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Galaxy Love showcases the voice of a beloved and acclaimed poet, celebrating the passions and rhythms of life.
The poems in this new volume by the winner of the National Book Award span countries and centuries, reflecting on memory, aging, history, and mortality. “Hamlet Naked” traverses Manhattan in the 1960s from a Shakespeare play on 47th Street to the cellar of a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village; “Thieves and Murderers” encompasses musings of the medieval French poet François Villon and Dwight Eisenhower; “Orson” recounts a meeting of the poet and Orson Welles, exiled in Paris. Gerald Stern recalls old cars he used to drive—“the 1950 Buick / with the small steering wheel / and the cigar lighter in the back seat”—as well as intimate portraits of his daily life “and the mussel-pooled and the heron-priested shore” of Florida. These are wistful, generous, lively love poems and elegies that capture the passage of time, the joys of a sensual life, and remembrances of the past.
- 5.8 × 8.6 in
/ 128 pages
- Sales Territory: Worldwide
Endorsements & Reviews
“Gerald Stern, little by little, in these masterful poems, tasks the torque of knowledge and enlightenment in things möbius, people and places, Paris, Long Island, Harlem, the cuisine in between, who notices the stain of Nazi-fingers on the lips of Arendt, who bows down to the little animals once again and laughs out loud, it seems, because he still stuffs a twenty inside his shoe heel as in the early days—who charts a life of many loves and turns—and that indescribable and churning thing called—our lives. Pure movement of mind, passion, knowledge—a letter of sorts—to the universe.” — Juan Felipe Herrera, poet laureate of the United States
“There has never been a poet like Gerald Stern, who likes to shake things and empty them out, and then share what’s found with the entire congregation. Sorrow and exultation get their equal turn, but it’s the human imagination and all its jubilant fecundity that’s paid special attention. Whether it’s a fistfight between Stevens and Hemingway (‘Who punched whom’) or Tolstoy dying unsweetened, what’s offered is nothing less than an excursion into the soul, where, as we all know, one finds love for the galaxy.” — Philip Schultz
Also by Gerald Stern