New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

Synopsis

New and Selected Poems includes more than fifty poems from Marjory Wentworth's previous three collections, Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle, plus twenty-eight new poems. This collection serves as a capstone to Wentworth's tenure as South Carolina poet laureate, a title she has held since 2003.Thematically Wentworth's poems invite us to view nature as a site of reflection and healing, to consider the power of familial bonds and friendships, and to broaden our awareness of human rights and social justice. Regional settings appear throughout, indicative of Wentworth's commitment to represent her adopted home state of South Carolina in her work. She skillfully employs a variety of forms, from prose poems to sonnets to elegies to list poems, making for a varied and interesting trek through this "best of" collection of her poems to date.This collection includes a foreword by the poet Carol Ann Davis, author of Psalm and Atlas Hour and assistant professor of English at Fairfield University.

Excerpt

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

“Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,”
William Carlos Williams

In poetry circles it has become de riguer to quote William Carlos Williams’ famous lines, but how relevant his sentiment still is, given our common experience of so much “news” passing by us unexamined, reckoned with momentarily or not at all, and put away without any sense of how we may be implicated by it.* I like to think of Elizabeth Bishop’s gentle “answer” to Williams, an elaboration, really, as she elegantly explodes assumptions we hold about the fixed nature of knowledge (an idea closely related to Williams’ “news”)—opening a vast ocean between certainty and doubt—in her unforgettable ending to “At the Fishhouses.” Williams includes his warning

*Epigraph excerpted from “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” by William Carlos Williams, from The Collected Poems, Volume ii, 1939–1962, copyright © 1994 by William Carols Williams. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

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