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The Lost World

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Paperback, 69 pages
Published October 1st 1985 by Collier Books (first published 1965)
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Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pure-poetry
Good stuff here!

But, could someone please tell me how Jarrell, a MAN born in 1914 could manage to write a poem that so completely describes what it's like to be a middle-aged WOMAN?

Now that I’m old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. It bewilders me he doesn’t see me.
For so many years
I was good enough to eat: the world looked at me
And its mouth watered. How often they have undressed me,
The eyes of strangers!
And, holding their flesh within my flesh, their vile

Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
But really no one is exceptional,
No one has anything, I'm anybody,
I stand beside my grave
Confused with my life, that is commonplace and

The poems in The Lost World read as the inner monologues of a range of characters — husbands, wives, old women, animals. These sketches capture the voice and rhythm of thought without losing the melody of poetry, similar to Robert Penn Warren and other great Southern poets. Observations are underscored by realization. Jarrell was special and should be r
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flows easy sometimes, sometimes difficult. But mostly rewarding, always meaningful, though the meanings can often be vague and obscure. In many of the poems he speaks as a woman, from the point of view of woman, a wife, a mother; in some, perhaps, as himself, a man, a husband, a father, a child.

"When you take off everything what's left? A wish,
A blind wish; and yet the wish isn't blind,
What the wish wants to see, it sees."
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good. Kind of weird and happy and sad and even creepy in places (it makes sense that the cover art, of my edition anyway, is by Maurice Sendak).
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I'm not hearing the music with this one. I can't match the poetry with Lowell's eloquent afterward (titled "an appreciation"). I had high hopes, since I think Jarrell's much anthologized "Ball Turret Gunner" poem is terrific. The title poem (or series of poems), "Lost World" is good, more approachable and warmer than Lowell's similar "Life Studies." "Next Day" is also good, as is "Bats." My favorite in the bunch was probably the strange fairy tale like "A Hunt in the Black Forest." But there are ...more
Cooper Renner
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not a flawless book--what collection of poetry is?--but a very good one, very smart, smartly conceived, full of emotion. Childhood memories, fairy tale imagery, dramatic monologues. Very much better than almost anything likely to be published this year.
Dan Ust
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Best poem in the book is "Next Day," which I was already very familiar with. I found most of the rest tough going. I'll have to revisit them.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Oddly touching.
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Randall Jarrell (1914-1965) wrote eight books of poetry, five anthologies, four children’s books illustrated by Maurice Sendak, four translations, including Faust: Part I and The Three Sisters (performed on Broadway by the Actor’s Studio), and a novel, Pictures from an Institution. He received the National Book Award for poetry in 1960, served as poet laureate at the Library of Congress in 1957 an ...more
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