OVERRIDE

Jersey Rain

Poems

Robert Pinsky

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Cathartic, refreshing new work by the American favorite

Tiptoe on the globe. Gazing
nowhere in particular, the slender
Thunderer surrounded by thunder,

Fire zigzag in his grasp, labeled "Spirit
Of Communication"---unhistorical,
Pure, the merciless messenger.

--from "A Phonebook Cover Hermes of the Nineteen-forties"

Innovative, engaging poems from a leading American poet.

Stone wheel that sharpens the blade that mows the grain,Wheel of the sunflower turning, wheel that turnsThe spiral press that squeezes the oil expressedFrom shale or olives. Particles that turn mudOn the potter's wheel that spins to form the vesselThat holds the oil that drips to cool the blade.--from "Biography"Jersey Rain takes up a central American subject: the emotional power of inventions, devices, and homemade imaginings -- from the alphabet and the lyre through the steel drum and piano to the record player, digital computer, and television. Formally innovative and highly readable poems like "ABC," "Ode to Meaning," "To Television," and "The Green Piano" meditate a life guided by the quick, artful tinkerer-god Hermes: deity of music and deception, escort of the dead, inventor of instruments, brilliant messenger, and trickster of heaven.

Tiptoe on the globe.
Gazing
nowhere in particular, the slender
Thunderer surrounded by thunder,

Fire zigzag in his grasp, labeled "Spirit
Of Communication"---unhistorical,
Pure, the merciless messenger.

--from "A Phonebook Cover Hermes of the Nineteen-forties"

Jersey Rain -- at once complex and aboveboard -- marks a new, strong, lyrical stage of Robert Pinsky's work. Assembled here are poems -- some of the finest of his career -- that together compose a sweeping and embattled meditation on the themes of a life guided by Hermes: deity of music and deception, escort of the dead, inventor of instruments, brilliant messenger and trickster of heaven.

REVIEWS

Praise for Jersey Rain

"Poise and intellect do not preclude passion . . . in this ravishing and unusually revealing collection. . . . Life changes shape and intent in Pinsky's poems, like the gods and goddesses of old, and his chronicling of its metamorphoses is grace incarnate."--Booklist

"With lavish technical gifts, a discriminating civic intelligence, and an impish relish for what goes against the solemnities of a lot of contemporary verse, Pinsky has given us one of the outstanding bodies of work in English-language poetry."--Justin Quinn, The Boston Book Review

"The poetic mode of Jersey Rain is reflective, full of pathos for the human condition, and rich in its emotional scope. . . . Pinsky's poems remind us that . . . poetry is a tool for living."--David Clippinger, Harvard Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robert Pinsky

  • Robert Pinsky, United States Poet Laureate 1997-2000, has received the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He is poetry editor at Slate and teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.
  • Robert Pinsky Juliet van Otteren
    Robert Pinsky
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Available Formats and Book Details

Jersey Rain

Poems

Robert Pinsky

  • Trade Paperback

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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