Wondering what to give someone for the holidays? If you”ve still get a few people left on your holiday shopping list, head down to the nearest bookstore and fill their stocking with beautiful words. Here”s a quick selection of some of the best new books of poetry from the past year to help you decide.
Thirst (Mary Oliver)
Mary Oliver”s latest book of poetry, Thirst has been hailed as a work of faith and an affirmation of love. At 71, the poet takes a long, loving look at the world around her, and reaffirms the good and the beautiful, while acknowledging that there is darkness as well. This is a powerful book for anyone who loves Oliver”s poetry, and a wonderful introduction to poems of strength, faith and nature.
Strong Is Your Hold (Galway Kinnell)
Kinnell”s first new collection of poetry in over a decade was long-awaited and met with critical praise. The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet writes luminous poetry that invites readers to view everyday objects with a poet”s vision. This book contains the entirety of Kinnell”s requiem for the Twin Towers, first published in the New Yorker, “When the Towers Fell”. It includes a CD of the poet reading his own works, with introductions and little stories about each piece as he reads. A truly thoughtful gift for anyone who loves poetry.
I Heard God Laughing (Hafiz, translated by Ladinsky)
Daniel Ladinsky”s translations have helped popularize the poetry of traditional Persian poet Hafiz in the English speaking world. Hafiz” poetry captures the essence of love in all its forms, becoming a journey in which the only constant is growth and transformation.
How to Read Poetry (Terry Eagleton)
For the student of poetry, Eagleton”s book is one of the most accessible discussions on how to read poetry with an ear to more than just “what it says”. Using examples taken from poetry throughout history, he carefully dissects each to show how the mechanics of poetry add to the meaning and feeling of a poem in a way that few others writers can approach.
Collected Poems: 1947-1997 (Allen Ginsberg)
Speaking of long-awaited… this book is an absolute must for any fan of Beat poetry. It”s the first complete collection of Ginsberg”s work. It includes the full text of the 1980 Collected Poems, and adds White Shroud (1986), Cosmopolitan Greetings (1994) and Death and Fame: Last Poems (2000)
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