Books

THE discovery

‘Poems of the American South’

“Poems of the American South” (Knopf), the newest addition to the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series, is a beauty, with smooth creamy pages and a golden ribbon to mark one’s place. History and simple pleasures are its twin forces. Langston Hughes memorializes the four girls killed by an explosion in a Birmingham church in 1963. Naomi Shihab Nye, in “Going for Peaches, Fredericksburg, Texas,” meditates on aging relatives and their search for perfection. Editor David Biespiel has gathered treasures from, among others, Wendell Berry, Sandra Cisneros, James Dickey, Nikki Giovanni, Natasha Trethewey, Walt Whitman, Robert Penn Warren, C.D. Wright, and Kevin Young.

JAN GARDNER

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