A New Path to the Waterfall: Poems

Raymond Carver, Author, Tess Gallagher, Illustrator, Tess Gallagher, Introduction by
Raymond Carver, Author, Tess Gallagher, Illustrator, Tess Gallagher, Introduction by Atlantic Monthly Press $15.95 (126p) ISBN 978-0-87113-280-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Short-story writer and poet Carver, who died of cancer in 1988, wrote these poems during his last few months. Many of them are luminous flashes, poised and tender meditations, while others read like cathartic, unresolved statements by a man struggling to come to terms with his life in the little remaining time allotted to him. The verses range from story-poems to bone-bare nature lyrics to a sprawling allegory about ``the two brothers, Sleep and Death.'' Carver tosses off word-portraits of a drunken Alexander the Great, Antonin Artaud, an encyclopedia salesman. A strain of bitterness runs through the entries dealing with his first marriage, while the touching love poems to his second wife, Tess Gallagher (who wrote the book's moving, highly personal introduction) carry a sense of finality that augments their meaning. (May)
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