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Struggling Times

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Struggling Times

By: Louis Simpson

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louis Simpson has been a leading figure in American letters for more than half-a-century. Born in the West Indies, Simpson emigrated to the United States at the age of seve

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louis Simpson has been a leading figure in American letters for more than half-a-century. Born in the West Indies, Simpson emigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen. He studied at Columbia University, then served the U.S. Army in active duty in Europe during World War II. After the war he continued his studies at Columbia and at the University of Paris. While living in France he published his first book of poems, The Arrivistes (1949). The poems in Struggling Times find Simpson's distinct imaginative voice working at its full poetic power. Both timely and personal, the poems reveal Simpson's on-going quarrel with suburban America, as well as his concerns about the direction of an American society struggling to retain its integrity in the midst of widespread challenges and worldwide strife. "This is the Jamaican-born Simpson's 18th collection; its dry trimeters and tragic resignations should certainly please the faithful fans... Yet the new poems, as much as any in his oeuvre, leave room for unexpected happiness...Simpson believes in endurance and the rewards of the ordinary. He can, at his best, make his readers believe in those things too."--Publishers Weekly "It is narrative and voice --the honesty and inflection, wit and irony...that draw readers into his world." --The Hudson Review


Suddenly 

The truck came at me,
I swerved
but I got a dent.  

The car insurance woman
informs me that my policy
has been cancelled.  

I say, “You can’t do that.”
She gives me a little smile
and goes back to her nails.  

Lately have you noticed
how aggressively people drive?
A whoosh! and whatever.  

Some people are suddenly
very rich, and as many
suddenly very poor.  

As for the war, don’t get me started.
We were too busy watching
the ball game to see  

that the things we care about
are suddenly disappearing,
and that they always were.


© BOA Editions, Ltd 2009

Available Editions:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------  
ISBN: 978-1-934414-19-4
Paperback $16.00
Publishing Date: April 2009        

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