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Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 Paperback – January 1, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For decades Carruth has been admired by other writers for his use of varied forms and styles, and, as did Frost before him, he has won the loyalty of many readers with his keen observations of language and the everyday. This extensive collection ranges widely, from Hayden Carruth's early 1950s traditional works to his later anti-war poems; from his sensual explorations to more narrative works. Carruth includes what others might discard as ugly, and speaks quietly where others might bombast. It is this quality that makes Carruth a talented poet, unique voice and subtle critic. Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.

From Library Journal

From a poet who has "earn[ed] the unqualified admiration of both [his] academic and experimental peers" (LJ 4/1/92), a sampling of a half century of work.-- the unqualified admiration of both [his] academic and experimental peers" (LJ 4/1/92), a sampling of a half century of work.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556590490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556590498
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Allen Hoey on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
One of the most significant poetry publications at the end of the twentieth century is Hayden Carruth's Collected Shorter Poems. For too long Carruth suffered the lack of a consistent publisher; as a result, much of his best work has gone unnoticed or too little noticed. Notable in a volume as diverse as this are Carruth's monologues and poems about characters delivered in lines that echo their speech; as the speaker in "John Dryden" notes, "have you noticed / I can't talk about him without talking like him?" Like Frost, Carruth captures a sense of character and place while subtly presenting a complex set of meanings, discovering the kind of "natural symbol" ordinary people grapple with to understand their lives. One of the most powerful, "Marvin McCabe," is a monologue by an inarticulate speaker whose friend "Hayden" acts as amanuensis for the poem. Marvin McCabe details his upbringing and the accident that left him incapacitated--able to think but not talk. Other poems in this mode include "Johnny Spain's White Heifer," "Lady," "Marshall Washer," and "Regarding Chainsaws."

Carruth's lyrics display a range of diction and vocabulary which allows him to modulate easily from low to high style and to incorporate moments of humor in otherwise serious, even solemn poems without violating that tone. His lyrics often derive from careful observation of the natural world, not merely to see things but to consider. Typically, Carruth presents his observations through details objective enough to allow us to "see" the situation yet in language that renders the emotional construct of the subject.
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Format: Paperback
Underground The Darkness Is The Light
When I first started out to make what later became known as Hayden's Runaway Pond, I borrowed
Baldy Langdell's little Cat that he used mostly for sap-gathering in his hillside sugar orchard
Over in Waterville, but he had a blade on it, and once I got the hose connections tight
It worked well. I had a good spot, and Pop Foster, the county agricultural agent, agreed. "Ideal," he said. It was a gentle downslope sort of folded in the middle, where a brook
Ran straight down from a spring in the woods behind, a good spring, never known to run less than nine quarts a minute in the driest season. I went to work. "Now watch you don't scrape too deep in the hardpan," Pop said and I nodded. I pushed dirt to all sides, but mostly to the front, where the embankment would be highest,
Like a dam. Pop showed me how to set up the standpipe with a wing valve at the bottom, the outlet pipe
Headed straight forward under the bank and into the brookbed again. It didn't take long,
A day and a half with the dozer. Then I set the valve just a mite open
So some water would continue flowing out into the brook and on downstream,
But enough would catch in the pond to fill it. I watched. Slow, very slow, only a puddle
After the first two days. But I expected that. I sowed the banks to rye, clover, and orchard grass.
Of course that summer, after the pond filled and water spilled into the standpipe so I could close the bottom valve,
It was a sterile pond. But the next spring I had frogs, big ones and little ones, and that summer
What I call the purple water flower seeded in and some bullrushes on the far side.
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By Judi on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another fine collection by Hayden Carruth that doesn't disappoint. I can't rate it as highly as I do Scambled Eggs but Scrambled Eggs sets the bar very high.
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