Begin Again: Collected Poems
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The collected poems--some never previously published--of one of our best-loved, most respected authors.
Combining Grace Paley's four previous collections and new unpublished work, Begin Again traces the career of this direct, attentive, never predictable poet. Whether she describes the vicissitudes and pleasures of life in New York City or the hard beauty of her adoptive rural Vermont, whether she celebrates the blessings of friendship or protests against social injustice, her poems brim with the compassion and tough good humor that have made her stories and essays famous.
girl you’re lying You’re lying liar tell us we’ll burn your mother’s house we are the Guard now tell us then one man raised his rifle why? I cried out why? Lightning slapped the earth beside me All round the prison floor the little babies crawled The mother looked at them she smoothed her daughter’s dress (the dress so full of flowers) Thank Mary blessed virgin that we were spared such shame The little commandante cried out no shame no
children don’t know what to do the grandchildren say grandpa that’s okay come and go why not come sometimes and sometimes go Four Short Pieces What did the poem say that day we were talking talking it said be quiet give me the last word without it you’ve hardly a thought At that time I had a pocketful of excellent stones but I was not without sin what could I do but walk heavily heavily One day I couldn’t take a joke anymore I could make one
richness of kitchens and family and cross town again because it’s so early the summer’s first light hot hand has made you feverish for encounter in air at least by open window so now the sixth floor overlooking Bedford Street the open lot that will not become the Broome Street Expressway Because of this political victory and the birth of a child there is a plan being made in that small apartment TO BE GOOD AND HAPPY FOREVER The fact is this can be successful if it starts
ever live in a district like this where the artists are growing old in brownstones and their grandchildren visit them with watercolors and pastels if we could only find a condominium or a co-op like the one on Ninth Street where the tenants themselves have lovingly laid a mulch of pine branches among the roses then I answered her it is probably too late for sentiment of that kind we are fated to create our own community in the borough of Brooklyn or Staten
difficult novel he will place The Sound of the Mountain on his lap he will ask its intelligent advice Speaker and Speaker Standing in high grass at home imagining farm and granary he looks east he praises Him astonished and last night as we returned from our long walk across Luquillo Beach we saw the colorless sun fall between dark rain and the flashing sea I think he praised Him white birds flew up against the night But for everyday life, he shows no gratitude Still his