What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems

Ruth Stone, Author, Sharon Olds, Foreword by . Copper Canyon $32 (359p) ISBN 978-1-55659-271-3

Many of Stone's loyal readers may know only her most recent, and most celebrated, works: the National Book Award–winning In the Next Galaxy (2002), and its immediate prequels, which present a poet of wisdom and experience in clear, compact free verse. For this late-life writer, who will turn 93 this year and is the state poet of Vermont, “clotheslines/ where the laundry lashes the bitter air” present a “microcosm of the world.” This wry and thoughtful poet, akin sometimes to Stanley Kunitz, sometimes to Grace Paley, appears again in the many new poems here, whose raw moments are a small price to pay for their power: “I am complicated,” she writes, “and yet, how simple is my verse.” But the real news is found in the selections from Stone's earlier books—beginning in 1959, but especially with Topography (1971) and Cheap (1975), which may stun younger readers with their sheer variety. There are transcribed speeches from working-class lives, nursery rhyme couplets of uncanny force, angry political allegories and explorations of second-wave feminism—in short, the evidence of an ambitious career, one that has been not only long, but full of constant change. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-1-85224-841-3
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-55659-327-7
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-61932-077-2
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