It spends itself regardless into the ocean. It stains and scours and makes things dark or bright: Sweat of the moon, a shroud of benediction, The chilly liquefaction of day to night,
The Jersey rain, my rain, soaks all as one: It smites Metuchen, Rahway, Saddle River, Fair Haven, Newark, Little Silver, Bayonne. I feel it churning even in fair weather
To craze distinction, dry the same as wet. --from "Jersey Rain"
Jersey Rain--at once masterly and intimate--marks a fresh, lyrical stage of Robert Pinsky's work. Poems like "Samurai Song," "ABC," "Ode to Meaning," "To Television," and "The Green Piano" have already attracted a wide readership. Now, assembled in this book, they become part of a larger, fugue-like meditation on the themes of a life guided by Hermes: deity of music and deception, escort of the dead, inventor of instruments, the brilliant messenger and trickster of heaven.