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No Tear is Commonplace
Categories: 21st Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2013)
Old Fool, I have no desire for the afterlife.
I want to stay here with You, to hang around
with Your trees, Your animals and my wife.
The poems collected in No Tear is Commonplace stage a passionate, curious, and often combative relationship with the world and the forces that shape human life and death. Stanley Moss’s range is wide: his poetry recalls the ‘Adirondack wilderness’ of childhood summers, imagines a young Christ learning carpentry, reflects on the tragedies of twentieth-century Europe. What shines through is the poet’s commitment to the fullness of human experience in the here-and-now.
Sunrise – Morning
Tell Me Pretty Maiden
No Tear is Commonplace
Parable of the Porcupine
To a Stranger
The Man Tree
The American Dream
Letter to a Fish
The Fish Answers
Alexander Fu Musing / China Song
Elegy for the Poet Reetika Vazirani and her Child
On William Blake’s Drawing, ‘The Ghost of a Flea’
A Glance at Turner
Sunset – Night
Listening to Water
And there are African Links/Licks in Every Language
Letter to Dannie Abse
The Hudson River
For Uncle Lem
Squeezing the Lemon
Index of Titles and First Lines
'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 Mossâs poetryâ¦ The damp genius of mortality presides.'
Stanley Kunitz 'Again and again, coming upon a poem of Stanley Mossâs, 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 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 '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 Berrymanâs office when I was nineteen.'
W. S. Merwin
'Unthinkable questions, but when he formulates them they take on the quiet urgency of common daylight.'
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