978-0-8229-5730-0 / 9780822957300

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About the book:

In Night Errands, Maxine Kumin, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, and 23 other poets ponder the relationship between dreams and poetry. Some claim to have dreamt poems in their entirety. Nicholas Christopher tells of a poem he wrote after he came upon its title in a dream. Others don't remember their dreams at all but enter a dreamlike state to work through their poems. And still others, such as Laurel Blossom, explore the similarities between dreams and poems. The most common thread here, though, concerns the ways in which poets use poemmaking as a way to nail down, make sense of, or complete those dreams that slip away as one awakens. "All day," writes Patricia Traxler (Forbidden Words) in one of the book's most evocative pieces, "you remain in the sway of this unremembered dream, at times believing you're about to retrieve it intact from the bog, but always it stays beyond reach." Traxler revels in the elusive dream that would likely frustrate the rest of us. "I know it means I've been given the seed of another poem, and that in the coming days and nights my job will be to tend it and coax it into being. Sometimes I succeed." --Jane Steinberg

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