Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
I'm filled with admiration for what you've achieved, and particularly for the hard work and the 'cottage industry' aspect of it.
Fleur Adcock

Rejoicing

New and Collected Poems

Stanley Moss

RRP: GBP 14.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 1.50

Price: GBP 13.45
Available Add to basket
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 856464 17 1
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Published: June 2009
234 x 156 x 25 mm
304 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Spend GBP 15 or more and receive a free Carcanet tote bag. Available internationally while stocks last.
Find out more.
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Reviews
  •  

    Rejoicing

    God washed his womb in the ocean.
    All things that lived in or above the sea
    rejoiced that they were there.
    The sand under the rocks,
    the driftwood trees rejoiced.
    The living, those who called to their kind,
    the lucky ones, rejoiced.

    When I was young and prodigal,
    I dived into God’s womb and the ocean.
    God spoke to me as I swam
    through a thousand reflections,
    his face and my face touched
    like Mary’s cheek on the cheek of her deposed son.
    God washed across my face. My face was in him.
    From time to time I spat him out as I swam.

    I came out of his womb dripping. I felt clean.
    I knew God was cold and wet wilderness.
    Shivering, I dried God off me with a towel
    then I hung him on a clothesline to dry.
    God and the towel seemed happy and laughing,
    flapping in the wind without commandments.
    From the shore I could see the horizon:
    he was washing his womb in the ocean
    after a day of love, before his gala night.

    Rejoicing is a magnificent, celebratory gathering of Stanley Moss’s poetry from six decades. He is one of America’s finest poets and this collection demonstrates why. Marilyn Hacker wrote of his work, ‘Its verbal generosity and bravura, its humanity, the quality and quantity of information which it integrates into poetry of the highest order make it a continuing delight’, and in Britain John Fuller wrote: ‘Stanley Moss’s poems are fresh and unpredictable, full of colour and wisdom. As a poetry that engages the philosophical mind it seems characteristically American in its scope and cultural engagement, but there is also the generous warmth of a mind at ease in its body, open to surprises and possibilities.’

    Stanley Moss was born in Woodhaven, New York. He was educated at Trinity College and Yale University, and he served in the US Navy during World War II. After the war he worked at Botteghe Oscure and taught English in Rome and Barcelona. His first book of poems, The Wrong Angel ... read more
    Praise for Stanley Moss 'Magisterial... God Breaketh Not All Men's Hearts Alike is magnificent. I've read it several times with greater and greater pleasure. Its verbal generosity and bravura, its humanity, the quality and quantity of information which it integrates into poetry of the highest order make it a continuing delight.'
    Marilyn Hacker
    ''Death is a many-colored harlequin', asserts Stanley Moss on his 92nd birthday. Undaunted, outrageously alive, Moss in these poems flaunts more colors than the Grim Reaper ever dreamed of, laughs in his face, rhymes with abandon, makes a joyful noise unto the Lord, and struts with Baudelaire. This is a book to hold onto for dear life.'
    Rosanna Warren
    'Moss is the kind of poet who tries to find words that help us live, that tell us directly how to laugh down folly or take courage.'
    New York Times reviews US edition of Almost Complete Poems
    'Unthinkable questions [...], but when he formulates them they take on the quiet urgency of common daylight.'
    John Ashbery
    'It is time to celebrate the singular beauty and power of Stanley Moss’s poetry… The damp genius of mortality presides.'
    Stanley Kunitz
    'Again and again, coming upon a poem of Stanley Moss’s, I have had the feeling of being taken by surprise. Not simply by the eloquence or the direct authenticity of the language, for I had come to expect those in his poems. The surprise arose from the nature of his poetry itself, and from the mystery that his poems confront and embody, which makes them both intense and memorable.'
    W.S. Merwin
    'This is a book made of experience and high intellect. ... these poems curse and sing about the blessings and tragedies of personal life ... an important, gutsy collection.'
    Yusef Komunyakaa
     'I've loved Stanley's poems since I first encountered a poem of his in Poetry magazine in John Berryman’s office when I was nineteen.'
    W. €‰S. Merwin
    'Unthinkable questions, but when he formulates them they take on the quiet urgency of common daylight.'
    John Ashbery
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog #Carcanet50: An Ode to Wales read more PN Review 251: Editorial read more Journeys: Mina Gorji read more Writing Forgetting: Gabriel Josipovici read more James Womack on Manuel Vilas read more Carcanet Staff Winter Picks 2019 read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2020 Carcanet Press Ltd