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Jersey Rain

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  179 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Cathartic, refreshing new work by the American favorite

Tiptoe on the globe. Gazing
nowhere in particular, the slender
Thunderer surrounded by thunder,

Fire zigzag in his grasp, labeled "Spirit
Of Communication"---unhistorical,
Pure, the merciless messenger.

--from "A Phonebook Cover Hermes of the Nineteen-forties"

Innovative, engaging poems from a leading American poet.

Stone whee
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 16th 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Kind of boring, actually. I mean, Pinsky had, for the most part, the same technical style that I noticed in History of My Heart, but these poems just seemed... not very interesting or particularly inspired. The alphabet ones (especially the second, which, I think, is supposed to be a prose poem) threw me off; they seemed like assignments he gave to his students that he, on a whim, did on his own and used to fill in some extra pages. I also didn't get much of a sense of place, even though this sh ...more
Brett Francis
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Again, another collection of hit or miss poems for me and Pinsky. I had a poetry teacher once tell me of a abecedarian (like the alphabet poems that show up in this collection) that they are party-favor poetry, tricks to hand out as a joke and forget about. And I agree that "ABC" in particular felt completely throw-away. "An Alphabet of My Dead," on the other hand, because of its wonderful narratives, was one of my favorites. Another one that stuck with me was "Samurai Song." Overall, what Iáve ...more
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Truly a national treasure. He has become one of my favorite poets
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
excellent collection. one of the better modern poets.
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Having recently finished Gulf Music, I think that reading Jersey Rain helped me understand the poet behind the poetry more. Several poems in the former collection refer to people that he named and explained in the latter poems (particularly "An Alphabet of My Dead"). I especially love that Robert Pinsky does not expect one to pick up on every allusion, and in fact, the very mystery of it lends to the reader's delight.

Of all the poems in this collection, I love "The Green Piano" the most. Pinsky
Samantha Albala
I have heard from friends that this is not the best Pinsky book, which makes me very excited to pick up more! I loved his style and phrasing and intellectual way of discussing history and literature. All poets should be subtle when using their knowledge and I believe he does that. I think it makes the reader engaged and unintimidated. I cannot wait to read and hear more from him!
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed many of the poems in this book, but the one on the very last page has been staying with me the most. The first stanza of "Jersey Rain":

Now near the end of the middle stretch of road
What have I learned? Some earthly wiles. An art.
That often I cannot tell good fortune from bad,
That once had seemed so easy to tell apart.
Donald Armfield
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My third Robert Pinsky book and another amazing read. My favorites

Samurai Song
Autumn Quartet
An Alphabet of My Dead
The Haunted Ruin
To Television
The Green Piano

In Alphabet of My Death he goes through a list of people he once knew. Relatives, friends and famous. In an alphabetical slaughter thought it was a very well hit concept.
Sur Cur Lengel
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
My talking is simply eavesdropping:
I note the clatter on my tongue--
Its urgency and audacity
adjusting, shoving and arranging.
I oblige
A final, awkward rattle
In my muttering.

You gambol
And skillfully traipse
Throughout the mess,
Assuasive and tenderhearted.

Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
this was filed w/juvenile poetry at the library. apparently the person filing thought this was the famous kidlit artist, which is why i checked it out. no illustrations.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Didn't sing or surprise, just sloshed along, though the "An Alphabet of My Dead" which, was exactly what the title suggests, delivered in a sad way.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My favorite of Pinsky. I saw him read at my college and he was amazing.
Jen Ashburn
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Jonathan Williams
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Robert Pinsky is an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky is the author of nineteen books, most of which are collections of his own poetry. His published work also includes critically acclaimed translations, including The Inferno of Dante Alighieri and The Separate Notebooks by ...more
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