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

Selected Poems

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Thom Gunn was an Elizabethan poet in modern guise, though there's nothing archaic, quaint, or sepia-toned about his poetry. His method was dispassionate and rigorous, uniquely well suited for making a poetic record of the tumultuous time in which he lived. Gunn's dozens of brilliantly realized poems about nature, friendship, literature, sexual love, and death are set again ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1974)
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 Selected Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Selected Poems

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 125)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I'm itching to christen Thom Gunn the "Poet of the Hug." His poems, like hugs, are dependable and steady, marked by cool consistency and mellow humanistic sympathies. He has a few poems about hugs, too---most notably, the aptly titled "The Hug," which wistfully describes a platonic embrace shared by two ex-lovers who are now "just friends." There's also the stately lyric "Baucis and Philemon," which contains the lines "Two trunks like bodies, bodies like twined trunks,/Supported by their wooden ...more
Aug 14, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Like going to a new restaurant in a new city and ordering something extravagently new to you. Eating slowly, and then having coffee.

Thank you, Thom Gunn, for bringing that strange land of 1960s 70s San Francisco to me on my Ohio front porch. August Kleinzahler talks about Gunn coming to write more and more of the city, but I heard him caring about what lies around it: the grasses, small birds, dust, clouds, and the naked at the naked beaches.
Feb 14, 2012 Yllacaspia rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite books of poetry, ever. Touch, the Hug, and In Trust in particular bring tears to my eyes every time.
Sean the Bookonaut
Oct 31, 2014 Sean the Bookonaut rated it really liked it
Thom Gunn has been one of the happy discoveries wrought by my self imposed regime to read more poetry and to read more widely. I can’t remember how I stumbled across the name but I am glad that I did.

I am very glad to have picked up this particular Selected Poems edited by August Kleinzahler, because I think, in my limited knowledge of the poet, that Kleinzahler has done a very good job of presenting a cross section of Gunn’s work. I also found the introduction by Kleinzahler to be one of the b
Jan magdalene
Jul 27, 2015 Jan magdalene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
i was surprised at how much i liked this.. thom gunn especially i thought was great. ted hughes' poems in this book are a bit of a mixed bag: the first couple are great but a lot of them are super boring as well.
Read #1
Started on October 15, 2014
Finished on October 22, 2014

Just had to go ahead finish this even though we have one more week of Gunn in my class. His poetry is tied with Larkin at the moment. Really enjoyed this.
Jordaan Mason
Apr 08, 2011 Jordaan Mason rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, poetry
really great introduction to this poet, spanning his entire career. i found the first few poetry volume excerpts to be my least favourite; he seemed to get better with age. stand-outs include "modes of pleasure (#2)," "the feel of hands," "touch," "rites of passage," "moly," "phaedra in the farm house," "the bed," "the hug," "the man with the night sweats," "lament," "shit (an essay on rimbaud)," and "the dump."
Feb 03, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I find it difficult to compare Pilinszky to other poets I read - though several in this collection are reminiscent of Rilke.

A line, from "World Grown Cold," I found quite fascinating:

"And this is how the eternally unknowable
gets its homely look.
As with the leaves in their withering,
my decay embalms me."
Oct 25, 2012 Sarah added it
The formality of his verse is pretty stunning (extremely complex schemes of rhyming and meter), but aside from my admiration for his technical mastery, I'm not moved by Thom Gunn's poetry so far.
Mar 10, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
gosh, do you ever stop reading a poem? i will come back and review after i've read through these a few more dozen times.
Apr 13, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I love Thom Gunn!
Lee marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Ajsm53 added it
Jan 24, 2016
Adonis marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2015
Don Hackett
Don Hackett marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2015
ILdi rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2015
Brennan Bogert
Brennan Bogert rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2015
Rambling Reader
Rambling Reader rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2015
John marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
PepeLePew rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2015
Jamie rated it liked it
May 07, 2015
Jennifer rated it did not like it
Apr 22, 2015
Thomas marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
Mark Jensen
Mark Jensen rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2015
Zoe rated it it was ok
Aug 16, 2015
Allison Costello
Allison Costello marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Peter Clarke
Peter Clarke rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2015
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Bruce Woodcock
Bruce Woodcock is currently reading it
Jan 16, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Thom Gunn (29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004), born Thomson William Gunn, was an Anglo-American poet who was praised for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement, and his later poetry in America, even after moving toward a looser, free-verse style. After relocating from England to San Francisco, Gunn wrote about gay-related topics—particularly in his most famous work, Th ...more
More about Thom Gunn...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »