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North Street

Jonathan Galassi

Cover Picture of North Street
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • ... Now an entire row of moons is rising,
    rising, rising, risen - we are there:

    Total Maturity. The trick is how
    to amortize remorse, desire and dread.
    Eyes ahead, companions: Life is Now.
    The harder years are opening ahead.

    from 'Turning Forty'

    Jonathan Galassi's North Street opens with a set of 'dithyrambs', extravagant irregular compositions that evoke both the flow of the seasons and the currents of feeling in a life. As in a classical dithyramb, the shared world of nature and history is brought into tension with the personal world of feeling and private memory.

    Finding a form for experience, the poet raids the treasure house of language. The forty poems in North Street are concerned with the middle years, not so much a time as an ill-defined space between 'Turning Forty' and 'Turning Fifty', between coming to maturity and glimpsing its limits and its end; between original desire and conditional freedom, between the recognition of aloneness and gratitude for 'the gnawing, the knowing, /the being and being here'.
    JONATHAN GALASSI is Publisher and Editor in Chief of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Carcanet has published his translations of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale which won the Weidenfeld Prize in 1999. He is chairman of the Academy of American Poets and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His first collection of poems, ... read more
    '... these poems trace out - sometimes playfully, but always with a grave intelligence - the inner trajectory of their speaker's life in language at once jagged and intensely musical.'

    John Koethe 
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