The Makings of Happiness (Pitt Poetry Series) (Paperback)

By Ronald Wallace

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822954484, 80pp.

Publication Date: June 15, 1991

List Price: 17.00*
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Wallace’s poems cover the range of human experience: music, religion, sex, art, childhood, adolescence, nuclear war, illness, and death. But it’s in his wit and good humor, against undercurrents of sorrow and grief that best characterize his poetry: part Emily Dickinson, and part Harpo Marx; part Woody Allen, and part Robert Frost.

About the Author

Ronald Wallace is the author of seven books of poetry, including: Long for This World: New and Selected Poems; The Uses of Adversity; Time's Fancy; and People and Dog in the Sun. His works of literary criticism include: God Be with the Clown: Humor in American Poetry; The Last Laugh: Form and Affirmation in the Contemporary American Comic Novel; and Henry James and the Comic Form. Wallace is Halls-Bascom Professor of English, Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry, and codirector of the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Praise For The Makings of Happiness (Pitt Poetry Series)

“Being has ‘no unbearable lightness’ here. The poems are fat (a recurring word) with memory, love, humor (don’t miss the poem about poetry, ‘Building an Outhouse’), the world (the poet’s parents, wife, children, the goats, chickens, cats, frogs, fox). And there are many nourishing servings of sound and sense, all, as in the huge “The Fat of the Land,’ a feast set against ‘the noncaloric dark.’ And yes, there are, during this picnic of a book, times when lightning strikes and the hair rises.”

—Mona Van Duyn

“What a fine, true poet Wallace is! I recognize so much here with delight and am grateful to have it said at last.”

—May Sarton

“Again we have what we have come to expect with pleasure from Ronald Wallace: wit, intelligence, originality, and a growing and deepening insight into the mysteries of daily life.”

—David Wagoner