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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
New Selected Poems

New Selected Poems

Thom Gunn; Edited by Clive Wilmer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


A new selection of poems by the celebrated gay poet

Thom Gunn has been described as “one of the most singular and compelling poets in English during the past half-century” (Times Literary Supplement). Gunn was an Elizabethan poet in modern guise, though there’s nothing archaic, quaint, or sepia-toned about his poetry. His method was dispassionate and rigorous, uniquely well suited for making a poetic record of the tumultuous time in which he lived. Gunn’s dozens of brilliantly realized poems about nature, friendship, literature, sexual love, and death are set against the ever-changing backdrop of San Francisco—the druggy, politically charged sixties and the plague years of AIDS in the eighties. Perhaps no contemporary poet was better equipped—by temperament, circumstance, or poetic gift—to engage the subjects of eros and thanatos than Thom Gunn. This New Selected Poems, compiled by his friend Clive Wilmer and accompanied by insightful notes, is the first edition to represent the full arc of Gunn’s inimitable career.

The Wound

The huge wound in my head began to heal

About the beginning of the seventh week.

Its valleys darkened, its villages became still:

For joy I did not move and dared not speak,

Not doctors would cure it,...

Thom Gunn; Edited by Clive Wilmer

Thom Gunn (1929–2004) was educated at Cambridge University and had his first collection of poems, Fighting Terms, published while still an undergraduate. He moved to northern California in 1954 and taught in American universities until his death. His last collection was Boss Cupid (FSG, 2000).

Clive Wilmer is a poet and translator. He lives in Cambridge, England.

image of Thom Gunno
© Ander Gunn

Thom Gunn

Thom Gunn at the Poetry Foundation

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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