell is the most famous) introduced was unprecedented; Rimbaud had been more discreet. Every literary convention produces masterpieces, however, and Kenyon's self-exposition in Otherwise (1996), the big selection of her verse made with the help of her husband, Donald Hall, just before her death, is one. Of course, though often painful, it is hardly offensive. Kenyon suffered severe depression throughout her adult life, and her poems convey the disease's oppressiveness with humbling power. During her 20 years with Hall, she also found consolation in love and in rural New England's natural beauty; she movingly communicates that, too. This book presents Kenyon's four earlier collections, the poems new to Otherwise, and five gathered from other publications in their original order of book publication. It is no replacement for Otherwise, but that book's admirers will be grateful for its restoration of the masterpiece's context. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I am also a person of that twilight horizon. The edge is always near to me, but like Kenyon my love draws me back to the morning light.
There is the notice of Life in this book.