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American Poems: Books: The Turning
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 Home » Books » The Turning

The Turning

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Buy New: $22.00
  • as of 9/16/2014 12:15 EDT details
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  • Seller:BOOKENIT
  • Sales Rank:3,436,971
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:1 ed
  • Pages:190
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):1.3
  • Dimensions (in):8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9
  • Publication Date:December 2003
  • ISBN:1559212020
  • EAN:9781559212021
  • ASIN:1559212020
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
The poems in this collection, written over a 40-year period, are elegant, accessible, and wonderfully musical -- lyrics that interweave images from the physical world with ruminations on grief, memory, friendship, and transformation.
Amazon.com Review
The poet Hilda Morley died at the age of 81 just as her latest (and now last) book, The Turning, was about to appear. Along with her husband, composer Stefan Wolpe, she was at Black Mountain College in the 1950s, where she got to know the poets who would become her intimates--especially Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov. Like Amy Clampitt, she was well into middle-age before her first major book, To Hold in My Hand: Selected Poems, appeared in 1983.

The Turning contains poems written over the course of 40 years, but most of them are new to this reader. The tone is decidedly elegiac. Almost every poem is a tissue of remembrances, shot through with an abundance of people (mainly poets and artists) and places (mostly European, as well as American). Morley identifies with Rilke's restlessness, never abandoning the myth of the journey, and is never without hope of adventure, even in the most commonplace, mundane context.

While Morley adheres to the stress on the syllable prescribed by her fellow Black Mountaineer Charles Olson, she always remains a highly accessible poet. Her poems often begin with a stated thing, a physical object--say, a postcard. But then she will move far from her putative subject, using it instead as a frame for a series of interlacing, interloping lyrical digressions. At the same time, Morley is always a preeminent musician. The moment you "hear" one of her poems on the page, you can't help but note the rightness of pitch and tone. Here, for example, are a few lines from "For Carrington":

Just now at Montauk Point, I saw kites shaped like birds
flying over the sand & thought of you, Carrington,
how you once made a "lovely owl-kite" at your house in
Ham Spray:
What can this be?
Cried the rook in the tree
An owl in broad light
or is it a kite?
Hilda Morley envisions a reciprocity with the world. In The Turning, she writes in gratitude for the privilege of having lived, of having been a guest at this banquet. --Mark Rudman

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