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A Long Continual Argument: The Selected Poems
Robert F. Barsky
A Long Continual Argument is the comprehensive statement of an acknowledged poetic master craftsman. It includes all the poems John Newlove chose for his previous Selected Poems with substantial additions from all his major collections: all of his later poetry, as well as previously excluded yet critically acclaimed works such as the long poem "Notes From And Among the Wars" and many of the cynically lyric poems that established his early reputation. From his first chapbook in 1961 to his final epigrammatic poems of the late 1990s, Newlove's has been a quiet poetry dealing with unquiet themes. A poetry that, in the words of Phyllis Webb, "doesn't struggle for meaning. It emerges out of his thinking." Newlove was the best of us, the great line, the hidden agenda, tough as nails and yet somehow with his heart on his sleeve. There was always a double-take involved when reading his work. His lyrics, such as "The Weather" were faultless. I devoured and loved his work. - Michael OndaatjeTo call him "the voice of prairie poetry" misses the target by as broad a margin as if you called John Milton "the voice of Cromwell's London." ...This was the voice of a man who knew what it was like to almost drown, to gasp for air, to almost drown again. His poetrydelivered a blow to the head then, and it does now. ...It will be seen again for what it was, and is: major in its time and place. - Margaret Atwood (from John Newlove: Essays on His Works, forthcoming)
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