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Queen of a Rainy Country
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Queen of a Rainy Country

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  93 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Linda Pastan writes, "the art that mattered / was the life led fully / stanza by swollen stanza." That life is portrayed here, from memories of the poet's earliest childhood and the ambiguities of marriage and love to the surprises that come with age, always with a consciousness of what is happening in the larger world.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2006)
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Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Linda Pastan has some wonderful poems in this book, but much like the CDs of Britney Spears, there are a couple hits and a lot of filler. While I appreciate the celebration of small moments in poetry, sometimes the focus in Pastan's poems is so small as to be inconsequential. But when she's on, she's on, like in the gorgeous "A Rainy Country" and the charming "I Married You." She also tends to write poems about writing poetry a lot, which I admit annoys me. The fact that so many poets do this is ...more
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people feeling their age
Recommended to Phayvanh by: bookstore browse
Shelves: reviews, poetry, 2008
The bookstore I browse through on Main Street of my small town is decent for it's size. And though the poetry section takes up a good portion of it, I still always find myself wanting MORE. It's central Vermont, so there are shelves of the New England poets, the modern writers who are taught in these parts. Very little of color or the world outside of our national borders. Even worse, though, is a lack of representation of the rest of American poetry, the blue-collar, middle class versifiers. I' ...more
Kasey Jueds
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Linda Pastan's poems are so deceptive, and that is one of the things I love best about them. Their surfaces are calm, seemingly simple... and the emotions underneath that calm are so complex, powerful, deep. I keep being amazed by that juxtaposition, over and over. It's true Pastan's subjects (someone else mentioned this) are traditional ones, but they're traditional for a reason (because people care about them, because they're universal)... and she writes about them with such honesty, clarity.
Beth Bonini
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A friend sent me this book, and though I don't often read entire volumes of poetry -- not at one go, anyway -- I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Pastan has an easy, clear style. All of the poems are free verse, as far as I can remember, and the language is very straightforward. Her poems on nature and weather (and how the emotions are affected by these two) were particularly appealing to me.
Feb 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Pastan's work here ranges from the startling image to run of the mill word play and musings on life in art. This could probably be said of most compilations of poetry, but lucky for the reader, the startling outweighs the everyday in Queen of a Rainy Country, particularly during the fourth chapter of the book.

At the very least, one gets a full sense of her concerns in the volume, which contains a section primarily considering heritage, a section considering marriage, a section considering poetry
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is another brilliant quiet collection from Linda Pastan. While there is nothing particularly surprising or innovative here, I say that as a compliment. This is vintage Pastan and there's no reason to change the way you ferment a wine that's already robust and delicious. One thing conceptually that seems to be happening here, which I've noticed in her other recent collections, is that Pastan is growing older. It's delightful to read how such a sensitive master of her craft deals with the com ...more
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Another stellar collection of poetry by Pastan. Although she dips into familiar territory (alphabets! Why the recurring use of alphabets?), she does break new ground by addressing old age, September 11, and her childhood. Her nature poems are pretty average, but it is when she addresses paintings, obscure news articles, and the act of poetry itself that Pastan truly shines. I especially enjoyed "Poems for Sale," "For the Sake of the Poem," "Rereading Frost," "What We Are Capable Of," and why are ...more
Jean V. Naggar Literary
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Deceptively simple, casually precise, stylishly candid—these are the earmarks of a Pastan poem." --Washington Post

“Her work is accessible (in a good way), intriguing, and relevant...Pastan is a poet’s poet, but she is also a poet for the masses. And this is exactly the kind of poet I feel like reading in today’s confusing and often terrifying times.” --Rattle

“Elegantly simple poems...Her verse is flecked with dry humor and moments of joy...Her conciseness, wit, and housebound sensibility earn c
Elizabeth Wylder
Sep 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Though I could do without all of the poems about writing poems (barf), and I would definitely rearrange the sequence so as to put some space between pieces about the same thing... I really enjoyed this book. Nothing flashy, just some solid observation and (for the most part) tight lines. Pastan's voice keeps it pretty real--which I dug, although I can see why some readers would find the lack of poetic "jazz hands" boring.
Tara Betts
I like her sparse lines and how she can turn one image and make it stand out in a short poem. It feels a little lighter than I expected, but I want to read her best & selected "Carnival Evening". Some of her poems about marriage, the post-9/11 poems and the last poem which has the line she takes the title from are the poems I liked in particular.
Gwyneth Stewart
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite collections from one of my favorite poets. Poems like "The life I didn't Lead" and "I Married You" and "Firing the Muse" both inspire me and make me despair of ever writing anything that good.
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poetry, american literature, contemporary poetry
I love Pastan's poetry. I shall probably keep any and every poetry book that has even one poem of hers in it. For a more thorough review:

R.G. Evans
Dec 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that make me think "I wish I wrote like this." (And then I realize, "I write EXACTLY like this--why am I not published???). But I digress . . .
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read2010
This is a book of poems reflecting the poet's life. My favorite was Par Avion. I read half of them in the drive-thru at Starbucks this morning.
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Linda writes very accessible, earthy poetry - reminds me a bit of Billy Collins although I think I prefer Collins a bit more.
Wendy Taylor
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Best words. Best order. Contemporary American style at its best.
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Heard Linda Pastan last night...lovely
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I really liked the poems. I felt a lot of emotion and I had to read the poems about three times. The poet is very talented; this is one of the best poetry books I have ever read.
May 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book felt a bit uneven to me. While there were some truly engaging pieces, I just as often found myself put off by others.

I probably won't be revisiting this collection any time soon.
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I'd give it 6 stars if I could! Finished it only to turn to the first page and start over. Great book. Deceptively simple poems about life, aging, loving.

Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I've just started reading, but this book already amazes me.
Chloë Kamali
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In 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.

She is the author of Traveling Light (W. W. Norton & Co., 2011); Queen of a Rainy Country (2006); The Last Uncle (2002); Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; An Early Afterlife (l9
More about Linda Pastan...