Cover image for Night music : poems
Night music : poems
Sissman, L. E., 1928-1976.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvii, 140 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"A Mariner original."
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
PS3569.I8 N54 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Selected by Peter Davison with an introduction by Edward Hirsch. Sissman was a true phenomenon in American poetry. He published his first book, a collection of antic, autobiographical episodes in blank verse, in 1968. Eight years and three books later, he died of Hodgkin's disease at the age of forty-eight. Of Sissman's remarkable final poems John Updike wrote, "What other poet had ever given such wry and unblinking witness to his own dying? His poetry gave back to life more generously than he had received, and carried his beautiful wit into darkness undimmed." Now Sissman's longtime editor, Peter Davison, has selected from his lifework the essential poems--the essence of an American original. (A Mariner Original)

Author Notes

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. A MacArthur fellow, he has published eight books of poems and four books of prose. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in Brooklyn.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Sissman's wit, taste, and poetic manners are all impeccable, making it hard to believe that he belongs to the same generation as the humorless, coarse, confrontative Beat poets. But Sissman's masters were Eliot and Auden (he often waggishly paraphrases the former, but his tone and style are more like the latter), and he was happy in his career as an advertising copywriter. Most of his poetry was written between 1964 and 1974, and in the knowledge that he was incurably ill. His first collection was Dying: An Introduction (1968), but the poems in it aren't depressing, and though his latest work is more somber, it is not despondent. He wrote suites of poems, and his major concerns in them are commonplaces of upper-middle-class life of his time and place (the U.S. Northeast) such as attending a good college, courtship and marriage, and finding one's way of living. John Updike admires Sissman's work greatly, and those who like Updike's fiction well may share his enthusiasm for this urbane, intelligent, humane poetry. --Ray Olson