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And After All: Poems Kindle Edition
Rhina P. Espaillat's And After All combines the formal fluency of Richard Wilbur, the precision of Elizabeth Bishop, and the easy conversational tones of Frank O'Hara, and yet her poems speak in a voice that is distinctively her own. They address the loss of loved ones and loved things of the world, but their extraordinary empathy and gentle wit keep them from becoming depressing or sentimental. Savor this book and share it with people you love.
--A. M. Juster, author of Sleaze & Slander: New and Selected Comic Verse, 1995-2015
Rhina P. Espaillat, more than any living poet in English, gives ordinary language the glow of the sacred. Workaday words, trite with custom like thin coins, accrue new resonance and weight; plain objects are haloed with aureoles like figures in gold mosaics. Saints with their visions used to do this: wave away the veils that separate our shallow perceptions from a deeper reality. But not everyone is granted visions. How much harder it is to use the same words we all use and misuse, the same objects we all touch and ignore, common experiences we dismiss, and, by using words with precision, using the serendipity of rhyme, and the convention of metrical patterns, to give the reader the experience of revelation. Craft is not the opposite of inspiration, Espaillat reminds us, it is the only way to it.
--A. E. Stallings, author of Olives
For most of its poems And After All is, as the title indicates, deeply elegiac in tone. There are many poignant evocations of the past in the book, rich with quotidian surface detail but always suffused with undemonstrative but palpably real emotion. A poem about the poet's grandmother, a tough no-nonsense farmer's wife who described how cows inarticulately but unmistakably grieved when they realized their calves were to be slaughtered, ends with the line, "She told it simply, but she faltered there." In its quiet pathos the line seems to sum up much of the book; exactness, no fuss, unforced fidelity to the anecdote, but the tremor of poignant empathy always present. A very eloquent collection of beautifully crafted poems, and one that it is hard to read dry-eyed.
--Dick Davis, author of Love in Another Language
About the Author
Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays, and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and translations from and into both languages. Her national and international awards include the T. S. Eliot Prize in Poetry, the Richard Wilbur Award, the Howard Nemerov Prize, the May Sarton Award, the Robert Frost "Tree at My Window" Prize for translation, several honors from the New England Poetry Club, the Poetry Society of America, the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Salem State College.
She is a frequent reader, speaker, and workshop leader, and is active with the Powow River Poets, a literary group she cofounded in 1992.
- ASIN : B07NVGL2DD
- Publisher : Able Muse Press (26 April 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 1584 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 132 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1773490222
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,109,229 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Espaillat began writing poetry as a young girl, and she wrote in both Spanish and English. She’s still writing today poetry today, and her most recent collection is “And After All: Poems.” Nothing in the work indicates a connection to Trujillo, but one can’t help but think that the experiences of life under a dictator followed by exile can’t help but affect what a poet writes, including a focus on what’s inside as opposed to what’s visible for all to see.
“And After All” is a collection about interiors – the interiors of families, the interiors of relationships. She writes about fathers and mothers, siblings and sons, extended family members, friends, and acquaintances, even people she meets briefly on a train. One is even a farewell to a gall bladder, which is about as physically interior as one can get. None of these interiors is visible to the naked eye, but that doesn’t lessen their importance and their impact.
She even writes about the interior of a house, and something that’s making a noise inside a wall.
This time, inside the wall:
a steady, high-pitched call,
but then slowing, and weaker.
Then, scattered loud dissent,
as if some tired speaker,
sick of an argument,
had nothing more to say
but said it anyway.
Silence the second day.
We called a man to check
the gutters and the flue,
the laths around the deck
(skunks have been known to dig
under and squirm through),
but no, this time, no sign
of anything so big.
Something looking to hide,
finding a hole so small
or can’t be seen at all,
probably got inside
the attic, then went on
between the beams, to where
the studs descend, and there
contrived a nest, and died.
Past cure, they say, past care.
One day, when we’re long gone,
if those who own the house
tear down our family room,
T\they may well find the mouse—
or bird, or other thing—
that found itself a tomb
house-hunting in the spring.
As this poem indicates, most of the poems in the collection fall into the “new formalism” mode, rhyming poetry that began becoming popular in the 1960s and became firmly established in the 1990s. Dana Gioia is a leading proponent; prominent practitioners include Mark Jarman, Clive James, and, more recently, James Matthew Wilson. I found myself reading Espaillat’s poems aloud; rhyming poems lend themselves to oral communication and memorization.
Espaillat is the author of 11 books of poetry, short stories, and essays, and three poetry chapbooks. She’s received numerous awards for her poetry and translations, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Richard Wilbur Award, the Howard Nemerov Prize, the May Sarton Award, the Robert Frost Award, and others. Her poetry translations have included works by Richard Wilbur and Robert Frost, translated into Spanish. She is also active with the Powow River Poets, a literary group she founded in 1992.
“And After All” leads you to take pause and consider the interiors of your own life. It’s a collection about all of our relationships, all of our interiors, the things that make our lives meaningful and important.