Search Party: Collected Poems of William Matthews

by William Matthews

Other authorsStanley Plumly (Editor), Sebastian Matthews (Editor)
Paper Book, 2004





Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2004.


When William Matthews died of a heart attack in 1997, the day after his fifty-fifth birthday, America lost one of its most important poets, one whose humor and wit were balanced by deep emotion, whose off-the-cuff inventiveness belied the acuity of his verse. With Search Party, his son Sebastian and his friend and fellow poet Stanley Plumly have brought together a collection drawing from all of Matthews's previously published work as well as twenty-three never-before-published poems. Here are meditations on relationships, work, family life, and, of course, jazz: "I love the smoky libidinal murmur / of a jazz crowd . . . / I like to slouch back / with that I'll-be-here-awhile tilt." Pleasure is abundant in these poems: music, wine, love,and language are, for Matthews, the necessary consolations for life's suffering. Full of as much wisdom and song as heartbreak and loss, Search Party will bring a wider reading audience to this "poet of experience" and his benedictions of everyday life.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member abirdman
This is a wonderful book, valuable for the sensitivity of the selections, though disappointing because it is a "selected" and not the complete poems implied in the title's use of the term "collected." A selection partly made by the poet's son, along with the poet Frank Bidart. William Matthews was
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one of the great American poets of his generation. This is a veery handsome book with a broad selection of the poets wotk.
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