Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.
Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation
And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.
Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned
For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.
—from "Gulf Music"
An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).
On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.
Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; August 2014
- ISBN 9781466878402
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Gulf Music
- Author: Robert Pinsky
Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The Press
"Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of “Gulf Music” are among the best examples we have of poetry’s ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation."—The New York Times
"The success of poems like “Poem With Lines in Any Order” and “Poem of Disconnected Parts,” both from Gulf Music, hinges on their ability to strip away and deliberately obfuscate narrative in a manner that feels engaging and pleasurable, rather than contrived."—The Nation
About The Author
A former Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University and has also taught at the University of California at Berkeley. His poetry collections include At the Foundling Hospital and The Figured Wheel (winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize); and his nonfiction includes Poetry and the World and The Sounds of Poetry.