Selected Poems

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Intense verbal music with a jazz feeling; invention against the grain of expectation; intelligence racing among materials with the variety of a busy street - these have been the qualities of Robert Pinsky's work since his first book, Sadness and Happiness (1975), celebrated for setting a new direction in American poetry. At that time, responding to a question about that book, Pinsky said: I would like to write a poetry which could contain every kind of thing, while keeping all the excitement of poetry . That ambition was realized in a new way with each of his books, including the book-length personal monologue An Explanation of America ; the transformed autobiography of History of My Heart ; the bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante ; and, most recently, the savage, inventive Gulf Music . This volume contains a selection of poems from Pinsky's career to demonstrate that variety and renewal with fresh clarity.