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Robert Pinsky

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June 27, 1999
Afternoon light like pollen. This is my language, not the one I learned. We hungry generations with our question Of shapes and changes, Did you think we wanted To be like you? I flicker and for a second I'm picking through rubbish To salvage your half-eaten muffin, one hand At my ear to finger a rill of scab. Not native To California, with olive and silver Leaves like dusty sickles flashing In the wind, the eucalyptus bend And whisper it to the hillsides, Did you think We wanted to be like you?
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February 26, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
This morning, while taking the dog for a walk, I felt a brief flurry of raindrops, like goose bumps, rise along my arm. We are due for a storm, of course -  two of them, one this evening and another beginning tomorrow night - and we all know how badly California needs the water, in the era of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge . And yet, for me, the drought is just one piece of this equation - and only one reason I am happy for the rain....
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BOOKS
December 10, 1995
In Robert Pinsky's new translation of "The Inferno of Dante" (part one of Dante's "Divine Comedy"), the poet Vergil conducts Dante through the region of damnation, where the souls suffer eternal punishments appropriate to their sins. "In the lowest part of hell," writes Pinsky, a teacher in the graduate writing program at Boston University, "Dante finds the souls of the betrayers, locked eternally in ice.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
I've got mixed feelings about National Poetry Month - not because I don't love poetry but because I do. If you ask me, every month should be poetry month, and the idea of setting one apart feels a bit like cultural condescension, as if we were paying lip service to an art that we all know ought to be important, even though, deep down, we fear it's not. And yet, poetry is important, as a form of expression that does (or can) stand outside narrative, that makes meaning through language, that connects us through the music of words.
BOOKS
November 26, 2000
The measured blood beats out the year's delay. The tearless eyes and heart, forbidden grief, Watch the burned, restless, but abiding leaf, The brighter branches arming the bright day. The cone, the curving fruit should fall away, The vine stem crumble, ripe grain know its sheaf. Bonded to time, fires should have done, be brief, But, serfs to sleep, they glitter and they stay. Because not last nor first, grief in its prime Wakes in the day, and hears of life's intent.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1998 | JAN BRESLAUER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Traditionally speaking, poet laureates serve the public. In England, where the job title originated, their duties include writing verse to commemorate certain communal occasions. Here in the more populist-minded United States, the emphasis tends to be on bringing poetry to the people in other ways. Robert Pinsky, the 39th poet laureate of the United States, certainly exemplifies the American approach.
BOOKS
April 19, 1998 | J.D. McCLATCHY, J.D. McClatchy is the author of four collections of poems, the latest of which is "Ten Commandments," which is reviewed on Page 64
Editor's Note: The following essays by Sherman Alexie, J.D. McClatchy, Robert Pinsky, Mona Simpson and Ted Kooser are included in a recent anthology published by Milkweed Editions, entitled "The Most Wonderful Books: writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading." They are reprinted here with the kind permission of the publisher and the authors.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
This morning, while taking the dog for a walk, I felt a brief flurry of raindrops, like goose bumps, rise along my arm. We are due for a storm, of course -  two of them, one this evening and another beginning tomorrow night - and we all know how badly California needs the water, in the era of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge . And yet, for me, the drought is just one piece of this equation - and only one reason I am happy for the rain....
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2011 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
W.S. Merwin's friendship with late Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz began in the 1960s when Merwin first introduced Milosz and fellow Pole Zbigniew Herbert to an audience at a poetry event in New York City. That early meeting was the start of a relationship that flourished over nearly 40 years. Merwin visited Southern California earlier this month to attend the Milosz Centenary Festival at Claremont McKenna College. Over the years, this festival - organized by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies and its director, professor Robert Faggen, a friend of Milosz's - has brought an array of distinguished writers to campus to discuss the legacy of the poet, who died in 2004.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Philip Levine, the Pulitzer Prize winner who was named the nation's next poet laureate Wednesday, has spent much of his career listening and reflecting on the voices of America. In his new job he said he has one main goal. "I want to bring poetry to people who have no idea how relevant poetry is to their lives," he said in a telephone interview from his home in Fresno, where he is a professor emeritus at Cal State Fresno while continuing to write poetry. He also hopes to bring some less known poets into the limelight — although as of Wednesday morning, he said, simply answering phone calls was taking up his time.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2011 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
W.S. Merwin's friendship with late Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz began in the 1960s when Merwin first introduced Milosz and fellow Pole Zbigniew Herbert to an audience at a poetry event in New York City. That early meeting was the start of a relationship that flourished over nearly 40 years. Merwin visited Southern California earlier this month to attend the Milosz Centenary Festival at Claremont McKenna College. Over the years, this festival - organized by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies and its director, professor Robert Faggen, a friend of Milosz's - has brought an array of distinguished writers to campus to discuss the legacy of the poet, who died in 2004.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Philip Levine, the Pulitzer Prize winner who was named the nation's next poet laureate Wednesday, has spent much of his career listening and reflecting on the voices of America. In his new job he said he has one main goal. "I want to bring poetry to people who have no idea how relevant poetry is to their lives," he said in a telephone interview from his home in Fresno, where he is a professor emeritus at Cal State Fresno while continuing to write poetry. He also hopes to bring some less known poets into the limelight — although as of Wednesday morning, he said, simply answering phone calls was taking up his time.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds
Small Memories A Memoir José Saramago, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 159 pp., $22 "Sometimes I wonder if certain memories are really mine or if they're just someone else's memories of episodes in which I was merely an unwitting actor and which I found out about later when they were told to me by others. " Who hasn't felt this way? Wondered whether a memory came from a photograph or a story or an actual event? José Saramago, driven by longing for the village in which he was born but also for a self he fears he has lost, goes painstakingly back over his early memories.
BOOKS
November 26, 2000
The measured blood beats out the year's delay. The tearless eyes and heart, forbidden grief, Watch the burned, restless, but abiding leaf, The brighter branches arming the bright day. The cone, the curving fruit should fall away, The vine stem crumble, ripe grain know its sheaf. Bonded to time, fires should have done, be brief, But, serfs to sleep, they glitter and they stay. Because not last nor first, grief in its prime Wakes in the day, and hears of life's intent.
BOOKS
June 27, 1999
Afternoon light like pollen. This is my language, not the one I learned. We hungry generations with our question Of shapes and changes, Did you think we wanted To be like you? I flicker and for a second I'm picking through rubbish To salvage your half-eaten muffin, one hand At my ear to finger a rill of scab. Not native To California, with olive and silver Leaves like dusty sickles flashing In the wind, the eucalyptus bend And whisper it to the hillsides, Did you think We wanted to be like you?
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
I've got mixed feelings about National Poetry Month - not because I don't love poetry but because I do. If you ask me, every month should be poetry month, and the idea of setting one apart feels a bit like cultural condescension, as if we were paying lip service to an art that we all know ought to be important, even though, deep down, we fear it's not. And yet, poetry is important, as a form of expression that does (or can) stand outside narrative, that makes meaning through language, that connects us through the music of words.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds
Small Memories A Memoir José Saramago, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 159 pp., $22 "Sometimes I wonder if certain memories are really mine or if they're just someone else's memories of episodes in which I was merely an unwitting actor and which I found out about later when they were told to me by others. " Who hasn't felt this way? Wondered whether a memory came from a photograph or a story or an actual event? José Saramago, driven by longing for the village in which he was born but also for a self he fears he has lost, goes painstakingly back over his early memories.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1998 | JAN BRESLAUER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Traditionally speaking, poet laureates serve the public. In England, where the job title originated, their duties include writing verse to commemorate certain communal occasions. Here in the more populist-minded United States, the emphasis tends to be on bringing poetry to the people in other ways. Robert Pinsky, the 39th poet laureate of the United States, certainly exemplifies the American approach.
BOOKS
April 19, 1998 | J.D. McCLATCHY, J.D. McClatchy is the author of four collections of poems, the latest of which is "Ten Commandments," which is reviewed on Page 64
Editor's Note: The following essays by Sherman Alexie, J.D. McClatchy, Robert Pinsky, Mona Simpson and Ted Kooser are included in a recent anthology published by Milkweed Editions, entitled "The Most Wonderful Books: writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading." They are reprinted here with the kind permission of the publisher and the authors.
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