Selected Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Selected Poems

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  8 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 102)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jenna
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
Nancy
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.
Yllacaspia
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.
Jordaan Mason
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."
Megan
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."
Sarah
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.
Lisa
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.
Rebecca
I love Thom Gunn!
Sean the Bookonaut
Sean the Bookonaut is currently reading it
Sep 13, 2014
Danny Dyer
Danny Dyer is currently reading it
Jul 24, 2014
John Nooney
John Nooney marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
Szőcs
Szőcs marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2014
Frank
Frank marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2014
Nannee
Nannee is currently reading it
Nov 07, 2013
Tess Clare
Tess Clare marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The Man With Night Sweats Collected Poems Boss Cupid: Poems My Sad Captains Jack Straw's Castle

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »