Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Winter Numbers: Poems” as Want to Read:
Winter Numbers: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Winter Numbers: Poems

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In her seventh volume Marilyn Hacker confronts life and death at the end of our genocidal century, making another extraordinary contribution to the feminist and lesbian canon.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Winter Numbers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Winter Numbers

Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man by Ronaldo V. WilsonDiving Into the Wreck by Adrienne RichThe Selected Poems by Federico García LorcaCrush by Richard SikenVoluntary Servitude by Mark Wunderlich
Best LGBT Poetry
60th out of 104 books — 13 voters
Nightwood by Djuna BarnesThe Art and Thought of Heraclitus by Charles H. KahnWilliam Shakespeare by William ShakespeareInferno by Eileen MylesThe Importance of Being Iceland by Eileen Myles
Samuel R. Delany's literary pillars
86th out of 100 books — 1 voter

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 134)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Winter Numbers is one of my favorite books by Marilyn Hacker. The poems, while discussing topics of loss, are full of delightful rhythm, subtle manipulation of form and meter, and effective use of rhyme.
The lengthy opening poem, “Against Elegies,” talks about loss of friends through AIDS and cancer.
My old friends, my new friends who are old,
or older, sixty, seventy, take pills
with meals or after dinner. Arthritis
scourges them. But irremediable night is
farther away from them; they seem to hold
Robyn Groth
I was happy to see Sapphic stanzas, villanelles, sonnets (solo and in sequences), haiku sequences, and I really liked Street Scenes I-V. But, much of the content just bored me. Cancer, old girlfriends - I just wasn't into it.
I'm awed at how Marilyn Hacker writes in the intersection of clarity, memory, and the present moment. She writes personal/confessional poems that are clearly about a specific situation but still managed to speak to my (different) situation and have a rich reading either way. I really like how she sneaks in rhymes without being obvious about it. I'm really glad that I read an advice blog that answers some of its questions with poetry recommendations, leading me to Hacker's work.
A really lovely collection, with some AMAZING formal verse--the corona is pretty killer, as is the longer sonnet sequence "Cancer Winter." I actually got out my trusty pencil and scanned some of the poems, or marked their rhyme schemes trying to figure out Hacker's patterns. Some of the poems in the second section left me a little cold, but overall, a really strong collection.
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2015
Ashley marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Víctor Bermúdez
Víctor Bermúdez marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Robin Hudson
Robin Hudson marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Caitlin marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
Kimberly Spivey
Kimberly Spivey marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Sarah Creech
Sarah Creech marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Rachel marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
Julie added it
Jun 12, 2014
Jill Fairchild
Jill Fairchild marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2014
Mandee marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2014
N. Morua
N. Morua marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2014
Nos Consortium
Nos Consortium marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Marilyn Hacker is an American poet, translator, critic, and professor of English.

Her books of poetry include Presentation Piece (1974), which won the National Book Award, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986), and Going Back to the River (1990). In 2009, Hacker won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for King of a Hundred Horsemen by Marie Étienne, which also garnered the first R
More about Marilyn Hacker...
Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons Selected Poems 1965-1990 Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002 Squares and Courtyards: Poems Names: Poems

Share This Book

“Lovely and unremarkable, the clutter
of mugs and books, the almost-empty Fig
Newtons box, thick dishes in a big
tin tray, the knife still standing in the butter,
change like the color of river water
in the delicate shift to day. Thin fog
veils the hedges, where a neighbor dog
makes rounds. 'Go to bed. It doesn't matter
about the washing-up. Take this book along.'
Whatever it was we said that night is gone,
framed like a photograph nobody took.
Stretched out on a camp cot with the book,
I think that we will talk all night again,
there, or another where, but I am wrong.”
More quotes…