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by Thom Gunn
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    Thom Gunn
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    Thom Gunn (April 7, 1994)
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    512 pages
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Thomson William "Thom" Gunn (29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004), was an English poet who was praised for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement and his later poetry in America.

Thomson William "Thom" Gunn (29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004), was an English poet who was praised for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement and his later poetry in America, even after moving toward a looser, free-verse style. After relocating from England to San Francisco, Gunn wrote about gay-related topics-particularly in his most famous work, The Man With Night Sweats in 1992-as well as drug use, sex and his bohemian lifestyle

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. This collection covers the span of Thom Gunn's remarkable poetic career over almost forty years. Gunn has made a speciality of playing style against subject as he deals with the out-of-control through tightly controlled meters and with the systematized through open forms.

Browse through Thom Gunn's poems and quotes. 22 poems of Thom Gunn

Browse through Thom Gunn's poems and quotes. 22 poems of Thom Gunn. Still I Rise, The Road Not Taken, If You Forget Me, Dreams, Annabel Lee. an Anglo-American poet who was praised both for his early verses in England, where he was associate. an Anglo-American poet who was praised both for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement and his later poetry in America, even after moving toward a looser, free-verse style.

Thom Gunn was born in Kent, England to parents who were both journalists. The first half included poems written in the heroic verse of his first two books, and the second began to experiment with syllabic verse. The book proved a watershed, and Gunn’s collections after all find him moving between high and low, old and new styles. Books such as Touch (1967), Moly (1971), Jack Straw’s Castle (1976), and The Passages of Joy (1982) show Gunn’s fusion of modern and traditional elements.

Thom Gunn - The author of many collections of poetry, Thom Gunn's The .

Thom Gunn - The author of many collections of poetry, Thom Gunn's The Man with Night Sweats is a collection of poetry memorializing his friends an. .During the 1970s and 80s, Gunn's poems were marked by the poet's personal experiences as he wrote more openly about his homosexuality and drug use. Many critics believed he was betraying his talents. He went on to publish several more books of poetry in the United States and Britain, including Boss Cupid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), Frontiers of Gossip (1998), and Collected Poems (1994). He has also written several collections of essays, including The Occasions of Poetry (1982; .

Thom Gunn has always known how to refresh his sight.

Thom Gunn's controlled used of form and the metaphysical was in.

Thom Gunn's controlled used of form and the metaphysical was in evidence from his first collection, Fighting Terms, in .

Gunn's Collected Poems run to almost five hundred pages, and all of them have virtues that a serious teacher .

Gunn's Collected Poems run to almost five hundred pages, and all of them have virtues that a serious teacher, like Winters, or Gunn himself, could recognize and teach: technical skill, lucidity, discipline. A. Alvarez, The New Yorker. Thom Gunn, born in 1929, has received many awards, including a Lila Acheson Wallace/Reader's Digest Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. Thom Gunn at the Poetry Foundation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Gunn's work illustrates the debates poetry in English has pursued in this century - form versus improvization, diction versus talk, the American way versus the English tradition, and even, at times, authenticity versus art.

Love his poems.
I bought this poetry collection based on a review I read. It's my fault for not knowing more about Gunn's work
but the review said such glowing things about his poetry.
In style it's good writing, and Gunn is a perfectionist at the function of his poems.
However, I found the rhyming pentameters to grow old quickly, and the subject of many poem's unrelatable, or uninteresting. I really hate bashing someone's poems because they're so intimate and personal but this book is a collection of his works over such a long period of time. His later work is better as it progresses, but sadly it takes to long to get there. There are a few rare gems, but reading this felt like work. I wasn't moved by his work, and felt it to be very robotic. I would not say it was uninspired work as he does have a sense of passion in his writing, it just wasn't directed at anything I felt passionate about. If you have not read his work I would read a smaller collection of his first, and his later works. I prefered his later work to his earlier work.
TG is underrated
Very Old Chap
I am delighted that this kind of serious discussion about poetry takes place on Amazon!
In my opinion, Gunn (who is probably my favorite living poet) is what I would call a major minor English poet. This, of course, means his work IS limited compared with more broad and singularly important figures such as Keats and Auden. (I think Larkin, whom I admire, is a bad comparison--he's quite limited himself, especially in his prejudices against foreign (read: non-British) poets, etc.) I think modesty of a kind and slightness are a part of Gunn's intentional aims as a writer. He stubbornly--and graciously--refuses to overdo it. And many of his readers, myself included, remain grateful for such decency and tough-mindedness. It's a rare gift. On the other hand, he really surpasses himself at times, and rises to supreme heights, such as in his poem "To Cupid", which appears in his most recent collection Boss Cupid. That makes him a distant nephew of Baudelaire. I don't think I've seen anything quite like "Moly" before either. And there are countless other fine examples of his artistry.
One fault of Gunn's early poetry is that he isn't especially funny! He seems to be making up for that though, at a later date. Also, he may have seemed too cold and technical in the beginning, like a scalpel, at times--a mistake that's happily been mostly washed away by the passing years. (The wonderful poet Mina Loy, who is a favorite of Gunn's--he may write about her work better than anybody else--curiously also displays these same dislikable characteristics in a number of poems. And she doesn't transcend her own propriety nearly enough, unlike Gunn.)
Gunn seems to use illegal drugs not just for the thrill effect, but also as a kind of dynamite, to blast open his creative resources. So he seems to be very aware of the problem. I can only applaud him for that. And his transplanting himself in America, San Francisco no less, was such a gutsy move, it may well have saved his career, or perhaps even his life! Look what our country contributed to these Collected Poems. That's something to feel proud of. He is a son of Whitman and Duncan as well as Shakespeare.
Futhermore it may be figures like Gunn who stay with us more than many of the big guns. Just as Elizabeth Bishop has come to be viewed as more admirable and enjoyable, in certain respects, than Robert Lowell, I wouldn't be surprised if Gunn gains a bit of an edge over the truly majestic Ted Hughes in the future.
"Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed."

In honor of National Poetry Month, I wanted to share some of my joy of simply reading, listening to reciting aloud poetry. I am awed, frankly, by the depth of the analysis on offer here on Amazon about Gunn, one of my favorite modern poets, and can't really contribute anything of significance.

However, Gunn does read this short poem, a brilliant piece of short critical analysis, and a longer poem all very worthwhile listening to. Even if you don't think you like poetry; you might change your mind.

Robert C. Ross
April 2012
revised March 2015
One of the most exciting and challenging bodies of poetry created over the past forty years, Thom Gunn's Collected Poems offers a heady Anglo-American cocktail of liberal sensuality, often contained within surprisingly conventional forms.
Gunn's poetry is characterised by a cool sense of intellectual detachment, and a penetratingly lucid ability to follow experience to its resolvable core. This sensibility is offered in disarmingly casual, laid-back tones inherited from post-60's American poetry. Gunn successfully pulled off that rare and necessary trick of re-inventing himself through American poetry, thus bypassing the pedestrianism which blighted so many of his British contemporaries. This ongoing re-invention and self-resurrection is one of the most interesting and inspiring subtexts of his Collected Poems.
Taking up residence in the United States in 1954, Gunn soon got turned on to a variety of recreational drugs, including LSD. Clearly, these experiences proved a catalyst, shifting the terrain of Gunn's work. Yet right from the start, Gunn had presented an angular, leather-cased shoulder to social convention. In The Sense Of Movement (1957), he sided with the Beat and Teddy-Boy culture of the late 50's, employing motorbikes and Elvis as distinctly valid, modern subjects for poetry. Gunn's telling lines in the poem "Elvis Presley" could also be read as a credo for his own evolving poetics:
"He turns revolt into a style, prolongs/The impulse to a habit of the time."
Turning revolt into a style was to prove Gunn's directive. While the allegorical poems from his first two books still draw on unsurprising themes and employ myth and religion rather conventionally to explore their subjects, a liberating undertow of defiance is everywhere present. In "High Fidelity", a poem about listening to records, Gunn's metaphysical playfulness works to impose reason on an emerging pop culture:
"I play your furies back to me at night,/ The needle dances in the grooves they made,/ For fury is passion like love, and fury's bite/ These grooves, no sooner than a love mark fades..."
By the time Gunn published Moly in 1971, he was deeply involved in the west coast rock scene of outdoor festivals and psychedelic happenings, and his work took on a spacey, almost visionary quality. Poems like "Tom-Dobin," "The Colour Machine," "Street Song," "The Fair In The Woods," "The Messenger," and "At the Centre" are all examples of a poetry siding with altered states. Gunn writes about his LSD experiences with remarkable clarity:
"...Later, downstairs and at the kitchen table,/I look round at my friends. Through light we move/Like foam. We started choosing long ago/--clearly and capably as we were able--/Hostages from the pouring we are of. /The faces are as bright now as fresh snow." ----(From "At the Centre")
Gunn's first five collections, represented in the first half of Collected Poems, gave little indication of his coming out as a gay man. The acid landscape of Moly, however, seems to have provided a space of psychological transition necessary for the poet to write more explicitly about his sexuality. Since Jack Straw's Castle (1976), his work has been explicitly informed by the details of his engagement with the gay subculture and its interactions with the culture at large. It is also more explicit about his interior emotional landscape.
Ten years lapsed between Gunn's publication of The Passages of Joy (1982) and The Man With Night Sweats (1992). This interval is in part attributable to the adjustment, personal and poetic, to watching a generation liquidated by AIDS. The plague and its increasing casualties have proved a central subject for Gunn's later poetry, and by the final phase of the Collected Poems he has taken on the role of principal elegist to a virally stricken gay community. The poem "Elegy" first provided Gunn the stripped-down manner and elegiac tone which he needed for his task, and which he has subsequently made inimitably his own. Here, a sense of the unwavering terror at the heart of suicide is powerfully evoked:
"Though I hardly knew him /I rehearse it again and again/ Did he smell eucalyptus last?/No it was his own blood/as he choked on it"
In Thom Gunn's incarnation as a compassionate, deeply humane elegist to dying friends, his touch is neither too grave nor too light. Steeped in 17th century poetry-a period rich in the elegist's art-he proved himself as adept at writing formal couplets in the celebration of the dying or the dead as he had at writing free verse. "The Missing" is a particularly successful late poem in Gunn's canon. In it, he perceives himself as belonging to a universal gay family, a resilient but continuously reduced nucleus in which survival is all.
"Now as I watch the progress of the plague,/ The friends surrounding me fall sick, grow thin, /And drop away. Bared, is my shape less vague/Sharply exposed and with a sculpted skin?// I do not like the statue's chill contour,/ Not nowadays. The warmth investing me /led outward through mind, limb feeling and more/ In an involved increasing family. // Contact of a friend led to another friend, /Supple entwinement through the living mass /Which for all that I knew might have no end, /Image of an unlimited embrace."
Nobody has or will put this better. Gunn's achievements over four decades of writing are those of an innovator pushing the boundaries of the accepted subject matter of poetry. He is a master of the compressed lyric executed in formal stanzas, yet he is always modern. And he is compellingly truthful.
An outsider to British poetry by reason of place and sensibility, Gunn is, to me, the most exciting poet of his generation. The Collected Poems is the place to get at the whole body of work of a poet who continues to surprise, who celebrates those who live on the cutting edge of social and sexual issues in our crazily up-ended, but always meaningful world.