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New and Selected Poems, 1956–1996

Philip Appleman

Published Date: July 1, 1996

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280 pages


With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an
intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters—Eve or Darwin or a failed priest—with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and surprise us with new insights into joy and sorrow, life and death. Set on the beach at Malibu, in the port of Trieste, or in a Manhattan subway, his poems evoke genuine feeling with out sentimentality and transform the personal into the universal.


Drawn from six previous books of poetry written over four decades, and with fourteen new poems, this collection shows the power and complexity of Appleman’s wide-ranging talent.


Philip Appleman is the author of six earlier books of poetry, three novels, and several nonfiction books, including the Norton Critical Edition of Darwin and The Silent Explosion, which deals with world overpopulation. His poetry has appeared in numerous periodicals, among them Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, and Poetry. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, he now lives and writes in Manhattan and Sagaponack, New York, with his wife, playwright and poet Marjorie Appleman.


“Appleman’s poems (14 new here and 130 drawn from six earlier collections) rise above the average when he lets a single image dominate a poem or when he feels so strongly that his message becomes an anguished cry.”

Publisher’s Weekly


“Appleman should gain well-deserved attention from this cohesive and substantial collection. His voice is quietly lyrical and deeply rooted in the everyday yet somehow drenched with passion”

—ALA Booklist

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