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New and Selected Poems, 1974-1994

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  454 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Justly celebrated as one of our strongest poets, Stephen Dunn selects from his eight collections and presents sixteen new poems marked by the haunting "Snowmass Cycle."
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 17th 1995 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1994)
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The Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonLeaves of Grass by Walt WhitmanShakespeare's Sonnets by William ShakespeareThe Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. EliotAriel by Sylvia Plath
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 776)
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Jun 02, 2015 Corin rated it really liked it
"I praise how the body heals itself.
I praise how, finally, it never learns."

-Stephen Dunn, "Desire"
Apr 11, 2014 Doreen rated it liked it
Stephen Dunn's Different Hours is one of my favorite books of all time, a collection so gorgeous that, for once, I didn't quibble with the Pulitzer jury's decision to award it their poetry prize (though, tbh, I don't usually quibble with the poetry award. It's the fiction one that constantly rouses my ire.) Since then, I've compulsively collected his works when I've come across them. This volume was the first of his earlier poems that I've read, and... oh dear, how to put this. Let's just say th ...more
Xe Sands
Aug 28, 2011 Xe Sands rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pleasure-reads
This is one of the most extraordinary collection of poetry I've ever come across. Dunn pulls no punches and offers no comfort along with his words, other than what is inherent in them and the experience itself.

Oh, and no rhyming. And I love him just *that* much more because of it.
Oct 25, 2012 Nathan rated it it was amazing
The reason I dropped out of the music business,
for five years,
and started writing poetry exclusively.

I'm now back to writing and performing music as well...

but, I've written a poem a day for the last thirteen years,
and this book is a huge part of the reason why...
May 02, 2008 Lucio rated it really liked it
For those who were taught to fear poetry in highschool: Ol' Stevie gives it to you straight, pretty prosy, and sneaks a few gems the satchel when you're not looking. My anthem: "What They Wanted"
Jun 20, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
i am still "currently reading" this (not that i ever classified this in goodreads under "currently reading," because in a way one is always "currently reading" poetry, so i don't know, i just don't know) but i feel like i am able to "review" this anyway.
i am doing what my poetry teacher from camp last year said she always did with books of poetry; i've been flipping to random pages, reading backwards, reading forwards, reading in small sequences. i have read some poems in here five times, some p
Jun 05, 2007 nicebutnubbly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites

Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving

someone or something, the world shrunk
to mouth-size,
hand-size, and never seeming small.

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn't leave a stain,
no sweetness that's ever sufficiently sweet...

Tonight a friend called to say his lover
Jul 03, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2014
Stephen Dunn's 2000 collection Different Hours won the Pulitizer Prize for poetry with good reason. This collection, gathering much of his work, prior to that time shows the development of one of our best contemporary poets. An amazing collection that brings the personal and philosophical together through beautiful language.
Tammy Marie Jacintho
Aug 03, 2008 Tammy Marie Jacintho rated it it was amazing
I like to immerse myself in an artist's work. It's always best to read three or four books by the same author at the same time. This way, one becomes comfortable with a particular vision or voice. Reading all of Charles Dickens or all of Jane Austen is thrilling because their worlds become yours, and for a little while, at least, the small island of familiarity these words create are relatives-- a kind of warmth overtakes you-- and these words of brilliance have a way of codling the self unlike ...more
May 16, 2010 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I stand in awe of the artistry of Stephen Dunn. His poems enlighten with truth and humor. I have many favorites in this bulky collection, most of which come from his earlier work. The new poems in this collection didn't stand out to me. Favorite poems include:

The Woman with Five Hearts, Decorum, Biography in the First Person, How to Be Happy, A Primer for Swimming at Black Point, The Photograph Album, In a Dream of Horses, The Worrier, The Routine Things Around the House, Eggs, At the Smithville
Oct 01, 2007 Lisa rated it really liked it
I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could. Dunn's meditative poems (often narrative, though sometimes lyric) are ones I could read again and again. It took me a few months to finish this book because I wanted to savor it, so I allowed myself a few poems each night before I went to bed. It's a book I want to loan out to friends to read--but I won't be able to for awhile because I have to have it close by, just in case.
Tracy O
Sep 02, 2007 Tracy O rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Even Those Who Think They Cannot Like Poetry
Shelves: poetry
I didn't love all of the poems in this book (that's reserved for the land of Li Young Lee and Naomi Shihab Nye I think), BUT the poems I liked, I really liked. "Mon Semblable," "From the Manifesto of the Selfish," and "A Secret Life," are my favorites.

"Each From Different Heights," I liked if only for the line, "I'm astounded by the various types of kisses we're capable of."

Melanie Faith
Aug 09, 2012 Melanie Faith rated it really liked it
Every now and again I run across a poetry book at random that fits. This book, today, is it. :) Beautiful and varied narrative poems. My favorites, so far, are: "Urgencies," "Mon Semblable," "Loveliness," and "Each from Different Heights." I'd not read much Steven Dunn, but I'm enjoying many of these. Writing again, too--which is always a good test of a work for me.
Jun 29, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
On a sunny day last summer, lying on a picnic blanket after a bunch of us went skinny dipping in Bass Lake, people took turns reading Dunn's amazing poems. What a perfect introduction to a brilliant poet! "In France, where life and theory / touch now and then, / I don't doubt your pleasures. But here / there's room enough for incorrect / behavior, which some of us plan on."
Aug 14, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
break my heart, then rebuild it right back up. i wrote a research paper on stephen dunn in college and haven't REALLY revisited his work since then (uhh, seven years ago?) and it's startling and comforting to experience these poems as a married almost-thirty-year-old as opposed to a wanderlusty drunk twentysomething jesus-loving college student. transcendent.
Jun 18, 2016 Lacygnette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man. This guy rocks. I have so many "favorite" poems marked. They are true and right to the heart without any sappiness or fluff. Not fancy. Just beautiful language telling great moments or stories. Even if you don't think you like poetry, give this one a try.
Clara Fang
Aug 25, 2011 Clara Fang rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
So accessable and organic, you feel like its almost easy what he does until you realize the profound insights in his poems. His poems show the depth of his compassion, love for the simple things in life. His poems are redemptive.
Jun 26, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
I can return to Dunn's poems again and again, and find something poignant and new and meditative. I adore his style, especially the spare, bare-bones poetry that selects each word with razor precision.
Aug 18, 2008 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Bought this book last weekend and swept throught it. Dunn helps me "see" again. He moves from detail into a couple of profound (or surprise) statements per poem. I like him.
Kat Stromquist
May 09, 2008 Kat Stromquist rated it it was amazing
Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. I recommend him even if you aren't interested in poetry - his work is highly accessible, tuneful and melancholy.

Free/blank verse.
Sara Willis
Dec 02, 2007 Sara Willis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who enjoy being alive
You were passionate so we could be interested
You noticed things so we could wonder
You wrote so we could breathe

Thank You Stephen Dunn

Feb 26, 2011 Nina rated it really liked it
The poems in this collection span 20 years of Dunn's work. I preferred the newer work. It's a good sampling if you aren't overly familiar with Dunn.
Nov 03, 2013 Alix rated it really liked it
I was not sure which shelf to put this one on. I have read most of the poems by now, and yet I continue to be reading it and wanting to read it.
Annemarlene Risch
Feb 05, 2011 Annemarlene Risch rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
One of the few contemporary poets I can stand. Not everything is breathtaking, but a lot of it is. very approachable and gripping.
Feb 22, 2011 virgodura rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2011, american-lit
some beautiful poems here but i just find some a bit annoying. beautiful women. sister. i don't know, his views on women just bother me.
Dayna Lorentz
Nov 03, 2007 Dayna Lorentz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: mustreads
I am not a poetry person, but this man's poetry is so accessible and lucid. He always hits the emotional nail right on the head.
My most favorite book of ALL TIME. If my home was burning down, I'd run back in to save this one.

Jul 26, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
In poetry club in college, this book was our bible. I think we read "Decorum" every time we met.
Jun 20, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
He is one of my favorite poets of all time. He's accessible, but he's not simple.
Gary McDowell
Aug 13, 2007 Gary McDowell rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-ones
One of the first big-name poets I loved. I still think he's awesome.
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Stephen Dunn was born in New York City in 1939. He earned a B.A. in history and English from Hofstra University, attended the New School Writing Workshops, and finished his M.A. in creative writing at Syracuse University. Dunn has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as a professor of creative writing.

Dunn's books of poetry include Everythin
More about Stephen Dunn...

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“Now and again I feel the astonishment of being alive like this, in this body.” 16 likes
“May you turn
stone, my daughter,
into silk. May you make men better
than they are.”
More quotes…