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The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and…
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The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing

by Kevin Young (Editor)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this book through early reviewers, and I have to admit even now a year later I've barely gotten through the beginning. Which is NOT to say that the poems are uninteresting, merely that... it's heavy stuff. I can imagine myself chipping slowly away at this book for years, when it feels like I need it.

One thing I do love about it is that there is such variation in the poems included, so you can sample a wide array of perspectives. And find something that really clicks with you. They are also helpfully organized by where you might find yourself in the grieving process.
  undertheteacup | Jun 24, 2011 |
I found myself turning to poetry for solace when my 2 1/2 year old daughter died five years ago - this is the book I was looking for then. It earned a treasured place on my bookshelf as soon as I looked through the table of contents. Thank you Kevin Young, well done! ( )
2 vote fahyhallowell | Sep 27, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was smitten with this collection as soon as I opened it. Sure, there were some obvious choices-Frost's "Nothing God Can Stay" will always make me think of The Outsiders-but there were also many new & unexpected pleasures-Lucille Clifton's "oh antic god", Philip Larkin's "Trees"-to even out the mix. This anthology had me at the opening line of Kevin Young's introduction: "I have begun to believe in, & even to preach, a poetry of necessity." I like to think of poetry as necessary, & I think it's time there was an anthology dedicated to losing in all its forms & stages. Like William Faulkner, "Between grief & nothing, I will take grief." I think this book will be one I turn to in times of turmoil to find, if not peace, then shelter in these words & images. ( )
1 vote shalulah | Jun 12, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
One of the better anthologies I've ever read, likely due to both the evocative nature of poetry on death & grieving, and the meticulous research and selection done by Kevin Young. Old classics sit side-by-side with modern stunners, formal sits alongside the more experimental, high diction next to the everyday vernacular, and never is there a jarring transition. While not all of the poems spoke to me (and when does this ever happen in an anthology?) there was nary a true dud in the bunch. There is so much here to sit with and think on and wrap around yourself. My only caveat is that so much reading of death can be overwhelming; I found myself having to take breaks, not just to let the better poems sink into me, but to handle the exquisitely heavy air of grief. ( )
1 vote plenilune | Jun 9, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Kevin Young has done a fine job of arranging these poems about grief into five stages of mourning. The quality of the poems in this anthology varies widely, but this collection is heavily weighted toward twentieth & twenty-first century poetry with only a few poems from previous eras. That means, of course, that most of these poems have not yet stood the test of time and I suspect that some will not. That said, I was introduced to a few previously unfamiliar poets that I expect to return to. ( )
  dougstephens | May 31, 2010 |
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Epigraph
O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved? And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone? - Walt Whitman
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for my father
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I have begun to believe in, and even to preach, a poetry of necessity.
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Poems about the various stages of grief, with 150 selections from a variety of 20th-21st century poets.

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