Read The Last Uncle by Linda Pastan Free Online
Book Title: The Last Uncle|
The author of the book: Linda Pastan
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
Date of issue: September 17th 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.41 MB
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Loaded: 2097 times
Reader ratings: 4.1
ISBN 13: 9780393325300
Read full description of the books:
Issues of aging, death, and the loss of the previous generation permeate Pastan’s collection.
The last uncle is pushing off
in his funeral skiff (the usual
black limo) having locked
the doors behind him
on a whole generation.
(The Last Uncle)
Pastan manages to connect these themes with images from nature and art.
“Another Autumn” starts:
Another autumn, the dogwoods turning first,
their hard berries bright as drops of blood
in the oak woods where a wild fox limped past
and concludes with these lines:
how my mother in her middle age looked
at my father, knowing he would be the first to go,
and how I looked at her, the last autumn of her life,
wanting her to flee that ravished flesh
but willing her to stay.
Nostalgia and longing are evident.
I call and hear your voice
on the answering machine
weeks after your death,
(The Answering Machine)
The collection is thoughtfully arranged in numbered sections, with similar words, or connected titles, in the poems facing one another. The majority of the poems contain brief lines. Pastan is a master at imagery and metaphor.
Like old Greek widows in black
head scarves, and long, black skirts
There are also two “cycles” of poems-the ingeniously titled “Round the Mulberry Bush” on the days of the week, with each day representing some type of household chore (washing, ironing, sweeping, etc.). The book closes with a cycle titled “The Months.”
I appreciate Pastan’s quiet voice more with repeated readings. Her work is deceptively understandable. I say “deceptively” because I do not want to imply that her writing is simplistic; rather, that the poem itself doesn’t leave the reader struggling for comprehension. Her topics are weighty. Pastan is a poet whose work grows on the reader.
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Read information about the authorIn 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.
She is the author of Traveling Light (W. W. Norton & Co., 2011); Queen of a Rainy Country (2006); The Last Uncle (2002); Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; An Early Afterlife (l995); Heroes In Disguise (1991), The Imperfect Paradise (1988), a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; PM/AM: New and Selected Poems (l982), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Five Stages of Grief (l978), and A Perfect Circle of Sun (l971).
About Pastan's The Five Stages of Grief, the poet May Sarton said, "It is about all her integrity that has made Linda Pastan such a rewarding poet. Nothing is here for effect. There is no self-pity, but in this new book she has reached down to a deeper layer and is letting the darkness in. These poems are full of foreboding and acceptance, a wry unsentimental acceptance of hard truth. They are valuable as signposts, and in the end, as arrivals. Pastan's signature is growth."
Among her many awards and honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Dylan Thomas Award, the Di Castagnola Award, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Maurice English Award, the Charity Randall Citation, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She was a recipient of a Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award.
From 1991 to 1995, she served as the Poet Laureate of Maryland, and was among the staff of the Breadloaf Writers Conference for twenty years. Linda Pastan lives in Potomac, Maryland.
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