By John Koethe
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061176272, 96pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Let me stay there for a while, while evening
Gathers in the sky and daylight lingers on the hills.
There's something in the air, something I can't quite see,
Hiding behind this stock of images, this language
Culled from all the poems I've ever loved.
John Koethe's remarkable gift to readers is an elegiac poetry that explores the transitory nature of ordinary human experience. The beautiful poems in this new collection celebrate the creative power of human beings, the only weapon we possess against time's relentless "slow approach to anonymity and death."
Of all Koethe's books, SALLY'S HAIR is probably his most human and various. He is well known for his meditative lyrics and this volume begins with a brilliant series of such poems, among them "Eros and the Everyday." This is followed by "The Unlasting," a long poem devoted to time and experience, and a third section comprised of more public poems, some of them political, such as "The Maquiladoras" and "Poetry and the War." This perceptive, luminescent collection concludes with a group of vivid and conversational poems, recollections, including the gems "Proust" and "HAMLET."
John Koethe is distinguished professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the first Poet Laureate of Milwaukee. His collections include Falling Water, which won the Kingsley-Tufts Award, North Point North, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Ninety-fifth Street, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2011, he received a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“Brooding, philosophical ruminations . . . Passionate, lyrical poems of great energy and provocative ideas.”
“Powerful and intimate.”
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“A highly readable book, appealing... and compelling in the rigor of its inquiry into the human condition .”
“Koethe continues his reign as one of America’s most contemplative poets... The whole collection strikes a delicate and surprising balance.”
“Koethe sounds like nobody else, and SALLY’S HAIR is his best book...his most intimate and his most worldly.”
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