Beacon Press: New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015
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New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

Author: Jay Parini

A new book, the first in over a decade, from acclaimed poet Jay Parini

This volume revolves around his deep connection to nature and underlines his concerns about the impacts of pollution and climate change. In these beautiful, haunting poems, Parini writes about the landscapes of mining country, of the railroads of Pennsylvania, of farm country, of worlds lost and families dispersed. He explores faith and how it is tested. He limns the deepest crevices of the human heart and soul. He surprises and moves us.

In addition to a complete volume’s worth of new work, called West Mountain Epilogue, offering more than fifty poems never before published in any form, Parini has collected the very best work from his previous four volumes, the poems, as he tells us, “written in the past forty years that I wish to stand by.’

Lavishly and deservingly praised over the decades for his work as an essayist, critic, biographer, novelist, and, especially, poet, Parini shines as never before in this generous volume.
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Praise for Jay Parini

“Jay Parini is one of those writers who can do anything.”
—Stacy Schiff, New York Times Book Review

“His poems are fully imagined and highly accomplished. He never fails to astonish with his grace and wisdom.”
—James Merrill

“Jay Parini brings to the current poetic scene a classical sense of order. His impeccable poems burn with the tension between clearheaded intelligence and basic empathy with the human condition.”
—Richard Eberhart

“This is keen-eyed, thoughtful, artful yet unaffected poetry. I am struck by the honesty of Jay Parini’s desires and ignorances—his forthright longing for transcendence, his forthright fear that it may not happen.”
—Richard Wilbur

“Jay Parini expresses the best in American poetry.”
—Anne Stevenson

“Warm, accepting, peacemaking poems, with sudden jumps of articulate delight in them...The [poems] abound in grace—grace of attitude, grace of language.”
—Alastair Reid

Praise for New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

“[Parini] always leaves room for small delights or for glorious surprises.”
Christian Science Monitor

“Parini is truly a man of letters. He is a biographer of Gore Vidal, William Faulkner, and Robert Frost, among other writers; a poet; and a novelist whose subjects include Herman Melville in The Passages of H.M. (2010). For this collection, he explains, he selected ‘poems written in the past forty years that I wish to stand by,’ works from The Art of Subtraction (2005), House of Days (1998), Town Life (1988), and Anthracite Country (1982). But first readers will discover a set of new poems under the title ‘West Mountain Epilogue.’ In these supple, straight-ahead lyrics, Parini evokes a strong sense of place as he remembers the Pennsylvania of his youth and his ‘very poor’ grandmother who lived so richly on a ‘tiny farm’ in Pennsylvania with her chickens: ‘I used to watch her scattering the grain / like John D. Rockefeller scattered dimes.’ The title poem spotlights the grim truth about Scranton’s ‘soot-rain,’ ‘coal dust,’ ‘white plastic trash,’ and ‘redbrick buildings with their broken teeth,’ while Parini also celebrates ‘Lackawanna light.’ Parini describes snow softening harsh terrain, sleeping outdoors as a boy, innocence, and hope, and he writes ruefully about our present predicaments, in poems such as ‘Some Effects of Global Warming in Lackawanna County.’ He also prophesies: ‘The poetry of tomorrow will not be pretty.’ As for now, Parini offers graceful and wry spiritual reflections in a number of prayerful poems, including ‘Do Lord Remember’ and ‘Blessings.’”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist Online

“Admired master of many genres, including novels, biographies, and essays, it is in his poetry that I’ve always felt Jay Parini comes into his own, using his astonishing and wide-ranging talent to mine the deeper ground. In his poetry, we get the full strength of all we admire in this writer: the springs of his lyricism, his keen eye for detail, his absorbing and compassionate curiosity about people and places, an ability to listen and capture the tone of our times, and moral imagination and spiritual yearning that delivers us into a larger way of seeing and being. New and Collected Poems gathers together four decades of work: we follow him from his childhood in coal country to his full maturity in the Green Mountains, a journey that is a pilgrimage to the waters and watering place of his being, and ours. It’s the book I’ve always wanted from this author, the one I will read, reread, and give as a gift to others who care about literature that matters and will endure.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of novels, short stories, nonfiction, memoir, including In the Time of the Butterflies, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, and A Wedding In Haiti, as well as several books of poetry, most recently, The Woman I Kept to Myself

Author’s Note


The Language of Mines
Spring Snow
Over the River
West Mountain Epilogue
A Knock at Midnight
His Morning Meditations
Snowday in Pittston
A Dream of Stones
Lackawanna Rail
A Night in the Field
Happy Hour
In the Library After Hours
Some Effects of Global Warming in Lackawanna County
Below Zero
The Language of Mines

The Grammar of Affection
Historiography 101
The Grammar of Affection
To Ezra Pound
Song and Skin
Unpatriotic Gore
The Lost Poems
Toward a Poetics of the Next Generation
Poem with Allusions
Lend an Ear
Revolutionary Days
Bitch My Tongue
At the Opening
Ars Poetica
Woman by the Way
The Interruption of Summer
A Single Page

Ordinary Time
Heat Lightning
Sisters of No Mercy
Aristotle in the Middle Ages
The Poor at Heart
The Dissolution
Ordinary Time
God’s Operation on Adam
The Insomniac Thinks of God
Dead Reckoning
Lament of the Middle Man
Spring Burials
Eternal Tailor
Do Lord Remember
Old Frogs

from THE ART OF SUBTRACTION (1998-2005)

After the Terror
The Prophets
The Lost Soldiers
Occupied Country
Sleeping Through the Storm
Listening to the BBC World Service Late at Night
The President Eats Breakfast Alone
Fish-Eye View
High School
Family Reunion
Covenant in April
Old Teams
The Broken Neck
The Trees Are Gone
Borges in Scotland
Power Stations
Near Old Meldrum, After a Funeral
The Crucifixion
Late Thoughts
The Art of Subtraction

from HOUSE OF DAYS (1989-1998)

Stars Falling
Swimming After Thoughts
Rain Before Nightfall
The Lake House in Autumn
Willow Song
The Discipline of Seeing
A Killing Frost
Who Owns the Land?
Nature Revisited
House of Days
The Lost Scent
At School
Keyser Valley: 1963
To My Father in Late September
The Crow-Mother Tells All
The Small Ones Leave Us
New Morning
House on Fire
The Ruined House
A Conversation in Oxford
Good Friday in Amalfi
Still Life
Near Pitlochry
I Was There

from TOWN LIFE (1983-1988)

The Mariner
The Visitors
Goodnight, Goodnight
In the Sphere of Common Duty
Reading Through the Night
Skiing Home at Dusk
Town Life
Suburban Swamp
The Function of Winter
A Lost Topography
Passing Through Vermont on Three Martinis
Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man
Portrait of the Artist Underground
Divine Parameters
Solstice, Entering Capricorn
This Kampuchea
At the Ice Cream Parlor
Grandmother in Heaven
At the Ruined Monastery in Amalfi

from ANTHRACITE COUNTRY (1975-1982)

The Sabine Farm
Beginning the World
Walking the Trestle
Playing in the Mines
The Missionary Visits Our Church in Scranton
The Miner’s Wake
Coal Train
Snake Hill
Working the Face
The Lackawanna at Dusk
Anthracite Country
The Rain School
The Salt Lick
Learning to Swim
The Sea Lily
Amores (After Ovid)
In the Meadow
Seasons of the Skin
Swimming in Late September
Winter of the Dog
This Scrying
To His Dear Friend, Bones
Her Sadness
After the Summer Heroes
This Reaping
Skater in Blue
Summer People
Black Week
Illimitable Kingdom
Near Aberdeen
High Gannet

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New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

ISBN: 978-080703013-4
Publication Date: 3/29/2016
Size: x
Price:  $27.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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