Weisbac, NY. 10/01/1988
First Edition in Fine Condition
Signed by Pinksy on half title page
Pinsky, America's 39th poet laureate, brings together the likes of Shakespeare and Yeats, O'Hara and Plath, Hayden, Dickinson, and Komynyakaa on the theme of the broken heart. This is a collection of 101 salves and spells with the power to heal. The number of poems were chosen, as Pinsky tells us in his introduction, because it sounds lovely. "Why do works of art about bad things such as loss and deprivation make us feel good?" he asks. Every love and attachment brings risk; loss is almost inevitable. These laments mourn loves and friends, places and things; the title comes from Wallace Stevens, whose love is for the earth itself. Frost tells us that because of Eve's voice, "Never again would birds' song be the same./ And to do that to birds was why she came." Much of this volume is familiar, but the poems are strengthened by their setting.