The Watercourse by Cynthia Zarin

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In her third book of poetry, her first in eight years, Cynthia Zarin, one of the finest poets of her generation, has turned her art to fresh purposes. Taking up the subject of divorce and the splintering and re-forming of family that follows it, Zarin, whose work has been compared to that of Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, addresses the passage through a time of guilt and sorrow in an oblique yet precise tone that is unique in contemporary poetry. At the book’s center is a powerful sequence of love poems, in which she asks, “Is it light on the trees / that turns them to pale fire / or is it spring, come without / warning to this town on / stilts . . . ?” Whether taking a brood of children to the swimming pool, contemplating a parrot, or imagining a temperate landscape “where Orion / could shoot the bear along the river, and miss, and miss,” Zarin continually reveals beauty in subtle statements of feeling.

The Watercourse is a gorgeous, mature, and profoundly moving collection.

About Cynthia Zarin

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Cynthia Zarin was born in New York City and educated at Harvard and Columbia. The author of four books of poetry and five books for children, she is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, as well as other publications, and a former contributing editor at Gourmet. Her awards and honors include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ingram Merrill Award for Poetry, the Peter I. B. Lavan Prize, a National Endowment of the Arts Award for Literature, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in New York City.

Author Residence: New York City

Author Hometown: New York City
Published February 19, 2002 by Knopf. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Zarin's first book in eight years consistently delights and instructs.

| Read Full Review of The Watercourse: Poems

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