Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014 by Linda GregersonProdigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014 by Linda Gregerson

Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014

byLinda Gregerson

Paperback | September 1, 2015

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Ten new poems introduce Prodigal, followed by fifty poems, culled from Gregerson's five collections, that range broadly&nbspin subject from class in America to our world's ravaged environment to the wonders of parenthood to&nbspthe intersection of science and art to the passion of the Roman gods, and beyond. This selection reinforces Gregerson's standing as "one of poetry's mavens . . . whose poetics seek truth through the precise apprehension of the beautiful while never denying the importance of rationality" ( Chicago Tribune ).
A brilliant stylist,&nbspknown for her formal experiments as well as&nbspher perfected lines, Gregerson is a poet of great vision. Here, the growth of her art and the breadth of her interests offer a snapshot of a major poet's intellect in the midst of her career.
LINDA GREGERSON's honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, four Pushcart Prizes, a Kingsley Tufts Award, and the selection of Magnetic North as a National Book Award finalist. Gregerson is a professor at the University of Michigan. Her poetry appears in the Atlantic, The   New Yorker,  Poetry, the Yale Review, and many oth...
Title:Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.66 inPublished:September 1, 2015Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544301676

ISBN - 13:9780544301672

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Read from the Book

Sostenuto   Night. Or what            they have of it at altitude like this, and filtered    air, what was   in my lungs just an hour ago is now       in yours,          there’s only so much air to go      around. They’re making more people, my father would say,         but nobody’s making more land.             When my daughters were little and played in their bath,         they invented a game whose logic    largely escaped me —           something to do with the               disposition of bubbles and plastic ducks — until    I asked them what they called it. They         were two and four. The game was Oil Spill.    Keeping the ducks alive, I think,            was what you were supposed to             contrive, as long    as you could make it last. Up here      in borrowed air, in borrowed bits of heat, in costly          cubic feet of steerage we’re       a long      held note, as when the choir would seem to be more       than human breath could manage. In               the third age, says the story, they    divided up the earth. And that was when    the goddess turned away from them.        from De Arte Honeste Amandi How Love, When It Has Been Acquired, May Be Kept    That was when the war was on, the one we felt good to hate, so of course I thought he’d come from there. It was June. The light grown long again. She’d roll his chair to the window   and back. But no, you said, it was love. They were getting it wrong. A leg. A leg. An arm to the elbow. Like the man who burned his daughter to get   good winds. The sea for days had been flat as the sky. He’d walk while the light went down and could only tell the water from the air by the drag below his knees. So this is what it’s like   to have no body. A perfect benevolent temperature. The wheels of the chariots grind in the hulls of the ships. He lay so still he honeycombed, may he be safe, may we be sound. The time   they bargained for came piece by piece.      Indications That One’s Love Has Returned  There’s an illness, of the sort that’s named for a man who first imagines that disparate threads might be threads on a loom, that is called his syndrome, and frightens the weaver, who cannot unravel by night   what she sees in the day. Their table had the sun for hours. The piazza was white. They talked about physicians at home, whose stories were longer, if less in accord. And about the morning months ago   when the color first spread beneath her eyes. From cheekbone to cheekbone, the smallest vessels had burst in a pattern called butterfly, they’d named that too, as the tour guides name rocks till you can’t see the          sandstone plain   anymore, but Witch’s Cauldron and Hornet’s Nest. The wings went away. The course of the river that carved          the rock is air now, and baffles intent. She’d been used to a different notion of course, the kind you might follow for love of the thing   or of knowledge, the wings in the glass.  

Editorial Reviews

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice The next time someone asks me what advantage poetry holds over prose, I will point to these lines, which move beyond the description of pain to its tangible embodiment? Gregerson attains what few contemporary poets even seek: a plausible 'we,' a basis for speaking across the lines of individual circumstance and social identity."-Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker "Dizzyingly ambitious and fiercely beautiful? The pleasures of such a retrospective are the pleasures of long acquaintance, and with Gregerson, those pleasures are both sensual and intellectual. The poems' gorgeousness of sound and image is checked by a ferocious, sometimes acerbic, always morally demanding intelligence, at once plangent and analytic."-The Atlantic Online " Prodigal is the testament of an American stoic, with one foot in the Dust Bowl of her ancestors and the other firmly planted in modern theories of biological determinism? Amazing, Prodigal shows us, to think what we've amounted to, considering where we're from."-Srikanth Reddy, New York Times Book Review "Prodigal by Linda Gregerson, tenderly considers a wide range of topics: personal, political, literary. The speaker's clear vision and vast understanding are balanced by deep empathy. The 10 new poems draw from Roman mythology, pairing ancient wisdom with modern situations and concerns. That duality grounds the writing and provides wry insights into the desires of mortals, as in the second poem, 'The Wrath of Juno,' in which the goddess reflects on women's longing for children and offhandedly mentionsin vitro fertilization. The selected poems, from five earlier collections, create their own mythologies as Gregerson develops a style as distinctive for its jagged line lengths as for its compelling logic. Many poems feature deeply moving narratives about family traumas, loss and illness, the frailties of the body, and the longing for a divine presence. Some of the most affecting work focuses on children who've been abused by loved ones or who abuse themselves. In the title poem, the speaker describes a teenager whose skin 'was almost otherworldly, touch/ so silken it seemed another kind/ of sight.' Yet 'she takes/ her scissors to that perfect page.'" -Washington Post "Gregerson's syntax will make your heart stop. These are radiant poems about all manner of chance and misfortune. Gregerson makes us realize all the suffering adjacent to us in daily life."- The New Yorker, "Twelve Books of Poems, About Poems, or Tangentially Related to Poems from 2015" "A truly interdisciplinary thinker, Gregerson reaches through literature, art, and the everyday to find territory in which the confounding conditions of our age still give rise to understanding and empathy."- Publishers Weekly "The breadth of poetic creativity in National Book Award finalist Gregerson's grand compilation is beautiful in scope, elastic in space, and spectacularly aware and erudite. As she considers Roman gods, the limits of Earth, art, and politics, her use of delicate detail and experimental forms create a vibrant tapestry, while more ethereal subjects and language together coalesce into an introspective pattern of discovery. Ten brilliantly etched new poems followed by a hand-picked collectionof 50 poems from her previous five collections, spanning from Fire in the Conservatory (1982) to The Selvage (2012), make this one of the most important poetry volumes of the season. "- Mark Eleveld, Booklist "