- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
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.
Selected Poems Paperback – Bargain Price, August 8, 1996
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
(Booklist - Ray Olson )
James Tate's Selected Poems seems more a career move than a purposeful publication. Tate's but in his 40's, and it's doubtful that his earlier books require or benefit from being culled for a selected edition. Nine of the poet's earlier collections remain inprint and available from university and independent publishers. While Tate's a solid and most productive poet, the necessities of luminous brilliance or the inaccessibility of earlier books that could justify Selected Poems at this time, is lacking. Books of this sort are an ironic mix of bulk and abbreviation, and unless one is genuinely familiar with a writer's work, "selecteds" make for erratic, disharmonious reading. Earlier volumes - and in Tate's case there are a number of good ones - are gleaned by poet or editor with certain poems retained and others omitted. Why such disregard for the books' merits and coherences? Why such disregard for the presumed essentialness of those available books of poetry? Tate's Selected Poems strikes this reviewer as an artistically careless act that renders healthy, intact books into lifeless, shapeless portions. Here, the cleverness and imagistic wit of the poet's surfaces dominate the poignant and lingering depths found in a memorable collection such as Absences, reissued within the last year. if you want to read James Tate in a rewarding manner pick up the Wesleyan, Yale, Ecco or Carnegie Mellon Press collections that are most readily available. (Independent Publisher )
Top Customer Reviews
The introduction is concise, yet informative, giving some quick context to the life and ideas behind the poems.
Keeping in mind this is a selected works, and not a complete works, think of this as a "best of" edition.
Organized by ideas: * Chicago * Images * Poems of Protest * Love Poems * Lincoln * Anti-War and War Poems * Portraits * African-Americans * Poet of the People * Musings * Poetry Definitions.
By organizing them idealogically, it helps the reader becoming familiar with Sandburg as a primer. You can see his clear cynicism of religion and of religious people, and of his socialistic leanings (he is direct about these thoughts). His "Billy Sunday" is an intriguing look at a man who was just a man, yet spoke about Christ. Though Sandburg was known to be atheistic, it could be argued he had more spiritual thoughts.
You can read his sense of empathy and unity with the common man. Any urban dweller will hum in agreement to so much of his Chicago poems.
Sandburg's sense of rural beauty comes out, as does his pure admiration of Lincoln. Well-said is his recollection of the sinking of the Eastland (a boat which sunk in the Chicago River)... or, rather, his thoughts of how so many people died, and how many might've died.
I could go poem by poem, but the fact remains that Sandburg's style impacts poets today, from the Beats to Maya Angelou, to Gwendolyn Brooks.
I fully recommend this book.
¶ ``I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness. And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men. They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them. And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Des Plaines River and I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.''
¶ ``Under the Harvest Moon, when shimmering silver bathes garden nights, and fragrances loll...
Death the gray mocker comes whispering of what must come.
Life comes also, softly softly, touching you with myriad memories.
That perplexing pair, Death and Life, ask unanswerable questions.''
¶ so: four, perhaps five stars for Sandburg himself; three for this edition.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sandburg was not always a great poet but when he hit the mark he was stunningly good.Published 15 months ago by John Mariani