One lark, one horse Poems

Michael Hofmann, 1957 August 25-

Book - 2019

A new collection of poems by Michael Hofmann -- his first in twenty years Michael Hofmann, renowned as one of our most brilliant critics and translators, is also regarded as among our most respected poets. Hofmann's status -- he is the author of "one of the definitive bodies of work of the last half-century" (The Times Literary Supplement) -- is all the more impressive for his relatively concentrated output. One Lark, One Horse is his fifth collection of poems since his debut in 1983, and his first since Approximately Nowhere in 1999. Tt is also one of the most anticipated gatherings of new work in years. In style, his voice is as unmistakable as ever -- sometimes funny, sometimes caustic; world-facing and yet intimate -- a...nd this collection shows a bright mind burning fiercely over the European and American imaginations. The poet explores where he finds himself, geographically and in life, treating with wit and compassion such universal themes as aging and memory, place, and the difficult existence of the individual in an ever-bigger and more bestial world. One Lark, One Horse is a remarkable assemblage of work that will delight loyal readers and enchant new ones with Hofmann's approachable, companionable voice. --

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New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019.
Main Author
Michael Hofmann, 1957 August 25- (author)
First American edition
Physical Description
87 pages ; 22 cm
  • Lindsay Garbutt
  • The Years
  • LV
  • Daewoo
  • Derrick
  • Smethwick
  • Portrait d'une Femme
  • Stag Party, Tallinn, May
  • Judith Wright Arts Centre
  • Cricket
  • Letter from Australia
  • Old Mexico
  • Recuerdos de Bundaberg
  • See something say something
  • Before she met me
  • Cavafy: Subrosa
  • Hudson Ride
  • Baselitz & His Generation
  • Fontane
  • Sankt Georg
  • Night
  • F.S.
  • Broken Nights
  • For Adam
  • Warszawa
  • Dead Thing
  • Valais
  • November
  • Gottfried Benn, c. 1916
  • Ostsee
  • Auden
  • In Western Mass
  • End of the Pier Show
  • Poem
  • Lisburn Road
  • Motet
  • Ebenböckstrasse
  • Lake Isle
  • Seagulls, Italian Style
  • Venice Beach
  • Midterms
  • Higher Learning
  • Less Truth
  • Silly Season, 2015
  • The Case for Brexit
  • Coventry
  • On Forgetting
  • Cooking for One
  • Idyll
Review by Booklist Review

Hofmann has been wondrously prolific as a translator of German literature Peter Stamm, Hans Fallada, Joseph Roth while also somehow finding time to write reviews and essays. This is his fifth poetry collection, though, given everything else he's accomplished, his first in 20 years. The voice remains unmistakable: urbane, cosmopolitan, acutely self-conscious, ironic, and disillusioned (assuming he once had illusions). The titles are telling; place names and the names of artists and writers predominate. Hofmann is often on the move, leaving a town he sounds eager to put behind him. And when he isn't leaving, the poem lists battered possessions, as if his life were a table of contents, as if he can't bear to articulate the losses and instead lists life's lost-and-found. The short poem, Night, ends where so many seem to end, in an embarrassment of poverty. This embarrassment is his subject; he is both chronicler and connoisseur. The longer, more satisfying and typical Sankt Gerog ends, Twilit, doubtful, shady, questionable. Something. Every once in a while, that Something is something else.--Michael Autrey Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

This U.S. publication of Hofmann's fifth collection since 1983--a UK edition appeared in 2018--finds the noted critic and translator pondering the realization that the world he's known for decades has vanished. Hofmann's lyrical impressions of places once lived in or passed through, from London to Warsaw to Venice, CA, eschew nostalgic reverie and are instead tempered by a journalistic focus on homely details, whether human-made ("The old bones of sugar refineries") or natural ("The pocked mud glistening with thousands of alert little mud-crabs"). Sooner or later, dispassion gives way to judgment, and when infused with the poet's signature candor and wit ("the prettier the place/ the uglier the music"). Hofmann's "parlous notions, messages, statements, stylings on the edge of extinction" alert us to the consequences of apathy and self-absorption, of allowing our consciousness to be co-opted by the "whatever world of passwords, streaming and clouds." VERDICT Hofmann's condensed, serrated screeds against a gradually dehumanizing culture might seem unduly dyspeptic to some readers, but others will appreciate their unglossed vision and resistance to passive acceptance.--Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY

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