Title: A Hundred White Daffodils: Essays, ...
Publisher: Graywolf Press, St. Paul
Publication Date: 1999
Edition: First Printing of the First US Edition
A Fine tight copy in a Fine bright dust jacket. In A Hundred White Daffodils - an enlightening and typically endearing collection of prose and poetry - the late author of five highly regarded books of verse reflects on her writing life, growing spirituality, passionate hobbies, and ultimately fatal struggle with leukemia. Jane Kenyon is one of the most beloved poets on the contemporary American scene; this book shows us why and how this came to be. This posthumous collection includes short essays, interviews, a few of Kenyon's translations of the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, and one unfinished poem. Accessible, earnest, and devoid of urbane ironies, the essays focus mostly on either her small (New England) country community or her garden, examining her growing spiritual life and what it is to live while things are going on inside without one's knowledge or consent. Also covered are notions of writing, facing her own and her husband's bouts with cancer, and, in one of the interviews, a discussion of her struggle with depression. Bookseller Inventory # 24502
Synopsis: "There is something in me that will not be snuffed out," Jane Kenyon told Bill Moyers in an interview. And there is no better proof of that than the overwhelming response her poetry generates. Kenyon's last collection, Otherwise: New & Selected Poems, remains a phenomenon: a best-seller that testifies to the impact Kenyon has had on the poetic landscape.
A Hundred White Daffodils is a companion volume that sheds illumination on a poet, and a woman, of great presence. It offers glimpses into a life cut too short and traces the influences that created Kenyon's poetic voice. The book includes Kenyon's translations of the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, and insights into how Kenyon chose her as a muse. It presents a variety of Kenyon's prose pieces about the writing life, her spiritual life, her country community, her gardens-- themes that readers will well remember from her poems. Transcripts of interviews provide further understanding as Kenyon faces her struggle with depression and the losses wrought by illness. Finally, there is an unfinished, visionary poem that makes one wonder what might have been if Kenyon had been given the chance to create more poetry.
Including an introduction by Kenyon's husband and fellow poet, Donald Hall, and a bibliography of her publications, A Hundred White Daffodils is a gift to all those devoted to Kenyon's poetry.
From the Back Cover:
This year the plants exceed every expectation. Suddenly they've come into their full adult beauty, not strapping, but statuesque-- the beauty of women, as Chekhov says, "with plump shoulders" and with long hair held precariously in place by a few stout pins. They are white, voluminous, and here and there display flecks of raspberry red on the edges of their fleshy, heavily scented petals.
These are not Protestant-work-ethic flowers. They loll about in gorgeousness; they live for art; they believe in excess. They are not quite decent, to tell the truth. Neighbors and strangers slow their cars to gawk.
from "The Moment of Peonies"
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