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New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015 by Jay…

New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

by Jay Parini

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Parini's work is evocative. You'll see the sky, smell the air of his Pennsylvania coal country; in that way his work is incredibly effective. It reminds me in tone of Mary Oliver's work, which seems a bit cold to me, or in tone and content of Thomas Wolfe's novels, which seem solipsistic and overly masculine, and so in that way his work doesn't succeed for me. So in a general sense, he's an amazing poet, his work just doesn't appeal to my aesthetic. I've used "me" three times and "my"once here, so please note that this opinion is shamefully subjective (shameful in that he's so good I should be giving him 4 or 5 stars but I just can't) so unless you share my ("my" again!) literary tastes, ignore this review. And get off my lawn!
  susanbooks | Mar 11, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Parini is a well esteemed writer and poet. To my taste his poetry is of a different time period. His language lacks a contemporary feel and his form is out of step with the times. ( )
  dianeham | Dec 5, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Years ago, I feel in love with the poetry of Jay Parini when I read his book, Anthracite Country, a book that details Pennsylvania's coal region through personal observations, stories, and lyrical verse. Shamefully, I have to admit that I have not kept up on Parini's work, so I jumped on my chance to read this collected volume of poetry, in order to see what I have been missing.

This book starts out with new poems that have not appeared in any volume of published poetry. Some of these poems reflect the poet's current home in the Green Mountains while others look back to his childhood in eastern Pennsylvania. The collection than goes backwards in time, with different poems from different past published collections included. Finally, the book ends with poems from Anthracite Country.

I like all of Parini's work, but found myself revisiting his poems about his homestate again and again. He details the intersections between nature and the blue collar world of coal miners with a sympathetic and keen eye. There are always dangers of nostalgia when writing about the past, but his poems are simple stories that don't judge or really reminisce. Instead, they are just wonderful stories that are displayed to the reader through rich imagery and metaphor.

A great collection for any poetry reader's bookshelf! ( )
  karenweyant | Jun 23, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Parini’s poetry takes cues from Emerson, Frost and Reid but with his personal narrative dancing throughout the book. His New and Collected Poems collection is a delicious greatest hits album with radio-friendly new singles. Parini does not lose himself in abstraction, but invites his reader to listen as he subtly tackles a variety of personal, political, and environmental subjects. He, however, does not restrict his topics to the big three. Do not expect this book to change your life. Expect a pleasant and honest voyage, sometimes moving. I could tell you my favorites, but the great thing about the book is that you will probably find your own favorites. So… bon appétit. ( )
  jamesgwld | May 26, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had never read any poetry by Jay Parini and so I opened the book randomly and began reading whichever poem I happened to light on. It was a good way to get to know this poet. I liked his earlier work and his middle work and his latest work. They did differ with age as is to be expected and the book is arranged chronologically from newest to oldest which isn't always the case with these types of collections. I don't usually read books of poetry from front to back anyway so this arrangement led me to explore the book even more haphazardly than normal for a collection. Overall a very fine book of poetry. ( )
  Suelizbeth | May 7, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807030139, Hardcover)

A new book, the first in over a decade, from acclaimed poet Jay Parini

This volume revolves around his deep connection to nature and underlines his concerns about the impacts of pollution and climate change. In these beautiful, haunting poems, Parini writes about the landscapes of mining country, of the railroads of Pennsylvania, of farm country, of worlds lost and families dispersed. He explores faith and how it is tested. He limns the deepest crevices of the human heart and soul. He surprises and moves us.

In addition to a complete volume’s worth of new work, called West Mountain Epilogue, offering more than fifty poems never before published in any form, Parini has collected the very best work from his previous four volumes, the poems, as he tells us, “written in the past forty years that I wish to stand by.’

Lavishly and deservingly praised over the decades for his work as an essayist, critic, biographer, novelist, and, especially, poet, Parini shines as never before in this generous volume.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 07 Mar 2016 20:26:43 -0500)

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