Cover image for The handbook of heartbreak : 101 poems of lost love and sorrow
The handbook of heartbreak : 101 poems of lost love and sorrow
Pinsky, Robert.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Rob Weisbach Books, 1998.
Physical Description:
xvii, 158 pages ; 20 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS595.L57 H36 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



From the 39th poet laureate comes the universal prescription for a broken heart.

Robert Pinsky has gathered together magical words of heart-mending solace from across the centuries to read in times of trouble. With an introduction by Pinsky, this unique volume includes the works of an astounding range of poets -- William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Frank Bidart, Wallace Stevens, Frank O'hara, Louise Gluck, W.B. Yeats, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickenson, amoung others. A timeless treasure to give or get, The Handbook of Heartbreak beats with the power of emotional truth; a must for anyone who has ever loved -- and lost.

Author Notes

Robert Pinsky was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and studied at Rutgers and Stanford Universities. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Wellesley College, and the University of California, Berkeley. For several years the poetry editor of The New Republic, he has won the Oscar Blumenthal Prize (1978) and Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright grants. His book of criticism, The Situation of Poetry: Contemporary Poetry and Its Traditions (1976), is referred to often. He has argued for, and written, a poetry of discursiveness, one that can treat abstract thought and social reality as well as subjectivity and deep emotion.

(Bowker Author Biography) Robert Pinsky, United States Poet Laureate 1997-2000, has received the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, & the "Los Angeles Times" Book Award. He is poetry editor at "Slate" & teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Pinsky, America's 39th poet laureate, brings together the likes of Shakespeare and Yeats, O'Hara and Plath, Hayden, Dickinson, and Komynyakaa on the theme of the broken heart. This is a collection of 101 salves and spells with the power to heal. The number of poems were chosen, as Pinsky tells us in his introduction, because it sounds lovely. "Why do works of art about bad things such as loss and deprivation make us feel good?" he asks. Every love and attachment brings risk; loss is almost inevitable. These laments mourn loves and friends, places and things; the title comes from Wallace Stevens, whose love is for the earth itself. Frost tells us that because of Eve's voice, "Never again would birds' song be the same./ And to do that to birds was why she came." Much of this volume is familiar, but the poems are strengthened by their setting. Highly recommended.¬ĎLouis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.