Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Gulf Music

Gulf Music


Robert Pinsky

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned
For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

—from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.


Praise for Gulf Music

"Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of “Gulf Music” are among the best examples we have of poetry’s ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation."—The New York Times

"The success of poems like “Poem With Lines in Any Order” and “Poem of Disconnected Parts,” both from Gulf Music, hinges on their ability to strip away and deliberately obfuscate narrative in a manner that feels engaging and pleasurable, rather than contrived."—The Nation

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Creator and director of the Favorite Poem Project and poetry editor at Slate, he also teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

Robert Pinsky

Juliet van Otteren

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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