The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall (Hardcover)

Poetry at the Extremes of Feeling

By Robert Pinsky

W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324001782, 256pp.

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

List Price: 26.95*
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Despair, mania, rage, guilt, derangement, fantasy: poetry is our most intimate, personal source for the urgency of these experiences. Poems get under our skin; they engage with the balm--and the sting--of understanding. In The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall-- its title inspired by a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem--acclaimed poet Robert Pinsky gives us more than 130 poems that explore emotion at its most expansive, distinct, and profound.

With seven illuminating chapters-- including "The Sleep of Reason," "Love and Rage," and "Manic Laughter"-- and succinct headnotes for each poem, Pinsky leads us through the book's sweeping historical range. Chronologically presented from Shakespeare to Terrance Hayes, Dante to Tracy K. Smith, each chapter shows the persistence and variation in our states of mind. The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall demonstrates how extreme feelings can be complementary and contradicting, and how poetry is not just an expression of emotion, but emotion itself.