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Ultramarine: Poems

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  366 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"Mr. Carver is heir to that most appealing American poetic voice, the lyricism of Theodore Roethke and James Wright.... this book is a treasure, one to return to. No one's brevity is as rich, as complete, as Raymond Carver's."
--New York Times Book Review

"Carver's gifts as a storyteller shine through his poetry.... Sometimes a Carver poem also works as a short story, with a
...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 12th 1987 by Vintage (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 547)
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Patrick
so, i never give books ratings on goodreads. But if i did, this one would get all 5 stars.
Ryan Werner
Though Raymond Carver saw much success due to the strength of his short fiction, he fails to captivate with his poetry.

Raymond Carver (1938-1988) is often hailed as a writer’s writer, someone whose craft and voice are just as important as the story itself. He uses the language of the people he writes about to tell their story, and though he’s been labeled a minimalist, his work is more of that of a precisionist. Carver wastes no words, and his portions are perfect. To place Carver in the top thr
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Courtney Johnston
So, I don't think Raymond Craver is a very good poet. That didn't stop me from being very taken with a number of these works (and more so by others I found online, scavenging around, and even more so with the next collection, which I skimmed on the walk back from the library to work, becoming an obstacle for pedestrians and a hazard for drivers as I lost myself to the words and pulled away from my surroundings).

I love these poems less for their rhythm and lyricism, more for the small observatio
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Monica
WARNING!!! WARNING!!! Alarms and sirens and stuff.

This may be a boring review.

Then why write it, you may ask. I have no answer besides the fact that I review 90% of the books I read but it has been difficult to review this book of poetry because it was just meh.... and blah..... there is not too much to note. Typical collection of poetry.

My favorite poem was probably "An Afternoon".

Other poems of note were:
Circulation
The Best Time of Day
The Phone Booth
The Gift

The reason that they were of note is
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Paul Taylor
I am not American and have never visited Washington State but can empathise with Carver's poetry. He wistfully combines the sense of loss, loneliness and failures in middle age life with the joy of nature and in particular fishing. Maybe he is the voice of a generation.
Bryan
'Sweet Light'


'After the winter, grieving and dull,
I flourished here all Spring. Sweet light

began to fill my chest. I pulled up
a chair. Sat for hours in front of the sea.

Listened to the buoy and learned
to tell the difference between a bell,

and the sound of a bell. I wanted
everything behind me. I even wanted

to become inhuman. And I did that.
I know I did. (She'll back me up on this.)

I remember the morning I closed the lid
on memory and turned the handle.

Locking it away forever.
Nobody kn
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Edmund Davis-Quinn
Beautiful narrative poetry. Carver can tell a whole story in a few stanzas. Some favourites include: The Best Time of the Day, The Minuet and An Afternoon.
Matthew Konkel
Damn, Carver. How do you do it? How do you make "ordinary life" so effing interesting? Ray takes the most mundane subject and peels it up into an engaging, entertaining piece of work. Ray could take the color blue and make you see it like you're seeing it for the first time, like you've been blind your whole life. If I could only compose half as good ol' Ray. Again, most people know Ray as a short story writer but I seem to like Carver's poems more than his fiction. Moreover, I enjoyed this coll ...more
Simon Sweetman
Yes, I prefer his short stories but there's something quite huge inside his poetry. Some of these are wonderful. Really quite amazing. And you get so much more of him in the poems.
A.M. O'Malley
These poems are of a man looking at his own death. Published just two years before his death in 1988, Carver seemed to be savoring his last years and their small pleasures. I am a big fan of his short stories and just stumbled upon this book of poems at the library. I think that I will stick to his prose, but these poems were certainly worth reading.
Brian
I'm not a poetry guy but I like Ray Carver. His poems read like his short stories. Not a lot of detail in the words but deep in to the personalities of the people he writes about.
Lucy
I liked a few of these poems, but not all. There are rare flashes of genius as in "Waiting". Some are a tad gritty as he writes of his alcoholism.
Tiffany
Section 3 is my favorite. I like a lot from the beginning too, but he's more depressed and bitter in the beginning.
Melody
Transcendent. Carver's voice is singular, sure, and a little rough from wear. These poems go with me always.
Kyoungjin Lim
Poems of Raymond Carver are three-dimensional. Inside each poem, the story makes its own space.
Stan
this was recommend to me by Bart Parker, in relation to my own work.
Julie
Poignant, heart-wrenching, honest. A treat.
Moses
I would love to read this to you
sometime.
mayra
why i write. Carver is superb.
Erik
I keep picking this book up and flipping to favorite poems: "The Possible," "Son," "The Jungle," "The Meadow," "Limits," just to name a few. I've loved Carver's fiction for a while, but his poetry is great when it's good.
Mary Shanley
Love Carver poems.
John
Never gets old.
Sonika Misra
Sonika Misra marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Anika
Anika marked it as to-read
Feb 13, 2015
Dawn
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Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. The son of a violent alcoholic, he married at 19, started a series of menial jobs and his own career of 'full-time drinking as a serious pursuit'. A career that would eventually kill him. Constantly struggling to support his wife and family Carver enrolled in a writing programme under author John Gardner in 1958 and ...more
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“there isn't enough of anything
as long as we live. But at intervals
a sweetness appears and, given a chance
prevails.”
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