Proverbs of Limbo: Poems (Hardcover)

Proverbs of Limbo: Poems By Robert Pinsky Cover Image
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A new book of poems by the three-time poet laureate Robert Pinsky, a writer "rarely equalled" (Louise Glück).

Robert Pinsky, one of our most ambitious, inventive, and finely tuned poets, takes an original approach to the fraught, central matter of borders in Proverbs of Limbo, his first new book of poetry in eight years.

In this collection, the poet mines and maps limbal regions: those spaces between differences that can be at once creative and oppressive, enlightening and dark, exciting and fatal. For Pinsky, they include the familiar borders between demographic categories, as well as limbal realities that are more personal—clashing ways of understanding, personal history and world history, health and illness, freedom and compulsion, intimacy and community, personality and culture—all the countless variations of in-between.

The title Proverbs of Limbo tips its hat, at an angle, to the great poet William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Blake’s jagged, contrary proverbs resist, from within, the binary rights and wrongs of conventional Christianity: “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”; “The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.”

Here, Pinsky embodies a different resistance to different conventions of understanding. “The Buddha,” begins the title poem, “is a liquor store / On a busy corner.”

About the Author

Robert Pinsky is the author of several books of poetry, including Gulf Music, Jersey Rain, The Want Bone, The Figured Wheel, and At the Foundling Hospital. His bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante sets a modern standard. He was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Korean Manhae Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center. He teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Boston University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780374611958
ISBN-10: 0374611955
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 80
Language: English