The mind has cliffs of fall Poems at the extremes of feeling

Book - 2019

A bold new anthology of poems that contend with the most extreme human emotions, from former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 808.819353/Mind Checked In
New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company [2019]
First edition
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xxii, 225 pages ; 25 cm
Review by Booklist Reviews

Former U.S. poet laureate Pinsky has created a most sophisticated break-up mixtape in this anthology, satisfying a craving for both strong emotion and literary substance. The book is divided into six sections, The Sleep of Reason, Grief, Love and Rage, Despair, Guilt, Shame, Blame, and Manic Laughter, and spans the history of poetry from the ancients to the present. Each poem has an introduction consisting of at most a couple of sentences in a spirit more of invitation than explanation, Pinsky says. The poems include the expected (the Hopkins poem that supplies the anthology's title, Hayden's Those Winter Sundays, lots of Dickinson) and some less frequently seen in general-interest anthologies. The Elizabethan Fulke Greville appears in all but one section. The book expands beyond interpersonal loss to include poems focused on war and the environment, certainly a contemporary cliffs of fall. As Pinsky's introduction explains, the extremes of emotion are themselves capacious, various, and inclusive, and the poems chosen allow the reader to find and indulge whichever flavor of exquisite agony the moment requires. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A former US Poet Laureate presents more than 130 poems, arranged chronologically and including work from Shakespeare, Dante, Terrance Hayes and Tracy K. Smith, that explore a wide range of emotions, including despair, mania, rage, guilt, derangement and fantasy.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The Mind Has Cliffs of FallWith seven illuminating chapters and succinct headnotes for each poem, Pinsky leads us through the book’s sweeping historical range. Each chapter, with contents chronologically presented from Shakespeare to Terrance Hayes, Dante to Patricia Lockwood, shows the persistence and variation in our states of mind. “The Sleep of Reason” explores sanity and the imagination, moving from William Cowper’s “Lines Written During a Time of Insanity” to Nicole Sealey’s “a violence.” “Grief” includes Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs last in the Door-yard Bloom’d” and Marie Howe’s “What the Living Do,” and “Manic Laughter” highlights both Lewis Carroll and Martín Espada. Each poem reveals something new about the vastness of human emotion; taken together they offer a sweeping ode to the power of poetry.New York TimesThe Mind Has Cliffs of Fall

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A bold new anthology of poems that contend with the most extreme human emotions, from former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.