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A Possible World

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  4 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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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felt often like drafts that got scraped together or hadn't fit in other books and were randomly collected out of unpublished work for this posthumous volume.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
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.)
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."
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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
More about Kenneth Koch...
The Collected Poems Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry New Addresses

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