Time and Materials
His familiar landscapes are here--San Francisco, the Northern California coast, the Sierra...more
More lists with this book...
After his powerful “problem” poems (“The Problem of Describing Color” and “The Problem of Describing Trees”), the next poem, “Winged and Acid Dark,” inspired by the film A Woman in Berlin, interrupts the terrible story about a female prostitute in WWII for us to know as he does, of Basho’s admonition on poet...more
All that being said, I did get a little bogged down about three-quarters through with quite a few prose poems about politics in a row. There was a lot of detail there but I feel like it got lost in the repetitive form and the we...more
Some of these poems are very good (like, the one about red) & Hass isn't going to lose the line. Probably not the stanza. Maybe not the poem. But I guess what I am arguing is that even whe...more
Read this review as somewhere between a 4.5 and 4.9. I really want to give it a 5 star rating, but there are a few small things that keep me from lavishing that upon it. Overall, I love the voice. I agree with its politics and and am drawn in by its rhythms...
My one major complaint (such as it is) is that many of the poems are quite prosaic - in other words,...more
i wanted to like this because for a time i loved the famous hass poem 'meditation at lagunitas' (although due to a variety of events it has since been ruined for me, used up) but i didn't, and also...more
Robert Hass, poet laureate of the United States between 1995 and 1997 and author of the popular Poet's Choice newspaper column, surprised critics with his fifth collection of verse. As eloquent and inventive as in his previous collections, here Hass for the first time tackles public and private issues
His mood varies: he can be playful as in 'I Am Your Waiter Tonight and My Name Is Dmitri', whilst at the same time intimate. Fu...more
If I said-remembering in summer,
The cardinals sudden smudge of red
In the bare gray winter woods-
If I said, red ribbon on the cocked straw hat
Of the girl with pooched-out lips
Dangling a wiry lapdog
In the painting of Renoir-
If I said fire, if I said blood welling from a cut-
Or flecks of poppy in the tar-grass scented summer air
On a wind-struck hillside outside Fano-
If I said, her one red earring tugging at her silky lobe,
If she t...more
Robert Hass is a former Poet Laureate of the United States, which should tell you all you need to know about the quality of his work. And Time and Materials, the first book he published after his laureateship, does not disappoint in that regard.
“In one version of the legend, the sirens couldn't sing.
It was only a sailor's story that they could.
So Odysseus, lashed to the mast, was harrowed
by a music that he didn't hear—plungings of sea,...more
The nature part is easy. Bob has a gift for observation and detail (not unlike Elizabeth Bishop's, in my view). But getting people right in poems is a lot harder.
There's usually a dialogue and plenty of interior thinking, analyzing, self-analyzing....more
This book is well deserving of the many awards it's garnered recently, and although it took Hass 8 years to write the poems gathered here, it seems worth the time it took.
Some of his previous concerns with the failure of language (as in "Meditation at Laguinitas") remain--in "The Problem of Describing Trees," for example, "the tree danced. No./ The tree capitalized./ No. There are limits to saying,/ In language, what the tree did." He also goes back to his projects in imitation/transla...more
Anyway, I specifically liked "The Problem of Describing Color" and his personal way of explaining just what shade is meant. And "Poem with a Cucumber in It" and "Old Movie with the Sound Turned Off" were worth the whole trip.
Has has a rare combination of humanism, humility, and a willingness to push formally against the bounds of poetry. He has poems that go from a nipple to Eastern philosophy to ... the poems are containers that are not sorted by any usual system. For that, I admire them.
I also admire Hass for his willingness to put his struggle to understand on the page. As always, I’m least fond of his domestic verse -- too sa...more
The cover is the prettiest part of the book.
Hass, on the other hand, tend to take the meandering approach that seems to be in vogue as of late. It's a languid, stream-of-consciousness approach that takes its time squirming and stretching into its ideas. This sometimes leads to...more
In the long winter nights, a farmer's dreams are narrow.
Over and over, he enters the furrow.