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About the book
  • Published: 11 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780525657781
  • Imprint: Doubleday US
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $44.99

Stranger by Night

Poems


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In his 70th birthday year, the award-winning poet looks back on what was and accepts what is, in a beautiful sequence about what sustains him

Beginning with "My Friends Don't Get Buried," the lament of a delinquent mourner as his friends have begun to die, and ending with the plaintive note to self "don't write elegies/anymore," Hirsch takes us backward through the decades in these memory poems of startling immediacy. He recalls the black dress a lover wore when he couldn't yet know the tragedy of her burning spirit; the radiance of an autumn day in Detroit when his students smoked outside, passionately discussing Shelley; the day he got off late from a railyard shift and missed an anti-war demonstration. There are direct and indirect elegies to lost contemporaries like Mark Strand, William Meredith, and, most especially, his longtime compatriot Philip Levine, whom he honors in several poems about daily work in the late midcentury Midwest. As the poet ages and begins to lose his peripheral vision, the world is "stranger by night," but these elegant, heart-stirring poems shed light on a lifetime that inevitably contains both sorrow and its opposite.

  • Pub date: 11 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780525657781
  • Imprint: Doubleday US
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $44.99

About the Author

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch has published five previous books of poems: FOR THE SLEEPWALKERS (1981), WILD GRATITUDE (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, THE NIGHT PARADE (1989), EARTHLY MEASURES (1994), and ON LOVE (1998). He has also written three prose books, including HOW TO READ A POEM AND FALL IN LOVE WITH POETRY (1999), a national bestseller, and THE DEMON AND THE ANGEL: SEARCHING FOR THE SOURCE OF ARTISTIC INSPIRATION (2002). A frequent contributor to leading magazines and periodicals, including THE NEW YORKER, DOUBLETAKE, and AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, he also writes the Poet's Choice column for the WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD. He has received the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He teaches at the University of Houston.

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