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  • Selected Poems
  • Written by Amy Clampitt
    Edited by Mary Jo Salter
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375711930
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Written by Amy ClampittAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Amy Clampitt
Edited by Mary Jo SalterAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Mary Jo Salter


List Price: $15.99


On Sale: February 22, 2011
Pages: 352 | ISBN: 978-0-307-78924-2
Published by : Knopf Knopf
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Synopsis|Table of Contents


When Amy Clampitt’s first collection, The Kingfisher, was published, it was hailed as that rare first book that “signals a major poet in full bloom” (Los Angeles Times). Its author was sixty-three years old. Over the next eleven years, Clampitt produced four additional, major collections. Now, the most essential poems from these five volumes are gathered together.

Clampitt was an impassioned observer of the natural world, the delights of which color many of these poems: writing of the fog, she described “a stuff so single / it might almost be lifted, / folded over, crawled underneath / or slid between, as nakedness- / caressingsheets.” Such was the texture of her language, too. She was a traveler, reporting back from England and Greece, from California and Maine, and from her native Midwest. An Iowa transplant to New York, the descendant of pioneers, she wrote of prairies and subways; of the movements of wildflowers, people, and ideas; and of the widespread modern experience of uprootedness.

Here is a treasure of Amy Clampitt’s verse, for those who are reading her for the first time, as well as for those who have long admired her.

Table of Contents

From The Kingfisher (1983)
The Cove
Gradual Clearing
The Outer Bar
Sea Mouse
Beach Glass
Marine Surface, Low Overcast
The Sun Underfoot Among the Sundews
On the Disadvantages of Central Heating
A Procession at Candlemas
Times Square Water Music
The Cormorant in Its Element
The Kingfisher
Sunday Music
Beethoven, Opus 111
The Woodlot
Stacking the Straw
Palm Sunday
Remembering Greece
Rain at Bellagio
Or Consider Prometheus
Letters From Jerusalem
The Dahlia Gardens
The Burning Child
From What the Light Was Like (1985)
The August Darks
Low Tide at Schoodic
Bertie Goes Hunting
Gooseberry Fool
The Spruce Has No Taproot
What the Light Was Like
Black Buttercups
Urn-Burial and the Butterfly Migration
High Culture
Voyages: A Homage to John Keats 
   The Elgin Marbles 
   He Dreams of Being Warm 
   The Isle of Wight 
   Winchester: the Autumn Equinox 
The Reedbeds of the Hackensack
Real Estate
Vacant Lot with Tumbleweed and Pigeons
Homer, A.D. 1982
The Hickory Grove
Losing Track of Language
Let the Air Circulate
From Archaic Figure (1987)
Archaic Figure
The Olive Groves of Thasos
Tempe in the Rain
Leaving Yannina
Perseus Airborne
Atlas Immobilized
George Eliot Country
Highgate Cemetery
Rydal Mount
An Anatomy of Migraine
London Inside and Outside
Babel Aboard the Hellas International Express
Venice Revisited
Man Feeding Pigeons
Tidewater Winter
The Waterfall
A Hermit Thrush
From Westward (1990)
Meadowlark Country
Notes on the State of Virginia
Kudzu Dormant 187
Dallas–Fort Worth: Redbud and Mistletoe
Deleted Passage
Seder Night
Iola, Kansas
Having Lunch at Brasenose
Blueberrying in August
A Whippoorwill in the Woods
A Winter Burial
Easedale Tarn
Vacant Lot with Pokeweed
A Hedge of Rubber Trees
My Cousin Muriel
Nothing Stays Put
The Prairie
From A Silence Opens (1994)
The Horned Rampion
In Umbria: A Snapshot
At Muker, Upper Swaledale
Sed De Correr
A Silence
Uncollected Poems
Excerpts From The Sun on the Stone
The Equinoctial Disturbances
Pot Nomads
The Winter Bird
Notes By Amy Clampitt
Short Chronology
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index of Titles
Amy Clampitt|Mary Jo Salter

About Amy Clampitt

Amy Clampitt - Selected Poems
Amy Clampitt was born and brought up in New Providence, Iowa, graduated from Grinnell College, and from that time on lived mainly in New York City. Her first full-length collection, The Kingfisher, published in 1983, was followed in 1985 by What the Light Was Like, in 1987 by Archaic Figure, and in 1990 by Westward. A Silence Opens, her last book, appeared in 1994.

The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a Writer in Residence at the College of William and Mary, Visiting Writer at Amherst College, and Grace Hazard Conkling Visiting Writer at Smith College.

She died in September 1994.

About Mary Jo Salter

Mary Jo Salter - Selected Poems

Photo © Mike Malyszko

Mary Jo Salter was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up in Detroit and Baltimore. She was educated at Harvard and Cambridge Universities and worked as a staff editor at The Atlantic Monthly and as poetry editor of The New Republic. A vice president of the Poetry Society of America, she is also a coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. In addition to her five poetry collections, she is the author of a children’s book, The Moon Comes Home. She is Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer at Mount Holyoke College and lives with her family in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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