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Between Angels

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"Between Angels affirms what we are capable of in our best moments—grace, tenderness, love—while acknowledging that the human heart can be merciless. It's a book of great breadth."--Gregory Djanikian, Philadelphia Inquirer
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 17th 1990 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1989)
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4.30  · 
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 ·  243 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, poetry
Angels as a concept do not particularly resonate with me, which may be why a number of these poems failed to take flight in my mind. I don't want divine failsafes, watchful protectors, anthropomorphic saviors, nor gambling tables, nor luck; my hope takes different forms. If I'm to be really honest, my favorite Stephen Dunn poems (here and elsewhere) are about love, messy and unpredictable and utterly human. So here's to the fallen.


That time I thought I was in love
and c
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I liked the first two sections, but the ending third was not terribly satisfying
Cindy Cunningham
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The poem "Loneliness" grabs me every time I read it. I love how this man can create such specificity out of abstract concepts. Lovely, lovely.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved reading this.
Sometimes poetry can be difficult to decipher or relate to, but I feel like almost every poem in this book engenders an everyday experience or feeling. I felt personally connected to the poetry, and it was no chore to read every poem in this book.
Shawn Aebi
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid collection. Readable and accessible. Shows a learned observation from a journeyed soul. Settled and confirming of life's twists and turns.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3.75 stars
Brian Wasserman
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
A great survey into boredom.

Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
the thing about stephen dunn is that there's time involved. you don't read a poem and have it hit you immediately. (i feel like i don't need to clarify what i mean when i say 'it.') it's not until you think about it later, or read it again, that you can think to yourself after the poem, 'wow,' and really mean it.
between angels is divided into three sections and i think the first section, leavings, is the best, but that might just be because it's the section i've had the most time to ruminate on
Circus Folk
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This collection of poetry is a must-read!

Stephen Dunn is well-acquainted with the inner workings of both himself and others. As you’re reading, you find yourself continually saying “I know exactly what he means” or “Wow, I’ve had moments just like this.” Dunn touches heavily upon feelings of isolation, especially in the context of the modern world, and the fleeting nature of happiness. He takes these thoughts we have daily involving the agonies of life, the beauties of life, the in-betweens, and
Maughn Gregory
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
TO A TERRORIST (pp. 79-80)

Still, I must say to you:
I hate your good reasons.
I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall

in love with death, your own included.
Perhaps you're hating me now,
I who own my own house

and live in a country so muscular,
so smug, it thinks its terror is meant
only to mean well, and to protect.

... I'm just speaking out loud
to cancel my silence. Consider it an old impulse,
doomed to become mere words.

The first poet probably spoke to thunder
and, for a while, believed
thunder had
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful collections of poetry I have ever experienced. Dunn takes an incisive look at the difficulties of adulthood, particularly the painful reality that, as Wallace Stevens writes, "Every minute love's bones grow lighter."
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-greats, poetry
Stephen Dunn is a master. These poems are elegantly simple with no wasted words, no wasted pages.

I've just deleted about 400 words that tried to explain how good this book is; no review will adequately explain how good this book of poems is.

The best book of poetry I have ever read.
Tamara Gleason
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first book of poetry I loved on my own. I read it while fifteen and sitting on the dock of my friend Lacie's beach house. It is one of the few books to have lived in all four states with me. Urgencies and Essay on the Personal are still two of my favorite poems.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An irreverent rendering of the sacred and the profane pilgrimage through life from one of our best contemporary poets.
Tammy Marie Jacintho
May 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: secular humanists
Another good book by Stephen Dunn. Spare. Human. Perceptive. Even the angels are powerless, and must surrender to human suffering.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a merely decent collection from him yet.

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Stephen Dunn was born in New York City in 1939. He earned a B.A. in history and English from Hofstra University, attended the New School Writing Workshops, and finished his M.A. in creative writing at Syracuse University. Dunn has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as a professor of creative writing.

Dunn's books of poetry include Everythin
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