9780811213868 / 0811213862

A Commonplace Book of Pentastichs


Publisher:New Directions



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About the book:

James Laughlin (1914-97) was a poet of distinction as well as the founding publisher of New Directions. A Commonplace Book of Pentastichs, the last book of his own that he helped to prepare, is a compilation of 249 poems composed in a five-line stanza form first introduced in The Secret Room (1997). A note to "Thirty-nine Pentastichs" in that earlier volume explains: "A 'pentastich' refers simply to a poem of five lines, without regard to metrics. The present selection is of recent short-line compositions in natural voice cadence, many of them marginal jottings and paraphrases of commonplace book notations." Here, then, are armchair marginalia and apercus to be savored at random.

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