In his seventieth year, the award-winning poet looks back on what was and accepts what is, in a deeply moving and beautiful sequence about what sustains him.Beginning with "My Friends Don't Get Buried," the lament of a delinquent mourner as his friends have begun to die, and ending with the plaintive note to self "don't write elegies/anymore," Edward Hirsch takes us backward through the decades in these memory poems of startling immediacy. He recalls the black dress a lover wore when he couldn't yet know the tragedy of her burning spirit; the radiance of an autumn day in Detroit when his students smoked outside, passionately discussing Shelley; the day he got off late from a railyard shift and missed an antiwar demonstration. There are direct and indirect elegies to lost contemporaries like Mark Strand, William Meredith, and, most especially, his longtime compatriot Philip Levine, whom he honors in several poems about daily work in the late midcentury Midwest. As the poet ages and begins to lose his peripheral vision, the world is "stranger by night," but these elegant, heart-stirring poems shed light on a lifetime that inevitably contains both sorrow and joy.
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Stranger by Night Review
- January 1, 1970ZachNice little poems, particularly the ones reflecting on how to keep living when many of your friends are passed. Ive yet to learn that feeling but suspect that Hirsch captured something essential about it. Would particularly recommend this collection for people who usually get turned off by poetry; its got an unassuming breeziness to it. Nice little poems, particularly the ones reflecting on how to keep living when many of your friends are passed. I’ve yet to learn that feeling but suspect that Hirsch captured something essential about it. Would particularly recommend this collection for people who usually get turned off by poetry; it’s got an unassuming breeziness to it.more
- January 1, 1970LeonardI love these poems by Hirsch. They're like little peep holes looking at a small part of an interesting and inquisitive life. Really nice reading and probably good for people who don't usually read poetry.
- January 1, 1970Ace BoggessThis is a fast read, beautiful and poignant. Every poem is proof that you can write from pure nostalgia without being sappy or overly sentimental.
- January 1, 1970JeniferReview to come soon.
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