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Flight: New and Selected Poems Hardcover – October 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The eighth volume and first retrospective from MacArthur winner Bierds (First Hand) makes her powers clear while showing how little her work has changed since the 1980s. She uses the English language as a composer of symphonic music might use an orchestra, taking romantic sighs, noble passages and high-flown trills from a full range of vocabulary and reference. She applies her lyrical, humane sensibility and her way with descriptive language to her own life occasionally, but far more often to the lives of eminent artists, writers, inventors and scientists--Erasmus and Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Anton van Leeuwenhoek (who invented the microscope), Marc Chagall, Dr. Tulp (of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson), Dorothy Wordsworth, the British physicist and public lecturer Michael Faraday. Ever alert to loss, Bierds finds the human and natural worlds worthy of fragile praise. In her marriage of research with appreciation, Bierds can recall Amy Clampitt, though she may lack Clampitt's range. In one of several new poems set in Venice, Bierds watches "the sea quickly cast/ its daily mass, herringbone brick by brick." An older poem sees farmers in an English village grind cow horns into translucent house windows, whose "moth-wing haze... softened our guests with the gauze light/ of the Scriptures." (Oct.)
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About the Author

Linda Bierds is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently The Profile Makers, for which she won the PEN West Poetry Prize and was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared widely, including in The Atlantic Monthly, Field, The New Yorker, and Parnassus. Among her other awards are two National Endowment for the Arts grants, as well as fellowships from the Ingram Merrill, John Simon Guggenheim, and WolfersO'Neill foundations. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155253
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,292,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
As it is sometimes with poets whose early books have fallen out of print, the discovery of the life's work, along with new poems, can provide a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the recent books. That is certainly the case with Flight. The arc of the mind and imagination, the evolution of her style and vision, was one of the great pleasures of poetry reading I've had in a long time.
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