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New Addresses

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  175 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Kenneth Koch, who has already considerably "stretched our ideas of what it is possible to do in poetry" (David Lehman), here takes on the classic poetic device of apostrophe, or direct address. His use of it gives him yet another chance to say things never said before in prose or in verse and, as well, to bring new life to a form in which Donne talked to Death, Shelley to ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published October 30th 2001 by Knopf (first published 2000)
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Aimee
Jan 22, 2015 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Another used bookstore find. I expected some quirky, accessible, and entertaining poems. What I found were poems that are just that, but that also inspire quite a bit of reflection. These are nearly all odes to abstractions, to many of those aspects integral to our existence, and yet rarely is their role in the motley cast of our lives contemplated. Through Koch's imagination, decades of his life, certain languages, Jewishness, orgasm, you name it, all become personified subjects of direct addre ...more
S.
Dec 06, 2007 S. rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I wanted to like this, but the charm of it is completely beyond me. Nice idea, but I found the poems for the most part dull. One of those books where I was sure the author was having a great time, but I was left off-wavelength.
Rebecca
Jan 03, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I have had this book of poems near and dear to my heart—reading them off and on—for several years. And I don’t normally read whole books of poems; I often stumble across great poems as mushroom hunter stumbles across precious morels: I’m delighted, for I have been looking for them, but I did not truly expect to find them. In any case, I often went back to this book of poems without searching elsewhere for greatness.

This collection, titled New Addresses, is a series of poems that address differen
...more
Eirin
Apr 12, 2011 Eirin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes prose poetry
Recommended to Eirin by: Silje
Shelves: 2011
One of the more wonderful books of prose poetry I have read. Koch's style of address is both beautiful and different. I liked how he used the second person so much, in addressing the subjects that were in the titles of the poems. It's an unusual and difficult mode of expression to pull off successfully. Koch manages it.

The only poem I actually did not like was "To Jewishness, Paris, Ambition, Trees, My Heart, and Destiny". In keeping with his own style, the poem ended up being much too over the
...more
Regulator
Jul 31, 2008 Regulator rated it really liked it
Shelves: elliot, jaimee
Kenneth Koch's "New Addresses" is a collection of poems with the feel of a memoir. Reminiscent of Neruda's "Odes to Common Things" each poem addresses a new abstraction - Stammering, Jewishness, The Unknown – as he navigates his life from childhood piano lessons to his experiences as a soldier during World War II to the birth of his child. While ode upon ode may seem rote, Koch uses this strategy in continually unexpected ways - the poem "To Testosterone" begins "You took me to the Spanish Steps ...more
James
Sep 07, 2008 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-poetics
Although I really loved this book, reading it all at once can cause all the poems to wash together since they're all written not only in the same mode, if you will, but also in virtually the same tone: witty, associative, wistful. I'd recommend this collection to anyone, with the suggestion to take the poems one at a time. Start with "To Life," "To My Twenties," "To World War II," then find others at your leisure. Some of them made me laugh, which is a high compliment as far as my poetic priorit ...more
Rachel
Aug 25, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I think this was the first book of poems I ever bought, and I guess it kind of unlocked a love of poetry I didn't know I had. The format of New Addresses is completely delightful: each poem is written to something, like "To My Heart," "To Orgasms," "To Piano Lessons." They range from the whimsical to the profound, often within one poem. Koch is often funny and always penetratingly wise. This is easily one of my top five books ever.
Laura A. Warman
Jun 16, 2011 Laura A. Warman rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot more than I would. Although it is biography heavy, the poems are really great. They are all composed of addresses to multitudes of topics. The topics are always the title of the poem creating a coherent text. It was also his last book before he died in 2002 and intentionally or not reads much like a memoriam of his life.
Amy
Mar 28, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I didn't like this book when I started reading it but a few poems in he really does some surprising things with language. And he is such a joyful poet, which is strange to me. I usually like the dark stuff, but I am so glad my prof assigned this to me!
Sarah
May 13, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
I was impressed by the two poems I opened up to in the library, and by a handful of others. But some of the poems fell short for me. I was looking for something a little different, and I found it, but I was not completely wowed.
Erik
May 20, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it
Some real gems, but also a few that didn't seem to be doing much. Perhaps the repeated theme of "the address," often to concepts rather than tangible addressees, simply makes this a book to tackle in smaller bites.
Anne
Aug 01, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Funny, clever, inventive, and often quite moving. Makes you pause and ponder your own life. I really loved this collection.
Russ
May 15, 2008 Russ rated it really liked it
he addresses many things and people and problems and the past and the present
just a wonderful book. I will miss his work.
Antoine  McGrath
Feb 13, 2009 Antoine McGrath rated it it was amazing
Many things are more, important
than good grammar like the time we,
gave life to a poem
Andrew
Mar 28, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I read this book and when I'm done I reread it.
Beth
Dec 08, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
To My Twenties is a spectacular poem
Lauren
Jan 27, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
refreshingly postmodern
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Jul 18, 2016
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Jun 13, 2016
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Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the a ...more
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