Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003
Author: Jean Valentine
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2007)
Since the 1965 publication of her first book, Dream Barker, selected for the Yale Younger Poets Award, Jean Valentine has published eight collections of poetry to critical acclaim. Spare and intensely-felt, Valentine's poems present experience as only imperfectly graspable. This volume gathers together all of Valentine's published poems and includes a new collection, Door in the Mountain.
Valentine's poetry is as recognizable as the slant truth of a dream. She is a brave, unshirking poet who speaks with fire on the great subjects―love, and death, and the soul. Her images―strange, canny visions of the unknown self―clang with the authenticity of real experience. This is an urgent art that wants to heal what it touches, a poetry that wants to tell, intimately, the whole life.
"This is a poetry of the highest order, because it lets us into spaces and meanings we couldn't approach in any other way... The known and familiar become one with the mysterious and half-wild, at the place where consciousness and the subliminal meet... In all her work, most astonishingly in this new book, Jean Valentine offers us the danger and depth of the ordinary, and we shiver with recognition and relief."
"I wholeheartedly endorse this book. ...It is acrobatically glorious, this collection, unparalleled in its commitment to balancing the unspoken with the spoken. To read it is fully pleasurable and easy and at the same time difficult, because each poem springs from the head of Wisdom."