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A Possible World

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"For the last thirty years or more, Kenneth Koch has been writing the most exuberant poems in America. In an arena where such good spirits are rare, he has become a national treasure. In his book of personal addresses to what has mattered most in his seventy-plus years on the planet, there is a dimension of pathos and joy rare in the poetry of any era." —National Book Awar ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 15th 2002 by Knopf (first published 2002)
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Apr 09, 2017 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The sun is high, the seaside air is sharp,
And salty light reveals the Mayan School.
The Irish hope their names are on the harp,
We see the sheep's advertisement for wool,
Boulders are here, to throw against a tarp,
From which comes bursting forth a puzzled mule.
Perceval seizes it and mounts it, then
The blood-dimmed tide recedes and then comes in again.

Fateful connections that we make to things
Whose functioning's oblivious to our lives!
How sidewise news of light from darkness springs,
How b
Jun 03, 2010 Dayna rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really liked "To Buddhism," "Proverb," "A Schoolroom in Haiti," and "Day and Night in Kuala Lumpur." But I really hated the title poem (I could barely finish it), and the others were okay. (It might have enjoyed the poems more if I wasn't trying to tune out Cinderella and fight the Sunday afternoon nap, but I don't think so.)
Jan 03, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it
Quite elegant and thought-provoking. A couple poems ("Possible World," "Roma non basta una vita") left me baffled, but otherwise poignant and impressive, especially "Bel Canto."
Jul 31, 2011 Kasandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked only one poem in this book, To Buddhism... a few others came close, but fell flat before they ended or upon ending. These are uneven in style and tone, some experimental, some very short, some very long, and overall felt often like drafts that got scraped together or hadn't fit in other books and were randomly collected out of unpublished work for this posthumous volume. Then again, this being the 3rd of Koch's books I've read, (I adored New Addresses and really disliked Sun Out), ...more
M- S__
Jun 20, 2015 M- S__ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
There were good and redeeming poems in this collection, but the thing is kind of a mess. There's no structure other than "most of these poems have place names in the title." The autobio ramble at the end was about as pointless a piece of work as I've ever read from a respected poet. It reminded me a little of this recurring newscaster bit in a collection by Juan Felipe Herrera called Senegal Taxi. Not in content, but just in the drop in your stomach dread you have when you turn the page to see t ...more
Jan 27, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the a ...more
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