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The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  566 ratings  ·  34 reviews
From the award-winning poet and novelist—a must-have collection of his four previous books of poetry plus a selection of new, unpublished work.
Paperback, 225 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Harper Perennial (first published May 1st 1995)
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Eddie Watkins
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
A 1995 gathering of Denis Johnson’s four published books of poetry, from 1969 to 1987, plus about 20 pages of then new poems.

A little back story: My wife and I have very different literary tastes. When we moved in together and intermingled our books there was hardly any overlap; a Faulkner or two, maybe a Henry James, an anomalous Italo Calvino. She also had a small collection of poetry (Sharon Olds, Franz Wright, Anne Sexton), as opposed to my quite large collection of more experimental stuff,
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
While in the creative writing seminars I wrote a letter to one of my teachers and said the Denis Johnson writes the way I wish I could write. My teacher was not impressed. I graduated anyway. He can kiss my literarily certified ass. This book is amazing.
Lucas Miller
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I listened to all of the New Yorker fiction podcasts featuring Denis Johnson stories over the past few months. It adds up to a pretty eclectic group of authors reading four of five (I think only four) stories of Johnson's collected in Jesus' Son. I bought a used copy of that collection sight unseen at Downtown Books and News in Asheville,NC in maybe 2006 or 2007. It has since become a touchstone of sorts. Most of Johnson's catalogue rises to the quality of these stories, but none of his other ...more
Brad Bell
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I find it truly hard to review a book of poetry since it's a subjective medium. There is no story or character arcs to comment on, more like explosions of consciousness put on paper. So this review will be short.

But as a lover of Denis Johnson these poems are beauty, isolation, sadness and transcending thought in poem form and I loved every word. Johnson is a master of finding these themes in everyday situations whether it's working a night shift as a construction worker or waking up next to the
Jennifer Juffer
Learning of Johnson’s death as I picked up this book shocked me.
I don’t know why it hit me so profoundly. Perhaps because the words he used convey accurately and profoundly life’s necessities, with its glorious hardships and its serenely beautiful miracles.
Life encapsulates all of these experiences from birth to the grave.
It’s the cyclical nature of being.
Ignoring the brevity of everyone’s lives is to miss the point of life.

I’m grateful he took pen to paper. His thoughts, ideas and his visions
Stephen Lamb
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm telling you it's cold inside the body that is not the body,
lonesome behind the face
that is certainly not the face
of the person one meant to become.
Andrea Levin
The poems range in quality from just under three stars to five stars.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the most perfect collections of poetry ever written. I could put this down.
Matt Knippel
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've never actually reviewed a book of poetry and I'm having a hard time w/ this one b/c yeah I really dig this book and it proves that Mr. Johnson can literally write anything extremely well but am coming up short on specific reasons outside of the general tone and themes represented in these poems. I tend to prefer the longer more rollicking poems that follow a kinda story albeit a bit fractured and stream of consciousy. but the shorter, simpler, more cerebral ones also have their moments. it ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
I admit I struggle to think of many worthwhile living American poets. Charles Simic is dull, Christian Wiman arrogant, Donald Hall as enjoyable as Monday morning drizzle.

Denis Johnson is best known for his fiction, especially the story collection Jesus' Son. I think his poetic urges find better expression there, to be quite honest. As with Bukowski, the poems are largely formless sprawl, spurning capital letters, let alone lines that scan, images that blaze, or stanzas demanding to be memorised.
Adrian Alvarez
Jun 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This collection started out really well, climaxed with the poems from The Incognito Lounge, then went downhill from there (pretty far downhill with those collected under New Poems). It was as though Denis Johnson got cocky and fired whatever internal editor had kept him focused all the while before. Either way, this is definitely worth a read.

I'm not sure you you can read into this, but my copy was signed and dedicated by Denis Johnson to a woman named Susan. That I have this book can only mean
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked this one though some poems are of course stronger than others. The good ones are really excellent. The less good ones are just nothing in a way worse than a lot of poets, because part of Johnson's appeal is the closeness of his style to ordinary speech (some of the time). I will be coming back to some of these. They have something to say about our shared pains and this is of value.
Jul 21, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

From the award-winning poet and novelist — a must-have collection of his four previous books of poetry plus a selection of new, unpublished work.

Offers the best selections from the author's previous works--including Inner Weather, The Man Among the Seals, The Incognito Lounge, and The Veil, in a collection that also features twelve original works.

Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is too damn good to even talk about. Just imagine the creepy vibe inherent to his short stories from "Jesus' Son" and apply it to poetry. I'm still bothered by the idea of people walking around with their eyes closed and eyeballs painted on their eyelids. There's also a pretty nifty story regarding the title and picture on the cover.
Scott Mason
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book consists of all the previous Denis Johnson collections that I'm aware of. The three earliest collections, published in his twenties are good, but relatively not my favorites. "Incognito Lounge" and "The Veil" are almost perfect, and I'm sure I'll selectively reread those in the future.
Bradley Harrison
May 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"as the winter slips up under / the palms of my hands, it is getting / harder to be a poet: i am woe / itself. my car fades / without pain from the parking lot. it / crumples to one knee, like / an elephant, startled / into lifelessness by the hungry bullets of winter."

an excerpt from, "In Praise of Distances"
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm learning that everything this man writes is lonely. There is some crazy corniness in here, but there's also some great movement. Being stoned makes this feel a lot less melancholy. Try that, late at night. It's perfect then.
Robb Todd
Sep 09, 2012 added it
Shelves: poetry, 2013
It was interesting to see his arc as a poet, and there are some stunners in his collected works, but in the first book it was evident he was still finding his way. His style changed a bit toward the end, but had some stellar moments. And the last of his new poems was a mind explosion.
Laura Hackett
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of poetry in existence. Thank you for this gift, Denis Johnson.
Mar 26, 2008 is currently reading it
jury's still out. way out.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I am a huge fan of his.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Only a few words for this one: intimacy experimented, using different forms.
Brooke Champagne
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Not as good as his fiction, but funny.
Neal Peters
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this after reading Johnson's Jesus' Son. His language is very refined, but sometimes his poetry turns into nonsense. I like his fiction better.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetryiveread
This is one of the most amazing collections of poetry. Johnson's 1st book is amazing...i wish i had a copy! Skip the "New" poems; his earlier work is much better.

Read...or be dumb!!!
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pretty good stuff. I trust his prose more. But he's no slouch of a poet.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I think I prefer DJ's fiction, but there are some stone cold classics in here.
Jul 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets
Good, but I like his stories better.
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
great collection of poetry
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my top ten all-time favorite books of poetry.
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Poet, playwright and author Denis Johnson was born in Munich, West Germany, in 1949 and was raised in Tokyo, Manila and Washington. He earned a masters' degree from the University of Iowa and received many awards for his work, including a Lannan Fellowship in Fiction (1993), a Whiting Writer's Award (1986), the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review for Train Dreams, and most recently, ...more
“Employment in the Small Bookstore"
Twelve Poems, 1975

The dust is almost motionless
in this narrowness, this stillness,
yet how unlike a coffin
it is, sometimes letting a live one in,
sometimes out
and the air,
though paused, impends not a thing,
the silence isn't sinister,
and in fact not much goes on
at the Ariel Book Shop today,
no one weeps in the back
room full of books, old books, no one
is tearing the books to shreds, in fact
I am merely sitting here
talking to no one, no one being here,
and I am blameless,
I am grateful for the job,
I am fond of the books and touch them,
I am grateful that King St. goes down
to the river, and that the rain
is lovely, the afternoon green.
If the soft falling away of the afternoon
is all there is, it is nearly
enough, just
let me hear the beautiful clear voice
of a woman in song passing
toward silence, and then
that will be all for me
at five o'clock
I will walk
down to see the untended
sailing yachts of the Potomac
bobbing hopelessly in another silence,
the small silence that gets to be a long
one when the past stops talking
to you because it is dead,
and still you listen,
hearing just the tiny
agonies of old boats
on a cloudy day, in cloudy water.
Talk to it. Men are talking to it
by Cape Charles, for them it's the same
silence with fishing lines in their hands.
We are all looking at the river bearing the wreckage
so far away. We wonder how
the river ever came to be so
grey, and think that once there were
some very big doings on this river,
and now that is all over.”
More quotes…