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Pagan Virtues

Hardcover Book
WW Norton
November, 2019
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Publisher’s Description: 

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. A stunning sequence on the relationship between the speaker and Mrs. Cavendish examines an intimacy sustained and repelled by politics, philosophy, and attraction. Complex and evocative, Pagan Virtues offers indispensable truths from a master of contemporary poetry.

From Pagan Virtues:

. . . tip your hat

to the great poem that is the body,

maybe even uphold the beautiful

by renouncing the pretty.

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