Otherwise: New & Selected Poems
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- Sales Rank:444,675
- Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
- Number Of Items:1
- Edition:English Language
- Shipping Weight (lbs):0.8
- Dimensions (in):0.7 x 5.7 x 9.4
- Publication Date:August 1, 1997
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Otherwise collects a lifetime's work by one of contemporary poetry's most cherished talents. Opening with twenty new poems and including generous selections from Jane Kenyon's four previous books—From Room to Room, The Boat of Quiet Hours, Let Evening Come, and Constance—this collection was selected and arranged by Kenyon herself—alongside her husband, the esteemed poet Donald Hall—shortly before her death in April 1995.
This extensive gathering reveals a scrupulously crafted body of work in which poem after poem achieves a rare and somber grace. Light and shade are never far apart in these telling narratives of life and love and work at the poet's rural New Hampshire home. The shadow of depression in Kenyon's verse, which grew much darker and longer at certain intervals, has the force and heft of a spiritual presence—a god, demon, angel. Yet her work emphasizes the constant effort of her imagination to confront and even find redemption in suffering. However quiet or domesticated or subtle in her moods and methods, Kenyon was a poet who sought to discover the extraordinary within the ordinary, and her poems continue to make this discovery. As Hall writes in the afterword to Otherwise, we share "her joy in the body and the creation, in flowers, music, and paintings, in hayfields and a dog."
This collection stands as something of a tribute to Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995 at the age of 48. Otherwise contains 20 new poems plus selected works from her four previous collections. The situations from which her lively writing arise often came from her daily life in and around the New Hampshire farm where she lived with her husband. The simple settings provides fertile ground for her richness of language. "As late as yesterday ice preoccupied the pond--dark, half-melted, waterlogged. Then it sank in the night, one piece, taking winter with it. And afterward everything seems simple and good." Beautiful, gracious poetry.
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