Fourteen years after his last book of poems, we have a glorious new volume from Richard Kenney, who has been hailed byThe New York Review of Booksas one of the most gifted and multifaceted and original of American poets. InThe One-Strand River, Kenney has tales to tell of loves, births, and confounding politics in lively, quicksilver language that surprises at every turn. We meet the poet as a middle-aged husband walking the dog, confiding, Churlish / thoughts bedevil me, often. Sunshine; girls / half my age; the future; unseen perishing / armies. He swings between surreal dawn vistas and the unsettling sight of seventh-grade girls circling his teenage son; between the pleasure of a New Year's celebration with Nipperkin and striking a note that is rare in contemporary poetry satirical attack, with an eye on the news of the day. A master of many tones, Kenney recalls a nursery rhyme in the title poem Gray goose and gander/ How long have we together? and ponders the one-strand river that is the sea, with its one encircling shore and its tidal pull on both the landscape and the human heart.
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January 29, 2008
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