The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

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HarperCollins, Mar 23, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 368 pages
18 Reviews

The Apple Trees at Olema includes work from Robert Hass's first five books—Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials—as well as a substantial gathering of new poems, including a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musings on the nature of storytelling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative that meditate on personal relations in a violent world and read like small, luminous novellas.

From the beginning, his poems have seemed entirely his own: a complex hybrid of the lyric line, with an unwavering fidelity to human and nonhuman nature, and formal variety and surprise, and a syntax capable of thinking through difficult things in ways that are both perfectly ordinary and really unusual. Over the years, he has added to these qualities a range and a formal restlessness that seem to come from a skeptical turn of mind, an acute sense of the artifice of the poem and of the complexity of the world of lived experience that a poem tries to apprehend.

Hass's work is grounded in the beauty of the physical world. His familiar landscapes—San Francisco, the northern California coast, the Sierra high country—are vividly alive in his work. His themes include art, the natural world, desire, family life, the life between lovers, the violence of history, and the power and inherent limitations of language. He is a poet who is trying to say, as fully as he can, what it is like to be alive in his place and time. His style—formed in part by American modernism, in part by his long apprenticeship as a translator of the Japanese haiku masters and Czeslaw Milosz—combines intimacy of address, a quick intelligence, a virtuosic skill with long sentences, intense sensual vividness, and a light touch. It has made him immensely readable and his work widely admired.

  

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Review: The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

User Review  - Keith Riegert - Goodreads

Great collection of new and old poems from a treasured poet. I loved seeing Hass' poems dating way back to FIELD GUIDE; it's a wonderful way to experience the evolution of his writing. Read full review

Review: The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

User Review  - Brian - Goodreads

Hass (pronounced like lass, grass) is a wonderful American poet with sharp descriptive observations and a sense of history and place. If you've ever lived in Berkeley or the Bay Area in general, you'll find some wonderful surprises. Read full review

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Contents

Human Wishes
149
Duck Blind
156
In the Bahamas
159
Santa Barbara Road
173
Privilege of Being
187
from Sun Under Wood
201
The Gardens of Warsaw
219
Faint Music
232

The Nineteenth Century as a Song
62
In Weather
69
from Praise
77
Against Botticelli
83
The Pure ones
89
The origin of Cities
95
Emblems of a Prior order
99
A Letter
109
fromHuman Wishes
131
Late Spring
137
Calm
143
Forty Something
235
Jatun Sacha
249
Iowa January
265
Breach and orison
278
Art and Life
291
Three Imitations
306
Drift and vapor Surf Faintly
320
Pears
333
Exit Pursued by a Sierra Meadow
347
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About the author (2010)

Robert Hass was born in San Francisco. His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco, 2010), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and Materials (Ecco, 2008), Sun Under Wood (Ecco, 1996), Human Wishes (1989), Praise (1979), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer's Selected Poems (2012) and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994). His essay collection Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

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