The Sleeping Gypsy, and Other Poems

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The Sleeping Gypsy, and Other Poems

By George Garrett

Readers will find in The Sleeping Gypsy all of the qualities that distinguished Garrett’s earlier collection of verse—the pointed, incisive writing, the abhorrence of “pretty” poetic words, the harsh impact of language that is, at the same time, strangely musical.

1958

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Paperback

6.69 x 9.61 | 78 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-73380-0

The Sleeping Gypsy is an important collection of poems by an American writer who was but twenty-nine when awarded the coveted Prix de Rome in 1958. When George Garrett’s first collected verse, The Reverend Ghost and Other Poems, appeared in Scribner’s Poets of Today: IV, critics hailed the emergence of an authentic new talent of great promise. Babette Deutsch, writing in the New York Herald Tribune, said, “His poems are short, highly charged, and also, as he intended, clear. They move rapidly, without waste, exhibiting a lively skill and vigor in action.… His sensitive perceptivity makes his thoughtful insights more memorable.” Louise Bogan, writing in the New Yorker, said, “It is good to come upon [in Garrett’s work] an ordered brilliance and effects, long neglected, that link us to the ancient tradition of English ‘song.’”

Readers will find in The Sleeping Gypsy all of the qualities that distinguished Garrett’s earlier collection of verse—the pointed, incisive writing, the abhorrence of “pretty” poetic words, the harsh impact of language that is, at the same time, strangely musical. Many will feel that, in this later work, these qualities have been enhanced and that Garrett’s advancing maturity indicates strongly that his early promise will be richly fulfilled.

I. The Music Of This World
The Sleeping Gypsy
Distances, Differences
Buzzard
Aubade
Giant Killer
The Children: an Abstraction
A Form of Joy
Underworld
Advice to an Aesthetician
The Pure Brutalities of Contrast
Still Life
Pastoral
Old Saws No. 1
Old Saws No. 2
Old Saws No. 3
Three Studies of Æsop
Saints
Speaking of Minor Revelations
Be Uncorrupted All
After Bad Dreams

II. Songs
Narcissus
Snowman
Hermit

III. Snapshots
The Lion Tamer
Tugboat
Tyger
Fire Engine
A Parable of Four Sowers
Tightrope Walker
Veterans
Riddle Man
The Lucky
Romantic
Narcissist
Sensualist
A Friend in Gray Flannel
Three from the Academy
Sir Guy of Gysbane
Caedmon
Swift
Tiresias
Martha Graham: Appalachian Spring
Classic Generalissimo

IV. Short Stories
Summer Storm
The Magi
The Cage
The Grapes
Deep Sea Fishing
Eve
Bayonet Drill
Episode in a Suburban Garden
Three Dancers
Bathing Beauty
Letter from a Light Drinker
Snowstorm

George Palmer Garrett (1929–2008) was a poet and novelist. He also worked as a book reviewer and screenwriter, and was Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2002 to 2006.