The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt

The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt When Amy Clampitt s first book of poems The Kingfisher was published in January the response was jubilant The poet was sixty three years old and there had been no debut like hers in recent me
  • Title: The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt
  • Author: Amy Clampitt
  • ISBN: 9780375700644
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt
    When Amy Clampitt s first book of poems, The Kingfisher, was published in January 1983, the response was jubilant The poet was sixty three years old, and there had been no debut like hers in recent memory A dance of language, said May Swenson A genius for places, wrote J D McClatchy, and the New York Times Book Review said, With the publication of her brilliant fWhen Amy Clampitt s first book of poems, The Kingfisher, was published in January 1983, the response was jubilant The poet was sixty three years old, and there had been no debut like hers in recent memory A dance of language, said May Swenson A genius for places, wrote J D McClatchy, and the New York Times Book Review said, With the publication of her brilliant first book, Clampitt immediately merits consideration as one of the most distinguished contemporary poets She went on to publish four collections in the next eleven years, the last one, A Silence Opens, appearing in the year she died.Now, for the first time, the five collections are brought together in a single volume, allowing us to experience anew the distinctiveness of Amy Clampitt s voice the brilliant language an appealing mix of formal and everyday expression that poured out with such passion and was shaped in rhythms and patterns entirely her own.Amy Clampitt s themes are the very American ones of place and displacement She, like her pioneer ancestors, moved frequently, but she wrote with lasting and deep feeling about all sorts of landscapes the prairies of her Iowa childhood, the fog wrapped coast of Maine, and places she visited in Europe, from the western isles of Scotland to Italy s lush countryside She lived most of her adult life in New York City, and many of her best known poems, such as Times Square Water Music and Manhattan Elegy, are set there.She did not hesitate to take on the larger upheavals of the twentieth century war, Holocaust, exile and poems like The Burning Child and Sed de Correr remind us of the dark nightmare lurking in the interstices of our daily existence.It is impossible to speak of Amy Clampitt s poetry without mentioning her immense, lifelong love of birds and wildflowers, a love that produced some of her most profound images like the kingfisher s burnished plunge, the color of felicity afire, which came glancing like an arrow through landscapes of untended memory to remind her of the uninhabitable sorrow of an affair gone wrong or the sun underfoot among the sundews, so dazzling that, looking, you start to fall upward The Collected Poems offers us a chance to consider freshly the breadth of Amy Clampitt s vision and poetic achievement It is a volume that her many admirers will treasure and that will provide a magnificent introduction for a new generation of readers.With a foreword by Mary Jo Salter
    The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt By Amy Clampitt,
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    About " Amy Clampitt "

  • Amy Clampitt

    Amy Clampitt was brought up in New Providence, Iowa She wrote poetry in high school, but then ceased and focused her energies on writing fiction instead She graduated from Grinnell College, and from that time on lived mainly in New York City To support herself, she worked as a secretary at the Oxford University Press, a reference librarian at the Audubon Society, and a freelance editor Not until the mid 1960s, when she was in her forties, did she return to writing poetry Her first poem was published by The New Yorker in 1978 In 1983, at the age of sixty three, she published her first full length collection, The Kingfisher.Clampitt was the recipient of a 1982 Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship 1992 , and she was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Poets She died of cancer in September 1994.

  • 128 Comments



  • It s easy to get too much of Amy Clampitt in your system I have a feeling that poetry comes easily to her she lives in a world teeming with imagery she thinks in poetry, rather than thoughts Her verses are haiku like observations of the natural world, uninterested in the symbolic meaning of nature, content merely to see them as they are, or rather, to see them as oneself sees them without worrying about what they signify Everything is fertile ground for a Clampitt poem, and that lends itself to [...]


  • I realize a lot of people like this woman, but I just can t get behind some of the moves she makes, which sympathize too much with the world of scholasticism and naturalism She writes one poem we read in class on a common theme, the changing seasons and its correlation to the decay of the human body But she ends it with a claim that it sure must be hard for those poor leaves which have to slowly fall, and that just seems like a stretch to me.


  • But at this remove what I think of as strange and wonderful, strolling the side streets of Manhattan on an April afternoon, seeing hybrid pear trees in blossom,a tossing, vertiginous colonnade of foam, up above is the white petalfall, the warm snowdrift of the indigenous wild plum of my childhood.Nothing stays put The world is a wheel All that we know, that we re made of, is motion.


  • Clampitt wrote like a scientist with a poetic bent Technically accomplished make no mistake of that Just not particularly memorable, and somewhat chilly to the touch, like TS Eliot at his worst.



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