Dick Allen is a central figure in America's often neglected "transition generation"-poets born in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Known both for his poetry and for his innovative writing on poetics, Allen has long promoted the idea that our art must move away from narrow self-concern and include the worlds of contemporary events, science and religion. His poems, wide-ranging, visionary, and unique, powerfully engage the intellectual and moral questions of our time. Ode to the Cold War: Poems
is a showcase for over thirty years of work by this increasingly celebrated master of American verse.
"Dick Allen's Poetry is a poetry of images, but without being either fully abandoned to the sometimes perplexing processes of thought . . . particularly the unconscious . . . fully immersed in the tactile, physical world that invites description. Instead, his approach is painterly, . . . with the metaphors less found than constructed."-Poetry
"Allen's Ode to the Cold War: Poems New & Selected gives the reader an opportunity to assess what this particular poet has been up to for over thirty years. . . . Here he is writing with all his senses: fuschsia looks like 'a clown's umbrella of red and purple and tassels'; a frog gives both 'plash and galump'; one can semll doused campfires and incense tapers, feel the wind blowing on prison walls above secret towns. . . . Throughout these new poems Allen is writing a poetry of ideas-asking big questions such as, 'Does anything ever happen/The way we suppose? Is it our suppositions/Which change the patterns from what might have happened?' These are very satisfying poems, which invariably know when and how to end."-The Hudson Review
"This wide-ranging collection from a 30-year career shows Allen's poetry developing from a free-wheeling free verse to the employment of formal structure. Allen's work ranges with ease from astronomy to politics to domestic situations; his poetry captures great swatches of real and imagined experience in nimble style. The more structured works focus his energies to the best effect. Ironically, structure serves him best when Allen follows Whitman's expansive lead and engages in list-making or cosmic inclusiv more >>