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The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell Review

Title: The Book of Nightmares

Author: Galway Kinnell

First published January 1, 1971

88 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780395120989 (ISBN10: 0395120985)

Rating: 4.22


Galway Kinnell’s book, The Book of Nightmares, is a masterpiece that showcases his unparalleled talent for language and his deep appreciation for the natural world. Every page of this book is an ode to the beauty of life and the power of art to transcend the limitations of our understanding.

Kinnell’s poetry is a journey through the depths of the human experience, exploring the darkest corners of the psyche and the hidden beauty of the everyday. With his signature style and tone, Kinnell weaves together a tapestry of words that will leave readers breathless and longing for more.

The Book of Nightmares is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the power of language and the beauty of the human soul.

About the Author

Galway Kinnell attended Princeton University and earned his degree in 1948. He went on to get his Master’s degree from the University of Rochester.

During his youth, Kinnell served in the US Navy and traveled extensively through Europe and the Middle East. He published his first volume of poetry, titled What a Kingdom It Was, in 1960.

After returning to the US, Kinnell became heavily involved in the civil rights movement. He worked as a field worker for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and participated in various marches and other civil actions.

Kinnell received numerous awards for his work, including the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for his Selected Poems (1980). He also received a MacArthur Fellowship, Rockefeller Grant, Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and the Medal of Merit from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1975.

From 2001 to 2007, Kinnell served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Editoral Review

The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell is a collection of poems that were first published on January 1, 1971. Kinnell is an American poet who was born in Rhode Island in 1927 and is known for his evocative and introspective work.

The Book of Nightmares is a compilation of his poems that explore the limits of human experience and the darkness that resides within us all. The poems in The Book of Nightmares are an intense and powerful exploration of the human psyche.

Kinnell delves into the dark corners of our minds, exploring our deepest fears and anxieties. The themes in this collection deal with subjects such as death, violence, and loss.

The style of writing is poetic but also haunting and eerie, as the reader is taken on an emotional journey through the pages. The main characters in The Book of Nightmares are the speaker of each poem and the people they encounter.

The settings are often vague and amorphous, adding to the sense of unease and tension. The conflict in this collection stems from the internal struggles of the speaker, as they grapple with their emotions and the horrors of the world around them.

The Book of Nightmares has significant historical and cultural significance. It was published during a tumultuous time in American history, marked by anti-war protests, social unrest, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Kinnell’s work reflects the mood of the era, expressing the feelings of disillusionment and despair that many people felt. The strength of The Book of Nightmares lies in Kinnell’s ability to capture the dark side of the human experience with grace and eloquence.

The poems are beautifully crafted, with a lyrical quality that draws the reader in. The characters are well-developed, and the pacing of the collection is excellent.

One weakness of The Book of Nightmares is that the subject matter may be too heavy and upsetting for some readers. The poems deal with difficult topics such as suicide, war, and abuse, which may be triggering for some individuals.

Overall, The Book of Nightmares is an impressive collection of poetry that is well worth reading. Kinnell’s work is insightful and emotionally complex, offering a glimpse into the human soul.

While the subject matter may be challenging, it is handled with great care and sensitivity. The Book of Nightmares would be an excellent choice for readers who enjoy poetry that is introspective and thought-provoking.

I would give The Book of Nightmares a 4 out of 5. The rating is based on the fantastic quality of the writing, character development, pacing, and themes explored in this collection.

The only reason I am not giving it a perfect score is that the subject matter may not appeal to everyone, and some readers may find it too emotionally heavy. However, if you enjoy poetry that is deep and moving, The Book of Nightmares is definitely worth a read.