The Insistence of Beauty : Poems
"Beauty isn't nice. Beauty isn't fair;" So, in part, states an epigraph for this stunning new collection, his thirteenth, by the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry (2000). First traversing betrayal and loss, Stephen Dunn then moves to speak of new love, with its attendant pleasures and questioning. The title poem, perhaps emblematic of the book as a whole, is evocative of beauty's often surprising manifestations even in the light of tragedy; as on that terrible day "when those silver planes came out of the perfect blue." Because beauty jars us, makes us look twice, it is as startling as a good poem, and as insistent. Fortunately, it is never too late to search for the right words for what we've seen, felt, endured. With quiet authority Dunn enacts what it feels like to be a particular man at a particular juncture of his life; struggling not to deny, but to name, then rename.
- Paperback | 96 pages
- 140 x 208 x 10mm | 140g
- 21 Mar 2006
- WW Norton & Co
- United States
"One is tempted, because Dunn's poems are very, very good, to sugarcoat their devastating beauty, to make them appear gentler on the heart than they are. But Dunn ... is a relentless truth-seeker, and set loose to locate beauty he will find it in the rawest places."
About Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn is the author of nineteen poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Different Hours, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the recipient of an Academy Award for Literature. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, and American Poetry Review, among many other publications. A distinguished professor emeritus at Richard Stockton University, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland.