The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt
by Amy Clampitt
When Amy Clampitt's first book of poems, The Kingfisher, was published in January 1983, the response was jubilant. The poet was sixty-three years old, and there had been no debut like hers in recent memory. "A dance of language," said May Swenson. "A genius for places," wrote J. D. McClatchy, and the New York Times Book Review said, "With the publication of her brilliant f...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 20th 1999 by Knopf
(first published 1997)
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It's easy to get too much of Amy Clampitt in your system. I have a feeling that poetry comes easily to her: she lives in a world teeming with imagery- she thinks in poetry, rather than thoughts. Her verses are haiku-like observations of the natural world, uninterested in the symbolic meaning of nature, content merely to see them as they are, or rather, to see them as oneself sees them without worrying about what they signify. Everything is fertile ground for a Clampitt poem, and that lends itsel...more
I realize a lot of people like this woman, but I just can't get behind some of the moves she makes, which sympathize too much with the world of scholasticism and naturalism. She writes one poem we read in class on a common theme, the changing seasons and its correlation to the decay of the human body. But she ends it with a claim that it sure must be hard for those poor leaves which have to slowly fall, and that just seems like a stretch to me.