Pagan Virtues Paperback by Stephen Dunn

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Pagan Virtues Paperback by Stephen Dunn

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Product Details

  • Publisher: WW Norton (2021-12-07)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9780393868449
  • Item Weight: 102.06 grams
  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 5.47 x 0.3 cm

Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn returns with his signature morbid wit, intellectual daring, and emotive powers on full display.

In this meditative and incisive collection, Stephen Dunn draws on themes of morality and mortality to explore the innermost machinations of human nature. Shifting in tone but never wavering in their essential honesty, these poems reflect on desire, restraint, and the roles we play in an ever-evolving society. In Pagan Virtues, Dunn reminds us of his penetrating eye for the universal and the specific, and his ability to highlight our contradictions with tenderness and wit.

Two poems dedicated to Dunn’s eulogist, in advance, bookend the collection. The first introduces us to the poet’s sardonic candor and unflinching gaze at his own mortality, while the latter, written nineteen years later, reflects on what it means to continue to live in the “despoiled and radiant now.” A stunning sequence on the relationship between the speaker and “Mrs. Cavendish” examines an intimacy sustained and repelled by politics, philosophy, and attraction. Wry, observational, and wide-reaching, Pagan Virtues offers indispensable truths from a master of contemporary poetry.

About the Author

Stephen Dunn (1939–2021) was the author of twenty poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Different Hours. He was a distinguished professor emeritus at Richard Stockton University. Over his six-decade career, he received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, among many other honors.


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