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Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt

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ISBN-10: 0375700641

ISBN-13: 9780375700644

Edition: N/A

Authors: Amy Clampitt

List price: $25.95
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When Amy Clampitt's first book of poems, The Kingfisher, was published in January 1983, the response was jubilant. The poet was sixty-three years old, and there had been no debut like hers in recent memory. "A dance of language," said May Swenson. "A genius for places," wrote J. D. McClatchy, and the New York Times Book Review said, "With the publication of her brilliant first book, Clampitt immediately merits consideration as one of the most distinguished contemporary poets." She went on to publish four more collections in the next eleven years, the last one, A Silence Opens, appearing in the year she died. Now, for the first time, the five collections are brought together in a single volume, allowing us to experience anew the distinctiveness of Amy Clampitt's voice: the brilliant language--an appealing mix of formal and everyday expression--that poured out with such passion and was shaped in rhythms and patterns entirely her own. Amy Clampitt's themes are the very American ones of place and displacement. She, like her pioneer ancestors, moved frequently, but she wrote with lasting and deep feeling about all sorts of landscapes--the prairies of her Iowa childhood, the fog-wrapped coast of Maine, and places she visited in Europe, from the western isles of Scotland to Italy's lush countryside. She lived most of her adult life in New York City, and many of her best-known poems, such as "Times Square Water Music" and "Manhattan Elegy," are set there. She did not hesitate to take on the larger upheavals of the twentieth century--war, Holocaust, exile--and poems like "The Burning Child" and "Sed de Correr" remind us of the dark nightmare lurking in the interstices of our daily existence. It is impossible to speak of Amy Clampitt's poetry without mentioning her immense, lifelong love of birds and wildflowers, a love that produced some of her most profound images--like the kingfisher's "burnished plunge, the color / of felicity afire," which came "glancing like an arrow / through landscapes of untended memory" to remind her of the uninhabitable sorrow of an affair gone wrong; or the sun underfoot among the sundews, "so dazzling / . . . that, looking, / you start to fall upward." The Collected Poems offers us a chance to consider freshly the breadth of Amy Clampitt's vision and poetic achievement. It is a volume that her many admirers will treasure and that will provide a magnificent introduction for a new generation of readers. With a foreword by Mary Jo Salter
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Book details

List price: $25.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/20/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

Amy Clampitt was born in New Providence, Iowa on June 15, 1920. She graduated from Grinnell College and moved to New York City. To support herself, she worked as a secretary at the Oxford University Press, a reference librarian at the Audubon Society, and a freelance editor. Her first published poem appeared in The New Yorker in 1978. Her first volume of poetry, The Kingfisher, was published in 1983. Her other books include What the Light Was Like, Archaic Figure, Westward, A Silence Opens, and Her Collected Poems. A recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship in 1982, she was also granted the Fellowship Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1984 and the MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She taught at the College of William and Mary, Smith College, and Amherst College She died of cancer on September 10, 1994.

The Cove
Gradual Clearing
The Outer Bar
Sea Mouse
Beach Glass
Marine Surface, Low Overcast
The Sun Underfoot Among the Sundews
Botanical Nomenclature
On the Disadvantages of Central Heating
A Resumption, or Possibly a Remission
A Procession at Candlemas
The Dakota
Times Square Water Music
The Edge of the Hurricane
Amaranth and Moly
The Cormorant in Its Element
The Kingfisher
The Smaller Orchid
A Hairline Fracture
Dancers Exercising
Slow Motion
Sunday Music
Beethoven, Opus III
The Quarry
The Woodlot
The Local Genius
Stacking the Straw
Palm Sunday
Good Friday
Easter Morning
Marginal Employment
Remembering Greece
The Reservoirs of Mount Helicon
Rain at Bellagio
Or Consider Prometheus
The Anniversary
Letters from Jerusalem
The Dahlia Gardens
The Burning Child
A Baroque Sunburst
The August Darks
Low Tide at Schoodic
Bertie Goes Hunting
Cloudberry Summer
Gooseberry Fool
The Spruce Has No Taproot
What the Light Was Like
Black Buttercups
From a Clinic Waiting Room
A Curfew
Urn-Burial and the Butterfly Migration
The Cooling Tower
A New Life
High Culture
The Elgin Marbles
He Dreams of Being Warm
The Isle of Wight
Winchester: The Autumn Equinox
The Reedbeds of the Hackensack
Burial in Cypress Hills
The Godfather Returns to Color TV
Real State
A Scaffold
Vacant Lot with Tumbleweed and Pigeons
Ringing Doorbells
Townhouse Interior with Cat
Homer, A.D. 1982
The Hickory Grove
Losing Track of Language
Written in Water
A Cure at Porlock
The Sacred Hearth Fire
Let the Air Circulate
Archaic Figure
The Olive Groves Thasos
Ano Prinios
Tempe in the Rain
Leaving Yannina
Dodona: Asked of the Oracle
The Nereids of Seriphos
Seriphos Unvisited
Perseus Airborne
Atlas Immobilized
George Eliot Country
Medusa at Broadstairs
Highgate Cemetery
Margaret Fuller, 1847
Rydal Mount
The Odessa Steps
An Anatomy of Migraine
London Inside and Outside
Babel Aboard the Hellas International Express
Venice Revisited
Man Feeding Pigeons
Progress at Building with (Fewer) Pigeons
Midsummer in the Blueberry Barrens
Tidewater Winter
Runes, Blurs, Sap Rising
Continental Drift
The Waterfall
A Hermit Thrush
John Donne in California
Meadowlark Country
Notes on the State of Virginia
Kudzu Dormant
The Field Pansy
Dallas - Fort Worth: Redbud and Mistletoe
Deleted Passage
Seder Night
Mulciber at West Egg
At a Rest Stop in Ohio
Iola, Kansas
A Note from Leyden
Having Lunch ar Brasenose
Blueberrying in August
The Beach Pea
High Noon
A Whippoorwill in the Woods
A Winter Burial
Portola Valley
A Minor Tremor
The Hurricane and Charlotte Mew
Dejection: A Footnote
Easedale Tarn
Vacant Lot with Pokeweed
The Subway Singer
My Cousin Muriel
A Hedge of Rubber Trees
The Halloween Parade
Nothing Stays Put
Brought from Beyond
The Underworld of Dante
Thinking Red
The Horned Rampion
Bayou Afternoon
In Umbria: A Snapshot
At Easterly
Handed Down
The War Memorial
At Muker, Upper Swaledale
Sed de Correr
A Cadenza
A Silence
Index of First Lines
Index of Titles