Gulf Music: Poems

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Macmillan, Sep 30, 2008 - Poetry - 96 pages
29 Reviews

Dollars, dolors. Callings and contrivances. King Zulu. Comus.
Sephardic ju-ju and verses. Voodoo mojo, Special Forces.

Henry formed a group named Professor Longhair and his
Shuffling Hungarians. After so much renunciation

And invention, is this the image of the promised end?
All music haunted by all the music of the dead forever.

Becky haunted forever by Pearl the daughter she abandoned
For love, O try my tra-la-la, ma la belle, mah walla-woe.

—from "Gulf Music"

An improvised, even desperate music, yearning toward knowledge across a gulf, informs Robert Pinsky's first book of poetry since Jersey Rain (2000).

On the large scale of war or the personal scale of family history, in the movements of people and cultures across oceans or between eras, these poems discover connections between things seemingly disparate.

Gulf Music is perhaps the most ambitious, politically impassioned, and inventive book by this major American poet.


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Review: Gulf Music: Poems

User Review  - John Tessitore - Goodreads

Pinsky ends this volume with a prose meditation on memory. He asks, "Where in the mess is a true reflection, a lasting truth?" As a historian of objects, of newspapers and books and pliers, of "things ... Read full review

Review: Gulf Music: Poems

User Review  - Ryan - Goodreads

This man was United States Poet Laureate between 1997-2000, so I figured I had to check him out at some point. Lo and behold, Pinsky is past his prime on this one, where his strongest work still reads like a wooden classroom writing prompt. Pretty unimaginative, cliche stuff here. Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Robert Pinsky was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Creator and director of the Favorite Poem Project and poetry editor at Slate, he also teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

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