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Queen of a Rainy Country: Poems Paperback – May 17, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Deceptively simple, casually precise, stylishly candid-these are the earmarks of a Pastan poem." Washington Post"

About the Author

Linda Pastan has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. She lives in Potomac, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393331415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393331417
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Linda Pastan (b. 1932) served as the Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 -- 1995. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and I have always been interested in her simply by virtue of geographical proximity. She has a deserved national rather than merely local reputation for readers of poetry. I have read some of Pastan's works before, but this is my first review of her poems here on Amazon. Pastan has published more than 12 volumes of poetry, including this relatively recent book, "Queen of a Rainy Country" (2006), which consists of approximately 65 short poems.

Pastan's poems are simple, restrained, and concise. Most of the poems are unrhymed in relatively short lines. They are non-academic and accessible. Many of the poems have an autobiographical tone and celebrate, on one level, every day life domesticity, love, and the pleasures of life in a wooded, peaceful, almost rural community.

The poems in this book are divided into five sections and involve several broad themes. The daughter of immigrants, Pastan meditates upon her past and upon the lives of her parents in the early poems in this collection, including "A Tourist at Ellis Island", "Maiden Name", and "To my Imaginary Siblings."

Married love constitutes a second major theme of these poems, as there are works celebrating both the 48th and the 50th wedding anniversaries. In the latter poem "50 years" Pastan reflects on her own mortality and that of her husband. In the earlier poem, "A Perilous Safety: Anniversary Letter, the poet reflects on the slow, steady nature of her happily married life:

"And so I must/learn continually,/or we both must learn,or/we both are learning still/that passion is more/than a conflagration.
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Why Linda Pastan is not better known in the Poetry world is a mystery too deep for me. While other, well known masters of obfuscation are lionized, this long time poet's quiet, affecting work slips by without notice.
It shouldn't be. Pastan brings what is best and human to her work-- a canny eye toward human nature, an ability to see the significance in small matters, a feel for the striking image. Her language is delicious and tangy, her observations both sweet and tart.
This is a short book of recent work. She is, indeed, the Queen of the rainy country of the human heart. Highly recommended.
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Linda Pastan's poems are accessible and thought-provoking and best of all,universal. It is the ordinary that becomes extraordinary, and sometime unforgettable in these poems. Keep the volume on your night stand, for some reflection before retiring.
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Wonderful poetry! Linda Pastan writes with skill, sensitivity, and a simplicity of style that is not simplistic but subtle. One of my favorite poets.
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Linda Pastan does it again.... gathers us in to evereyday experiences and emotions. In reading her life, we find ours.
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