All Occasions Walter McDonald

ISBN: 9780268020057

Published: October 15th 2000


120 pages


All Occasions  by  Walter McDonald

All Occasions by Walter McDonald
October 15th 2000 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 120 pages | ISBN: 9780268020057 | 6.41 Mb

Award-winning poet Walt McDonald is well known for the skill with which he is able to transform ordinary language into poetry. In this powerful narrative McDonald returns to familiar explorations of his native Texas landscape and the struggle to integrate his wartime experiences into the rest of life. The 65 poems in All Occasions are about a boy who later flies as an Air Force pilot, who marries a woman so lovely and loving he’s stunned, who goes home after a war and discovers with friends and family what John Donne meant in one Christmas sermon: All occasions invite His mercies, and all times are His seasons.

The poems celebrate the wonder and need of all occasions, the heartache and longing and joy of being alone or loved—in war, in a cockpit at 40,000 feet, riding the range on a mustang, or in the arms of family. Masterful and wise, All Occasions is Walt McDonald at his best and his most affirmative.“I’ve been reading Walt McDonald for years.

His is the voice among contemporary poets most recognizable to me. This is not to say that his poems are without surprise (and therefore delight), or that he hasn’t grown and developed over the decades. In the same way we know Sinatra, or Willy, or Aretha, we recognize Walt McDonald, an American original.

All Occasions gives us, page after page, one of our finest poets at the top of his game.” —David Citino, Professor of English“Walt McDonald has always written moving poems of immense compassion and care. For him, poetry is indeed everywhere, detailing and infusing All Occasions with layered mystery and grace.

Give his words to anyone you know who doubts this. Or believe it already. He will befriend them, every one.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, writer and editor“Walt McDonald, like Edwin Arlington Robinson or William Stafford, is an American treasure who fashions from everyday speech a pure and electric poetry. He breaks lines better than most contemporary poets, and his concerns, both modest and universal, search out the region we should hold in the highest regard, the heart, and breaks it—its motions of grace, pity, and fear, its yearning like love to leave in ones wake a healthier atmosphere, if not a better world, for all one holds in affection, a shoring up against those days when all occasions seem indeed to inform against us: a beautiful book.” —Larry Woiwode, author of Beyond the Bedroom Wall and What I Think I Did“Underlying the rich poems of love and life on the Texas plains, Walt McDonald’s All Occasions is haunted by the history of America’s wars in the twentieth century, and the sacrifices they required.

The poems explore not just his own memories of Vietnam and his fear and pride at his son’s combat in Desert Storm, but also his grandfathers’ , uncles’ and father’s service in the two world wars. In its quiet and meditative way, it is a death-haunted book. Out of that meditation on the terrible costs of life rises a guilty but real gratitude in being alive.” —Andrew Hudgins

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