Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Singing

The Singing

Poems

C. K. Williams

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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National Book Awards Winner

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New work from the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Repair

. . . Reality has put itself so solidly before me
there's little need for mystery . . . Except for us, for how we take the world
to us, and make it more, more than we are, more even than itself.
--from "The World"

In his first volume since Repair, C. K. Williams treats the characteristic subjects of a poet's maturity--the loss of friends, the love of grandchildren, the receding memories of childhood, the baffling illogic of current events--with an intensity and drive that recall not only his recent work but also his early books, published forty years ago. He gazes at a Rembrandt self-portrait, and from it fashions a self-portrait of his own. He ponders an "anatomical effigy" at the Museum of Mankind, and in so doing "dissects" our common humanity. Stoking a fire at a house in the country, he recalls a friend who was burned horribly in war, and then turns, with eloquence and authority, to contemporary life during wartime, asking "how those with power over us can effect these things, by what cynical reasoning do they pardon themselves." The Singing is a direct and resonant book: touching, searching, heartfelt, permanent.

The Singing is the winner of the 2003 National Book Award for Poetry.

National Book Awards Winner

Reviews

Praise for The Singing

“The poems in C.K. Williams' stunning new collection, The Singing, have a new density and clarity. They are clear about complex things, which one sees as slightly magnified, like pebbles on the bed of a very clear stream. Williams now realizes more than ever that 'your truths will seek you, though you still/must construct and comprehend them.' He succeeds at this task with a flair that tempers the regret that is the recurring note in these poems, and transforms it into something like joy.” —John Ashbery

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams (1936–2015) published twenty-two books of poetry including, Flesh and Blood, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Repair, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; and The Singing, winner of the National Book Award. Williams was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2005. He wrote a critical study, On Whitman; a memoir, Misgivings; and two books of essays, Poetry and Consciousness and In Time: Poets, Poems, and the Rest.

C. K. Williams

Catherine Mauger

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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