The American civic poet… strives not only to speak to us with vigor and sympathy in our common language, but also to reveal how crucial that language is to our struggles and hopes as citizens. Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of “Gulf Music” are among the best examples we have of poetry’s ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation.”
— The New York Times Book Review
Robert Pinsky’s “Culture” in The New Yorker
Robert Pinsky’s new poem “Culture” is featured this week in The New Yorker.
The poem as well as the audio of Pinsky reading can be found here.
The Poetry Society of America features Robert Pinsky in their series Song Cycle.
“It’s not just the rhythm but the melody as well that makes the sounds of a poem. (Or a sentence.) The variations in pitch are essential. The art is vocal, and every sentence has an expressive melody, as in Paul Valéry’s description of a drunken song heard from a block away. . . . There has never been a greater master of this musical core of poetry than Ben Jonson (1572-1637).”
The Poetry Society of America features Robert Pinsky performing Ben Jonson’s “His Excuse for Loving” with Stan Strickland on the saxophone, Laurence Hobgood on the keyboard, and John Lockwood on bass. Listen to the piece, and read more from Pinsky here.
Robert Pinsky’s Latest Anthology now in Paperback
Peter Balakian on Robert Pinsky’s “Samurai Song” in the The Poetry Society of America
In The Poetry Society of America’s reading series Reading in the Dark, Peter Balakian shares the poem he returns to in difficult times.
“The poem takes Keats’ notion of negative capability to a more complex place by exploring how absence yields presence and how the mind finds its way into a surprise of insight grounded in paradox and reversal: “When I had / No supper my eyes dined”; “When I had no eyes I listened. / When I had no ears I thought.” The poem balances the philosophical with the existential as it navigates the imagination’s capacity to see—to move from metaphor to insight. Pinsky summons the warrior spirit in ourselves that can engage difficult times with lyric language under pressure, and with the imagination, which is, to recall Kenneth Burke’s phrase, ‘equipment for living.'”
A New Anthology edited by Robert Pinsky: The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall: Poems at the Extremes of Feeling
Robert Pinsky’s new anthology, The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall: Poems at the Extremes of Feeling (W. W. Norton & Company) explores poetry at its extremes ~ despair, grief, love and rage, manic laughter.
“The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of an anthology. Just when you think you have mastered the pitch and roll of one emotional extreme, you find yourself careening around a bend into a different extreme. And Pinsky’s individual selections are at once deft and surprising: a Renaissance Old Master like Fulke Greville sits cheek-by-jowl with poets like Keetje Kuipers and Katie Willingham, born within hailing distance of the present. The collection is a perfect introduction to poetry’s enduring power to explore the utmost bounds of our experience.”
—Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Tyrant
Friday, October 1st at 7:00pm EST
Virtual Porter Square Books reading from Robert Pinsky’s newest anthology The Book of Poetry for Hard Times.
This is an online event hosted by Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. More information here…