Cover image for Different hours : poems
Different hours : poems
Dunn, Stephen, 1939-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2000]

Physical Description:
121 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3554.U49 D54 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PS3554.U49 D54 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A wise and graceful new collection by one of our "major, indispensable poets" (Sidney Lea). The mysteries of Eros and Thanatos, the stubborn endurance of mind and body in the face of diminishment--these are the undercurrents of Stephen Dunn's eleventh volume. "I am interested in exploring the 'different' hours," he says, "not only of one's life, but also of the larger historical and philosophical life beyond the personal."

Author Notes

Stephen Dunn is a Trustee Fellow in the Arts and Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. In 1995 he received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other awards are the Levinson Award from Poetry magazine and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This sensitive 11th book from Dunn (Loosestrife) largely sticks to familiar territory: in one central poem, a "master" advises the speaker to "Use what's lying around the house./ Make it simple and sad." Dunn follows that advice unwaveringly: his short lyrics in conversational language address the difficulties and small victories of everyday lifeÄfears on turning 60, marital quarrels, suburban weather, "the commonplace and its contingencies." Like Gerald Stern and Philip Booth, Dunn strives to describe the travails of ordinary people in language not only simplified but generalized: a friend's divorce leads the speaker to say "no one can know what goes on/ in the pale trappings of bedrooms," while scary headlines and advancing age prompt the remark that "it's tempting to believe/ we lived in simpler times." Poems about places offer few surprises: Italy yields "the chosen gloomy beauty of a tourist town," and a series of poems about Dunn's native South Jersey produce phrases almost as stale. Many poems try so hard for their transparency that they become predictable, so hard to be representative that their speakers seem too normal to be true, even the usually multi-valent Odysseus, who here "sailed through storm and wild sea/ as if his beloved were all that ever mattered." Such mythical alter egos, when they appear, disappear into the dominant mode here, that of a quiet family man who wants to be kind and to marvel at the ordinary, "amazed/ that the paper has been delivered." Fans will pick up this book to get news of his latest doings, but despite its accessibility, it will draw few new subscribers. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 13
I Before the Sky Darkensp. 19
Sixtyp. 21
Evanescencep. 23
At the Restaurantp. 24
The Death of Godp. 26
Capriccio Italienp. 28
Old Dogsp. 30
Odysseus's Secretp. 32
What Goes Onp. 34
Their Divorcep. 36
Dog Weatherp. 38
Optimismp. 40
Androgynep. 41
Zero Hourp. 43
The Hoursp. 44
II The Partyp. 47
Simpler Timesp. 49
Our Parentsp. 51
Empathyp. 52
The Last Hoursp. 55
Luckp. 57
The Sexual Revolutionp. 59
The Same Coldp. 61
Losing stepsp. 63
Afterp. 66
So Farp. 67
Different Hoursp. 69
III The Reverse Sidep. 73
The Overtp. 74
John and Maryp. 77
Artp. 79
Rubbingp. 81
A Spiritual Womanp. 83
Irresistiblep. 85
Returning from an Artist's Studiop. 87
Storyp. 89
Visiting the Masterp. 91
IV The Metaphysicians of South Jerseyp. 95
His Townp. 97
Another Manp. 99
Men in the Skyp. 101
Emperorsp. 102
One Moment and the Next in the Pine Barrensp. 104
Afterlifep. 106
Chokecherryp. 108
Naturep. 109
Burying the Catp. 111
Oklahoma Cityp. 113
Backwatersp. 115
Phantomp. 117
A Postmortem Guidep. 119