There is a planned maintenance window on June 26th from 9 am to 3 pm. During this time the catalog may become unavailable for a period of 30 minutes. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Gabriel : a poem

by Hirsch, Edward,

Format: Print Book 2014
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3558.I64 G33 2014
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3558.I64 G33 2014
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Display PS3558.I64 G33 2014
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Display
Call Number  PS3558.I64 G33 2014
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 811.54 HIRSCH
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  811.54 HIRSCH
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award

Never has there been a book of poems quite like Gabriel, in which a short life, a bewildering death, and the unanswerable sorrow of a father come together in such a sustained elegy. This unabashed sequence speaks directly from Hirsch's heart to our own, without sentimentality. From its opening lines--"The funeral director opened the coffin / And there he was alone / From the waist up"--Hirsch's account is poignantly direct and open to the strange vicissitudes and tricks of grief. In propulsive three-line stanzas, he tells the story of how a once unstoppable child, who suffered from various developmental disorders, turned into an irreverent young adult, funny, rebellious, impulsive. Hirsch mixes his tale of Gabriel with the stories of other poets through the centuries who have also lost children, and expresses his feelings through theirs. His landmark poem enters the broad stream of human grief and raises in us the strange hope, even consolation, that we find in the writer's act of witnessing and transformation. It will be read and reread.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Hirsch's poetry (The Living Fire, 2010) is rooted in his exceptional fluency in poetic traditions, showcased in his glorious A Poet's Glossary (2014), a landmark work as is this, his most personal creation to date, an elegy of such artistry and candor that any reader, including those leery of poetry, will read it with rising awe. Hirsch masterfully tells the grueling, sometimes funny, and, finally, tragic story of the life and death of his son, Gabriel, in a commanding and propulsive book-length poem. Written in tercets (three-line stanzas) bereft of punctuation, Gabriel takes us through a childhood brutally hijacked by strangely tumultuous brain chemistry and the torments of cruelly tested parenthood. Hirsch ­re-creates the hectic urgency of a boy in perpetual motion and ceaseless anxiety, describing Gabriel's quicksilver moods, love of action and wheeling and dealing, wildly inventive humor, and insistence on being his impossibly unconventional and inconvenient self. Hirsch anoints his rampaging son King of the Sudden Impulse / Lord of the Torrent / Emperor of the Impestuous, looks to other poets who lost children, and presents an explicit case study of his son's diabolical illness and attempted treatments. Hirsch's lightning-lit portrait of and surging lament for his hurricane of a son is a courageous, generous, and reverberating epic of fatherly love and mourning.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2014 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "MacArthur fellow and Guggenheim Foundation president Hirsch (The Living Fire) writes the kind of poem that no poet should ever have to: a near-unforgettable book-length verse memoir describing the life and death, the rambunctious childhood, the adventurous youth, the funeral, and the enduring memory, of the poet's only son. As a baby, Gabriel "was a trumpet of laughter/ And tears who did not sleep/ Through the night even once." As a child, he had behavioral disorders that made him hard to handle: "He was trouble/ But he was our trouble." Gabriel found some happiness-and some equally wild friends-as a young man in New York, but ventured out "during a rainstorm" (apparently Hurricane Irene) "And never came home." Hirsch mixes in his own reflections on other writers' mourning for the children they outlived (Words-worth, Mallarme, Mahler) without robbing his memoir of its momentum, nor his outcry at the cosmic injustice when a parent outlives a child. After all the set pieces (the coroner's report, the rituals of Jewish mourning), Gabriel's tumultuously charming personality comes through: "He loved twisting rides on roller coasters/ Coins fell from his pockets/ When he was upside-down." Unpunctuated, unrhymed triplets serve Hirsch's grief and tell his story well: even readers left unmoved by Hirsch's earlier offerings may have to reckon with this one. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Children -- Death -- Poetry.
Grief -- Poetry.
Publisher New York :2014
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 78 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780385353571 (hardcover)
038535357X (hardcover)
Other Classic View