Fool: Selected Poems   (March 2001)


By Robert McGovern

ISBN: 0-912592-44-3

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Robert McGovern has worked a long while in poetry's vineyard, and it's high time for him to let readers survey his harvest.  He commands a wide variety of themes and forms. I'm taken with his strictly controlled and resonantly musical work (see the playful "Do Come And"), and with his formally freer poems as well.  In several of his best poems, he writes with tremendous know-how and compassion of his children: see the portrait of a small boy, "Seven," and (equally successful) "For Nick," the latter addressed to the same son nearly grown.  With wit and imagination, McGovern succeeds in relating the microcosm of the personal to the macrocosm of America at large.

- X. J. Kennedy


Three words run through my mind repeatedly as I read Robert McGovern's Fool: Selected Poems - intelligence, sensitivity, compassion.  This work withstands the tests of craft and life.

- Lewis Turco


About the Author

A writer as well as a scholar, Robert McGovern (1927-2002) published two books of poems: A Feast of Flesh (Ashland Poetry Press, 1974) and Fool: Selected Poems (Ashland Poetry Press, 2001). McGovern was co-founder of the Ashland Poetry Press in 1969.  With Richard Snyder, McGovern developed the creative writing major at Ashland University, one of the first programs in the country. He succeeded Snyder as chair of the English Department in 1986 and retired from teaching and administrative work on campus in 1999. His poems have appeared in The Nation, Kansas Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, Cleveland Magazine, Christian Century, and in many other journals.

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