A New Path to the Waterfall: Poems

Front Cover
Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989 - Poetry - 126 pages
20 Reviews
Raymond Carver, author of Where I'm Calling From, is widely considered one of the great short story writers of our time. A New Path to the Waterfall was Carver's last book, and shows a writer telling the truth as best as he knows how in the time left to him. The sixty-odd poems in this collection are linked by Carver with selections from other writers, most notably Chekhov, whose work was an inspiration and a guide, and by the cumulative force of the life and death questions he poses in them. As Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet guided countless readers discovering their true love and work, Carver's book will guide those in the process of celebrating a limited life and mourning the inescapable end of it. A New Path to the Waterfall is an essential book for those who admire Carver's work, and testament to the transcendent strength of the human spirit. In her introductory essay, Tess Gallagher, Carver's companion and fellow writer, lays out the circumstances of their last years together with matter-of-fact grace.

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Review: A New Path to the Waterfall

User Review  - Timothy Schirmer - Goodreads

Some poems in this collection are certainly stronger than others. I prefer Carver's longer prose poetry, and there are a handful of stunning prose poems in this collection. I cried at several of them ... Read full review

Review: A New Path to the Waterfall

User Review  - Arick - Goodreads

while his poetry isn't as stellar as his prose, Carver is still a force to be reckoned with. The poems that ended this volume... powerful stuff... to actually read this man accepting his death is ... Read full review

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About the author (1989)

Born in 1938 in an Oregon logging town, Raymond Carver grew up in Yakima, From California he went to Iowa to attend the Iowa Writers Workshop. Soon, however, he returned to California, where he worked at a number of unskilled jobs before obtaining a teaching position. Widely acclaimed as the most important short story writer of his generation, Carver writes about the kind of lower-middle-class people whom he knew growing up. His characters are waitresses, mechanics, postmen, high school teachers, factory workers, door-to-door salesmen who lead drab lives because of limited funds. Critics have said that may have the most distinctive vision of the working class. Nominated posthumously for both a National Book Critics Circle Award (1988) and a Pulitzer Prize (1989) for Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories (1988), Carver is one of a handful of writers credited with reviving the short story form. Some have put Carver in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway and Stephen Crane. Carver's stories tend to be brief, with enigmatic endings, although never erupting. Violence is often just below the surface. An air of quiet desperation pervades his stories, as Carver explores the collapse of human relationships in bleak circumstances. In later works, Carver strikes a note of redemption, unheard at the beginning of his career. But for readers who are not attuned to Carver's voice of resignation, these moments may sound sentimental and unconvincing. Carver died of lung cancer in 1988.

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