The Singing by C. K. Williams

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New work from the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Repair

. . . Reality has put itself so solidly before me
there's little need for mystery . . . Except for us, for how we take the world
to us, and make it more, more than we are, more even than itself.
--from "The World"

In his first volume since Repair, C. K. Williams treats the characteristic subjects of a poet's maturity--the loss of friends, the love of grandchildren, the receding memories of childhood, the baffling illogic of current events--with an intensity and drive that recall not only his recent work but also his early books, published forty years ago. He gazes at a Rembrandt self-portrait, and from it fashions a self-portrait of his own. He ponders an "anatomical effigy" at the Museum of Mankind, an in so doing "dissects" our common humanity. Stoking a fire at a house in the country, he recalls a friend who was burned horribly in war, and then turns, with eloquence and authority, to contemporary life during wartime, asking "how those with power over us can effect these things, by what cynical reasoning do they pardon themselves." The Singing is a direct and resonant book: touching, searching, heartfelt, permanent. The Singing is the winner of the 2003 National Book Award for Poetry.

About C. K. Williams

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C. K. Williams is professor of creative writing at Princeton University. He is the author of eighteen books of poetry, including Repair and The Singing, as well as several books of prose, mostly recently On Whitman.
Published January 1, 2003 by Bloodaxe. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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They are saved from disappearing down their own rabbit hole by the skillful ease of Williams's technique—in his trademark long lines, and in other, more varied forms, the poems can seem to write themselves—and by moments that try to register a wider range of experience: "the love of others the mi...

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Project MUSE

Although he claimed no explicit understanding of melodic ornamentation in sean-nós songs, Heaney often spoke of it in metaphorical terms or in terms of feelings about the underlying meaning of the song.

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