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The poems in Robert Hass’s new collection—his first to appear in a decade—are grounded in the beauty and energy of the physical world, and in the bafflement of the present moment in American culture. This work is breathtakingly immediate, stylistically varied, redemptive, and wise.
His familiar landscapes are here—San Francisco, the Northern California coast, the Sierra high country—in addition to some of his oft-explored themes: art; the natural world; the nature of desire; the violence of history; the power and limits of language; and, as in his other books, domestic life and the conversation between men and women. New themes emerge as well, perhaps: the essence of memory and of time.
The works here look at paintings, at Gerhard Richter as well as Vermeer, and pay tribute to his particular literary masters,…[more]
Robert Hass demonstrates once again the unmistakable intelligence and original voice that have won him both literary acclaim and the affection of a broad general readership. Here Hass extends and deepens his ongoing explorations of nature and human history, solitude, and the bonds of children, parents, and lovers. Here his passion for apprehending experience with language—for creating experience with language—finds supple form in poems that embrace all that is alive and full of joy. Sun Under Wood is the most impressive collection yet from one of our most accomplished poets.
U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass considers some of the twentieth century poets who bring him pleasure: Robert Lowell, James Wright, Tomas Transtromer, Joseph Brodsky, Yvor Winters, Robert Creeley, James McMichael, Czeslaw Milosz, and others, in this, his first collection of essays.
The Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz began his remarkable A Treatise on Poetry in the winter of 1955 and finished it in the spring of 1956. It was published originally in parts in the Polish émigré journal Kultura. Now it is available in English for the first time in this expert translation by the award-winning American poet Robert Hass.
A Treatise on Poetry is a great poem about some of the most terrible events in the twentieth century. Divided into four sections, the poem begins at the end of the nineteenth century as a comedy of manners and moves with a devastating momentum through World War I to the horror of World War II. Then it takes on directly and plainly the philosophical abyss into which the European cultures plunged.
“Author’s Notes” on the poem appear at the end of the volume. A stunning literary composition, these notes stand…[more]