Orphan Hours is a book of reconciliation, of coming to terms with time in its most personal and memorable manifestations, and of learning the wisdom of what cannot be changed. The urgency of the elegy has been absorbed by an acceptance of the detail, texture, and small moments that constitute and enrich mortality.
from “Lapsed Meadow"
I remember, in Ohio, fields of wastes of nature,
lost pasture, fallow clearings, buckwheat
and fireweed and broken sparrow nests,
especially in the summer, in the fading hilltop sun,
when you could lose yourself by simply lying down.
Who will find you, who will call you home now, at dusk,
with the dry tips of the goldenrod confused
with a little wind, filling in what’s left of the light.
In Old Heart, Stanley Plumly confronts and celebrates mortality in all its rich variety—in the detailed natural world at hand, in the immediacy of loss, and in his own personal encounters. Archetypal, sometimes even allegorical, the material and spiritual levels in these poems speak in one voice and seek the common vision of the empathic imagination. This is Plumly's finest book of poetry—a sustained meditation on "old memory, old worry, old matter from the softest tissue deep."
Whether addressing the deaths of friends and other poets or celebrating the closing of the day and the autumn of the seasons, Against Sunset reveals Stanley Plumly at his most personal and intimate. As much an homage to the rich tradition of the Romantics as it is a meditation on memory itself, these poems live at the edges of disappearances.
From “Against Sunset”
The horizon, halfway disappeared between above and below—
night falls too or does it also rise out of the death-glitter of water?
And if night is the long straight path of the full moon pouring down
on the face of the deep, what makes us wish we could walk there,
like a flat skipped stone?
Charles Baudelaire's 1857 masterwork was scandalous in its day for its portrayals of sex, same-sex love, death, the corrupting and oppressive power of the modern city and lost innocence, Les Fleurs Du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) remains powerful and relevant for our time.
In "Spleen et idéal," Baudelaire dramatizes the erotic cycle of ecstacy and anguish--of sexual and romantic love. "Tableaux Parisiens" condemns the crushing effects of urban planning on a city's soul and praises the city's anti-heroes including the deranged and derelict. "Le Vin" centers on the search for oblivion in drink and drugs. The many kinds of love that lie outside traditional morality is the focus of "Fleurs du Mal" while rebellion is at the heart of "Révolte."
The voice of Baudelaire lives in this masterful translation that includes monotypes by artist, Michael Mazur. "Howard's achievement is such that we can be confident that his Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) will long stand as definitive, a superb guide to France's greatest poet."--The Nation
Four Quartets is a rich composition that expands the spiritual vision introduced in “The Waste Land.” Here, in four linked poems (“Burnt Norton,” “East Coker,” “The Dry Salvages,” and “Little Gidding”), spiritual, philosophical, and personal themes emerge through symbolic allusions and literary and religious references from both Eastern and Western thought. It is the culminating achievement by a man considered the greatest poet of the twentieth century and one of the seminal figures in the evolution of modernism.
Poet, dramatist, critic, and editor, T. S. Eliot was one of the defining figures of twentieth-century poetry. This edition of Collected Poems 1909-1962 includes The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock along with Four Quartets, The Waste Land, and several other poems.
Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.
In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures —told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio dj, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.
Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the Sixties psychedelic revolution, international roving before homeland security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees. Written with the big-hearted comedy and mesmerizing linguistic invention for which he is known, Tibetan Peach Pie is an invitation into the private world of a literary legend.