Skip to main content
Cover for Jaguar of Sweet Laughter

Jaguar of Sweet Laughter

New and Selected Poems

Diane Ackerman


List Price: 15.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In A Natural History of the Senses Diane Ackerman revealed herself as a naturalist who writes with the sensuous immediately of a great poet. Now Jaguar of Sweet Laughter presents the work of a poet with the precise and wondering eye of a gifted naturalist.

Ackermans's Olympian vision records and transforms landscapes from Amazonia to Antarctica, while her imaginative empathy penetrates the otherness of hummingbirds, deer, and trilobites. But even as they draw readers into the wild heart of nature, Ackerman's poems are indelible reminders of what it is to be a human being—the "jaguar of sweet laughter" that, according to Mayan mythology, astonished the world because it was the first animal to speak.

Praise For Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems

"Her best poems keep bursting off the prescribed limits of the the same way that great paintings burst their frames... Ackerman has energy, wit, courage, and passion... All of her is in each poem, and this 'all' reveals a woman of sensitivity, restraint, ingenuity, and passionate daring."

-- Hudson Review

"I know enough to know when I'm in the presence of a brilliant mind. Her acrobatic poems are full of fact and exuberance."

-- Maxine Kumin

"The best lyric poet now writing in the United States."

-- Review

Vintage, 9780679743040, 272pp.

Publication Date: July 27, 1993

About the Author

Diane Ackerman has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to garnering many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the bestselling The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives in Ithaca, New York.