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Collected Poems by Thom Gunn

Collected Poems (edition 1994)

by Thom Gunn

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194None88,541 (3.93)3
Title:Collected Poems
Authors:Thom Gunn
Info:Faber and Faber (1994), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library, Gay literature
Tags:gay poetry

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Collected Poems by Thom Gunn



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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374524335, Paperback)

Thom Gunn has always known how to refresh his sight. His Collected Poems offers startling and capacious poems that haven't appeared before in book form--poems that make a case that there is no such thing as a typical Thom Gunn poem, such as "At the Barriers" and "Confessions of a Life Artist":
People will forget Shakespeare.
He will lie with George Formby
and me, here where the swine root.
Later, the solar system
will flare up and fall into
space, irretrievably lost.

For the loss, as for the life,
there will be no excuse, there
is no justification.

Gunn's work stands distinct from many of his contemporaries in that he has used form in the service of lyrical, not pathological, intensity (see "Expression"). Always the tragedian, never the tragic figure, he knows that vision requires vigilance. His patient watchfulness has allowed him to assemble a body of lyric poems that compose a condensed social history of the times. He has never backed away from the tough philosophical position put forth in his great early poem "The Annihilation of Nothing": "It is despair that nothing cannot be.... Neither firm nor free, / Purposeless matter hovers in the dark."

Gunn's poems untwist the conundrum of knowing and transform it into wisdom--that which is beyond the self, beyond the mediating circumstance. His is poetry that you can turn to in the dead of night for hard words that do not exclude.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:12 -0400)

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