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Stephen Dunn (1) (1939–2021)

Autor(a) de Different Hours: Poems

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30+ Works 1,212 Membros 8 Críticas

About the Author

Stephen Dunn (1939-2021) was the author of nineteen poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Different Hours. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, American Poetry Review, and many other publications. He was a distinguished professor emeritus at Richard Stockton mostrar mais University and received an Academy Award for Literature, among other honors. mostrar menos
Image credit: Stephen Dunn at the 2012 National Book Festival By Slowking4 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21582358

Obras por Stephen Dunn

Different Hours: Poems (2000) 281 exemplares
New & Selected Poems 1974-1994 (1994) 187 exemplares
Between Angels (1989) 87 exemplares
The Insistence of Beauty: Poems (2004) 83 exemplares
Walking Light (1993) 73 exemplares
Loosestrife: Poems (1996) 63 exemplares
Local Visitations: Poems (2003) 55 exemplares
Here and Now: Poems (2011) 27 exemplares
Lines of Defense: Poems (2014) 22 exemplares
Pagan Virtues: Poems (2019) 15 exemplares

Associated Works

Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (2003) — Contribuidor — 774 exemplares
180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (2005) — Contribuidor — 365 exemplares
The Art of Losing (2010) — Contribuidor — 203 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2006 (2006) — Contribuidor — 190 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2005 (2005) — Contribuidor — 177 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2003 (2003) — Contribuidor — 174 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2007 (2007) — Contribuidor — 166 exemplares
Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (2010) — Contribuidor — 133 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 1993 (1993) — Contribuidor — 129 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 1992 (1992) — Contribuidor — 102 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2012 (2012) — Contribuidor — 84 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2013 (2013) — Contribuidor — 83 exemplares
2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses (2010) — Contribuidor — 39 exemplares
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contribuidor — 32 exemplares
Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (1995) — Contribuidor — 30 exemplares
The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (2017) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares
Antaeus No. 69, Fall 1992 (1992) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I've read a couple of these. Not enough to form a good picture, but I find the language compelling. Bought this for a class and read all the assigned stuff.
wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
I love it when a poet can tell a story. He had me with the first poem, "Tucson," from the opening lines:
A man was dancing with the wrong woman
in the wrong bar, the wrong part of town.

to the middle lines:
I'd forgotten
how fragile the face is, how fists too
are just so many small bones.

to the close:
My friend said nothing's wrong, stay put,
it's a good fighting bar, you won't get hurt
unless you need to get hurt.

Another poem has a dead-on analysis is the Olympic skaters Tonya and Nancy:
One woman has nothing out of place
as she slides into our living rooms.
The other can't control her face.

In a prose poem he captures the high school reunion:
So interesting to see how character can overcome bone structure. Pretty, handsome, cute—how those attributes, those intimidations, once seemed permanent. No need to mark the many ways faces go bad. Or the sadness, for example, of remaining cute.

He writes of a woman with cancer:
we who had seen her truly alive
and then merely alive,
what could we do but revise
our phone book, our hearts,
offer a little toast to what goes on.

or he observes the sexual act:
perhaps the beautiful accident
of her bra commingling with your sock on a bedpost,
and just a stain or two to prove nothing like this
could ever be immaculate, Jesus Christ having come
involuntarily from your lips,

or the transformation of New Jersey:
When it became clear aliens were working here
with their dead-giveaway, perfectly cut Armani suits,
excessive politeness, and those ray guns
disguised as cell phones tucked into their belts,
I decided we had two choices: cocktail party
to befriend them, or massive air strikes...

As a college graduate he searches for a job:
History major? the interviewer said, I think
you might be good at designing brochures.
I was. Which filled me with desire
for almost everything else in the world.

He writes of Glenn Gould phoning Barbra Streisand at 3 a.m., or of Jeanne Moreau calling Glenn Gould. He conducts an autopsy of Alan Ginsberg's dying words. He contemplates the love life of mermaids.

I could go on. When he's good, he's really good.
… (mais)
JoeCottonwood | Apr 1, 2013 |
Stephen Dunn, I love you. Different Hours might be, I suppose, Dunn's most famous volume of poetry, as it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. It's a bit darker and a bit more somber than I expected, clearly written by a man who is aware of his aging self. He primarily looks back on his own life, at the things he did and did not do, and yet he also looks beyond his own existence to the world and its issues. One of the blurbs in the front of this book calls his word "simultaneously haunting and reassuring," which I find to be a very apt description of Dunn and this volume in particular. It's lovely, wry, heartbreaking, and buoyant. It makes me pleased to know that Dunn received the Pulitzer, not necessarily for this work, but just in general so that he could be recognized for being such a strong and necessary voice for the contemporary world.

Below are a few of my favorites from Different Hours,

"Dog Weather"

Earlier, everyone was in knee boots, collars up.
The paper boy's papers came apart
in the wind.

Now, nothing human moving.
Just a black squirrel fidgeting like Bogart
in The Caine Mutiny.

My breath chalks the window,
gives me away to myself.

I like the intelligibility of old songs.
I prefer yesterday.

Cars pass, the asphalt's on its back
smudged with skid. It's potholed
and cracked; it's no damn good.

Anyone out without the excuse of a dog
should be handcuffed
and searched for loneliness.

My hair is thinning.
I feel like tossing the wind a stick.

The promised snow has arrived,
heavy, wet,
I remember the blizzard of...
People I don't want to be
speak like that.

I close my eyes and one
of my many unborn sons
makes a snowball
and lofts it at an unborn friend.

They've sent me an AARP card.
I'm on their list.

I can be discounted now almost anywhere.

"The Reverse Side"

The reverse side also has a reverse side.
-- A Japanese Proverb

It's why when we speak a truth
some of us instantly feel foolish
as if a deck inside us has been shuffled
and there it is --the opposite of what we said.

And perhaps why as we fall in love
we're already falling out of it.

It's why the terrified and the simple
latch onto one story,
just one version of the great mystery.

Image & afterimage, oh even
the open-minded yearn for a fiction
to rein things in--
the snapshot, the lie of a frame.

How do we not go crazy,
we who have found ourselves compelled
to live within the circle, the ellipsis, the word
not yet written.

"A Postmortem Guide"

For my eulogist, in advance

Do not praise me for my exceptional serenity.
Can't you see I've turned away
from the large excitements,
and have accepted all the troubles?

Go down to the old cemetery; you'll see
there's nothing definitive to be said.
The dead once were all kinds--
boundary breakers and scalawags,
martyrs of the flesh, and so many
dumb bunnies of duty, unbearably nice.

I've been a little of each.

And, please, resist the temptation
of speaking about virtue.
The seldom-tempted are too fond
of that word, the small-
spirited, the unburdened.
Know that I've admired in others
only the fraught straining
to be good.

Adam's my man and Eve's not to blame.
He bit in; it made no sense to stop.

Still, for accuracy's sake you might say
I often stopped,
that I rarely went as far as I dreamed.

And since you know my hardships,
understand they're mere bump and setback
against history's horror.
Remind those seated, perhaps weeping,
how obscene it is
for some of us to complain.

Tell them I had second chances.
I knew joy.
I was burned by books early
and kept sidling up to the flame.

Tell them that at the end I had no need
for God, who'd become just a story
I once loved, one of many
with concealments and late-night rescues,
high sentence and pomp. The truth is

I learned to live without hope
as well as I could, almost happily,
in the despoiled and radiant now.

You who are one of them, say that I loved
my companions most of all.
In all sincerity, say that they provided
a better way to be alone.
… (mais)
1 vote
alana_leigh | 2 outras críticas | Jun 16, 2010 |
Prior to reading Everything Else in the World, I had only come across Stephen Dunn poems by chance. An anthology here, a poets.org search there. Finally, after discovering the poem "The Kiss," I knew it was time to take a deeper look at this particular poet and so I bought Dunn's fourteenth collection of poems, which happens to contain the one that pushed me over the edge.

With only a few poems to form an opinion, I was not quite expecting what I found here in this collection. It all feels distinctly similar to Billy Collins, though Dunn seems to make more of what it means to be an adult in today's world. Playful at times, but always incredibly attentive to subtle shifts of thought and understanding. There's honesty and precision, coupled with a deep emotion and need to communicate more than just a field of vision. Dunn seems more interested in the people that inhabit the world and how they shape it as opposed to the world as it exists apart from them (perhaps noting that there really is no such world any longer). Indeed, more time seems spent in a mental world than a physical one, though one is overlaid on the other.

Having now spent more time with Dunn's poetry, I can say with absolute certainty that I'll be seeking out even more of it. To give you a taste, here are some of my favorites, including the poem that brought me here and the one that lends its name to the collection:

"Everything Else in the World"

Too young to take pleasure
from those privileged glimpses
we're sometimes given after failure,
or to see the hidden opportunity
in now getting what we want,
each day I subwayed into Manhattan

in my new, blue serge suit,
looking for work. College, I thought,
had whitened my collar, set me up,
but I'd majored in history.
What did I know about the world?

At interviews, if asked about the world,
I might have responded--citing Carlyle--
Great men make it go, I want to be one of those.
But they wanted someone entry-level,
pleased for a while to be small.

Others got the jobs;
no doubt, later in the day, the girls.
At Horn & Hardarts, for solace
at lunchtime, I'd make a sandwich emerge
from its cell of pristine glass.
It took just a nickel and a dime.

Nickels and dimes could make
a middleman disappear, easy as that,
no big deal, a life or two
destroyed, others improved.
But I wasn't afraid of capitalism.
All I wanted was a job like a book
so good I'd be finishing it
for the rest of my life.

Had my education failed me?
I felt a hankering for the sublime,
its dangerous subversions
of the daily grind.
Oh I took a dull, well-paying job.
History major? the interviewer said, I think
you might be good at designing brochures.

I was. Which filled me with desire
for almost everything else in the world.

"You'd Be Right"

He often needed two women. Just one--
how unfair to expect from her so much!
Intelligence before and after sex,
a certain naughtiness during,
gifts of companionship and solitude.
But he liked the day-to-day of marriage
and its important unimportances,
quiet moments made livable
by the occasional promise of a fiesta.
And though he knew it wasn't enough
for her either, and always assumed
she had similar thoughts, if not secrets,
nevertheless you may be thinking cad,

maybe even monster, you who've been happy,
or differently unhappy, or obeyed all your life
some good rule. And you'd be right
if you guessed his wife's eventual coolness,
her turning away, and, when he didn't leave,
the slow rise of the other woman's disappointment,
which would turn to anger, then to sadness.
You'd be right, but can you imagine what joys
accrue to the needy over a lifetime of seeking love?
Can you say you're not envious, or that you're sure
it wasn't worth what he risked and lost?

"Cut and Break"

Each morning the sullen but excellent masons
arrived at six to cut and lay stone
for the riding walls of our walkway.
Hung over, they worked deliberately, didn't care
that anyone might be sleeping or disturbed.
We learned not to speak to them before noon.

It was western Maryland; for me a new home,
new love, at once connected and removed.
Guns and Jesus rhymed on many a pickup.
The local newspaper ransacked
the Bible to edify and guide. Democracy:
how hard to like it every hour of the day.

Meanwhile, when the stonemasons spoke
they cursed. When they were silent
they were making noise. At 6 a.m. I could think
of a few freedoms I wished to curtail.
But of course they worked with what wouldn't
easily yield. They had to cut and break

before they could make anything whole.
I should have been all sympathy,
I who'd recently torn apart a marriage,
discovered what was and wasn't there.
In a few weeks the walkway was finished.
They were out of my life, gone.

Sometime solid remained, and the mountains
seemed to collect around us,
seemed even to redefine the sky,
but not for long. In this foreignness
I recognized an elsewhere
I carried with me, no one's fault.

Yet my love had a way of finding me
wherever I was. And soon I'd meet a man
whose decline in tennis matched mine,
and another I knew would be a friend
after I saw the stunning useless art he made
out of metal, discarded things.

"The Kiss"

She pressed her lips to mind.
--a typo

How many years I must have yearned
for someone's lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she's missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek's ear,
speaking sense. It's the Good,

defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.
… (mais)
alana_leigh | Jun 15, 2010 |



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