Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn featured in: * The Best American Poetry: 2006, guest editor Billy Collins;
and in * The Best American Poetry: 2005, guest editor Paul Muldoon.

Stephen Dunn
* Poems. * Time Line. * Books.


* Between Angels. * Different Hours. * Local Time. * New and Selected Poems 1974-1994.

His New and Selected Poems 1974-1994 contains 26 poems from Between Angels, although this collection is bleaker than his earlier book, Local Time (1986).

My favorites include:

The book's closing poem (p.110-111) is Walking the Marshlands, and it ends:

    But already we were near the end.
    Praise refuge,
    I thought. Praise whatever you can.    

These poems have been highly praised by respected and skilled poets. I find it impossible to characterize a "Carl Dennis poem"; his voice is elusive and flat; I could not recognize an anonymous poem as his.

To me most poems in the first half of the book are hard to enter, perhaps because of their quasi-academic language, perhaps because I can't figure out their emotional stance. The second half of the book is more accessible.

Among the poems that I did admire are: "The Same Cold", "Losing Steps", "Art", "Story", "Men in the Sky", "Burying the Cat", and "A Postmortem Guide".

An inevitable favorite is "John & Mary", inspired by this widely distributed quote from a student's paper:
"John & Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who also had never met."


Some good poems in his 5th book. (His New and Selected Poems 1974-1994 contains 15 poems from this book.) My favorites include:

Contains 26 poems from Between Angels and 15 poems from Local Time.

Time Line.

Poetry: Different Hours.
Pulitzer Poetry Prize.


Links and Books.

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