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Little Boats, Unsalvaged

by Dave Smith

Little Boats, Unsalvaged Synopsis

A lyrical search for wisdom and meaning in the life of a man growing up in the New South of desegregating schools, rock-and-roll music, mobile populations, and volatile wars, Little Boats, Unsalvaged displays the profound historical sensibility that has long marked the poetry of Dave Smith. Smith exhibits here a mature perspective on his childhood in a racially violent society and on his troubled search for happiness, whether sexual, professional, or aesthetic. To that, he adds a chorus of elegies for poets central to his understanding of his native region- including Edwin Muir, Robert Penn Warren, and Allen Tate- and a vision of poetry as the art that unites medieval and contemporary elements. Section by section, changes in subject, tempo, and even vocabulary offer at once a sense of unity and variety to the poems. Little Boats, Unsalvaged poses a polyphonic inquiry into the experiences and memories of the Vietnam-defined generation, an inquiry whose answers can only be tentative, fretted, hung in the contingencies of being just as the little boat of joy waits- not useless or lost, but abandoned and so beyond visible redemption.

Little Boats, Unsalvaged Press Reviews

Dave Smith is to be prized as an American poet who looks refreshingly at the past; who indeed brings it alive and into the surface of his own life. - Times Literary Supplement Each will go fast, faster. Then stop. Still as memory. Slack as rope. Books gape. The mystery's breath itself, sun, dark. Sharp keys poke my pocket like a need. Still, I don't want to leave. Lingering with penitents soon to wake seems mostly right, If it's little, really, but masks, a room of dust on fate's books, a room of sun blurring words where people come for answers. - from In the Library

Book Information

ISBN: 9780807131060
Publication date: 20th October 2020
Author: Dave Smith
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 88 pages
Categories: Poetry by individual poets,

About Dave Smith

Dave Smith, Elliot Coleman Professor of Poetry and chairman of the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University, is the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and memoir. Recipient of the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award for Most Distinguished Volume of Poetry for The Wick of Memory: New and Selected Poems, 1970- 2000, he has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lyndhurst Foundation. Smith lives with his wife in Baltimore.

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