Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $6.37 shipping
North Point North: New and Selected Poems Paperback – July 29, 2003
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
This first big selection from Koethe (The Constructor) gives readers a chance to review the career of a meditative poet picking up signals directly from the Stevens-Ashbery continuum. Koethe has been publishing since the 1960s, but his digressive, melancholy verse has been gathering steam, and critical esteem, since Falling Water (1997), which was the Kingsley Tufts Award winner. Aside from the slippery intellections of late Stevens and the insistent metaphorical following-through of 1970s Ashbery, these poems are indebted to Koethe's day job as a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which includes work on Wittgenstein. Yet readers who expect impenetrability may be surprised (or delighted) to find that Koethe's poems mostly ruminate on familiar topics marriage, divorce; youth, middle age; "minor moods that last All afternoon"; professional fulfillment, or lack thereof; "the confines Of our individual lives." Koethe's poems work, moreover, in a language surprisingly close to that of prose: he asks "if the person I've become is still that other one Who wandered off from home so many years ago," and decides "that experience didn't matter all that much." The shorter, jumpier poems from his early Blue Vents (1968) show how close to Ashbery (and to other New York schoolers, like Charles North) Koethe was when he started out; 21 new poems at the start of the volume extend his recent strengths. The mature poems sometimes seem either too much like essays on lesser topics or too close to their more ambitious models. At other times Koethe's combination of measured reflection and disproportion seems to do justice to growing older among abstractions, leaving one as Koethe puts it "staring at the sky And fabricating private constellations from the stars."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A hush is incarnate in Koethe's contemplative poems, the held-breath quiet of listening intently to the murmurings of mind, and the settling of floors and walls. This commodious and entrancing collection enfolds works from five previous collections and a powerful set of new poems, and reveals a strengthening of voice during the construction of an airy, yet sturdy, imaginary world. A professor of philosophy and the first poet laureate of Milwaukee, award-winning poet Koethe captures the drama of Wisconsin's skies and vivid springs, but concentrates on the strange weather and seasons of consciousness. Meticulously planed and sanded thoughts and feelings are measured and joined to form windows and doors through which both light and darkness, past and present flow. As Koethe adds room after room to his edifice of awareness, he seeks to house the elusive self, to distinguish among the ever-spooling nights and days, to get a "sense of life, of what life is like." To ascertain that "behind the blizzard of appearance / From whence first impressions came / There was always something constant, and shared." Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The poems in "North Point North" are wistful, and sad. They are somehow both removed and concrete. The author has included special notes on their chronology. The images in the earlier ones are more evocative, more substantial, than in the later ones. Time and memory are important themes.
For the average reader, the value in these poems will be that they echo those periods when each of us feels hopeless, listless or unconnected. We felt that way even when we were young--if we stopped long enough to consider our emotions then-and their presence becomes more pronounced as we age. If we follow Koethe's lead, we will not deny these thoughts-then and now, now and then--for who are we if not what we think?
Koethe himself says "disappointment surrounds these poems." And yet there is enlightenment in this book because his poetry is proof that when we think these thoughts, we are not alone. In spite of the melancholy, "North Point North" is an affirmation.
Koethe also says that words "still pass (es) for celebration..." In the words between the covers of this book, there is a both an absence of celebration and a commemoration. Funny how a poet/philosopher can do that. Deny the very thing he is confirming.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of "This is the Place"