Each letter is written from a specific place that Hugo has made his own (a “triggering town,” as he has called it elsewhere) to a friend, a fellow poet, an old love. We read over the poet’s shoulder as the town triggers the imagination, the friendship is re-opened, the poet’s selfhood is explored and illuminated. The “dreams” turn up unexpectedly (as dreams do) among the lEach letter is written from a specific place that Hugo has made his own (a “triggering town,” as he has called it elsewhere) to a friend, a fellow poet, an old love. We read over the poet’s shoulder as the town triggers the imagination, the friendship is re-opened, the poet’s selfhood is explored and illuminated. The “dreams” turn up unexpectedly (as dreams do) among the letters; their haunting images give further depth to the poet’s exploration. Are we overhearing them? Who is the “you” that dreams?...
|Title||:||31 Letters And 13 Dreams|
|Format Type||:||Unknown Binding|
|Number of Pages||:||471 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
31 Letters And 13 Dreams Reviews
I didn't enjoy this one at all, unfortunately. These "Thirty One Letters" feel too personal, like breaking open a diary and reading the horrible, embarrassing thoughts of a younger sibling. In one letter to the great poet, Charles Simic, Hugo writes:Dear Charles: And so we meet once in San Francisco and I learnI bombed you long ago in Belgrade when you were five.I remember. We were after a bridge on the Danubehoping to cut the German armies off as they fled northfrom Greece. We missed. Not unusual, considering Iwas one of the bombardiers. I couldn't hit my ass ifI sat on the Norden or rode a bomb down singingThe Star Spangled Banner.Did he just make a lighthearted joke about bombing Charles Simic's village and then send it to him in the form of a letter? Am I missing something? Hugo apparently flew 35 bombing raids during World War II, so this is autobiographical. He concludes the poem with this: Nice to meet you finally afterall the mindless hate. Next time, if you want to be sureyou survive, sit on the bridge I'm trying to hit and wave.I'm coming in on course but nervous and my cross hairs flutter.Wherever you are on earth, you are safe. I'm aiming butmy bombs are candy and I've lost the lead plane. Your friend, Dick.This is confession gone wrong, in my opinion. I would be very interested to hear how Simic received this. I can't imagine well, but perhaps I'm wrong. The hardest part about these poems is that these are supposedly his real thoughts. He suffered from depression and I believe alcoholism, (If not that, he sure did drink a lot in the poems) so he often commiserates about how awful his life is.In one horrific "poem" he fantasizes about violence, in which he rants: I feel I am going to dynamite the pool.I presume this is with people inside. He continues to offer an explanation later in the poem: I think I know the reason I want to plant explosions. It's the same reason I like an occasional mark of punctuation. A comma between bears and a colon following alligator jaws. Because I want a mark in time. Perhaps I have missed the beauty in this, but all I keep thinking is that this was probably also the unibomber's motivation - to have a mark in time. If this wasn't autobiographical and not actual letters he sent to other poets and writers, I might have a different view. I always respect poets and artists, but I don't enjoy the musings of madmen.
Several great poems in this collection, which started haltingly for me but gained a quiet power as I went along. The thirteen dream poems are wonderful staccato interpolations among the more loquacious letters.At first the letters seemed jarring, as if I were intruding on a conversation. Gradually they opened up and I felt more comfortable, more included, as the letters themselves became fuller, more tender and particularly more vulnerable - not to personal demons and personal loss, but coming to terms with aging, with relationships gone bad, with starting something new when one is feeling old.Of course, the triggering towns are present. Even though it comes after 31 Letters and 13 Dreams in his bibliography, I read The Triggering Town before I read this collection for the first time. I'm glad I did, as the later book helped me discern the connection Hugo feels to place, and helped me appreciate more the places he evokes in this collection.Some favorites: "In Your War Dream," "Letter to Bly from La Push," "Letter to Logan from Milltown," "In Your Hot Dream," "Letter to Wright from Gooseprairie," "In Your Wild Dream," "In Your Big Dream," and "In Your Good Dream."
I've read several of these poems previously in Hugo's Selected Poems, so I itched to read this book. While reading, I vacillated between preferring the letters to the dreams, the dreams to the letters. Both have their strengths, both the occasional weakness. The dreams lead you in, mostly, although you may sometimes think them jarring. The letters are warm, real, even raw, and feel ever so (poetically) true. After all, a warm lie, sincerely told, is closer to truth than reality. If there are lies here, they are very warm. An excellent book for one who enjoys poetry and, especially, for one who does not. I waver between rating it 4 or 5 stars. Make that decision for yourself.
I love this book of poetry and come back to it time and time again. It features poems in two loose forms, as the title says, dreams and letters. Dreams are a great source of topics for writers, and they in Hugo produce some marvelously inventive poems. The letters are actual and maybe you might say "poetic" letters he actually sent to friends. I sent letters to friends for many years inspired by these poems as models.
This is my favorite book of Hugo's, and perhaps his most meditative, with poem-letters to Ammons, Snyder, Levertov, and other poets from various places in Montana and the Pacific Northwest. My two favorite poems: "Letter to Birch from Deer Lodge" and "Letter to Logan from Milltown." Highly recommend.
You're young when you start writing poems, neverdreaming a career that leaves you vodkaand Fresca and some take-out Chinese food,not good, alone with a grainy TVwatching a Perry Mason replay. - Note to R.H. from Strongsville
Leave it to Richard Hugo to craft a letter into a poetic form. He's the master.
811.54 H895 1977