Few poets today, even very good ones, write lines, as Stanley Moss does, that are so exquisitely crafted you cannot help but remember them. "What is heaven but the history of color,” begins the new long poem after which this book is named. "We know at ninety sometimes it aches to sing,” begins another poem, for a woman upon her ninetieth birthday. In the hands of this master, "Ah who art in heaven,” transmigrates to the quieting "ah, ah, baby.” And here is Moss in an early poem: "I’ve always had a preference / for politics you could sing / on the stage of the Scala,” ending that poem with words attributed to Lincoln: "I don’t know what the soul is, / but whatever it is, I know it can humble itself.”
A History of Color: New and Collected Poems by Stanley Moss is the first one-volume, complete edition of the poetry of this important living American poet. In the tradition of the explosive success, Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry by Alan Dugan (winner of the National Book Award, the Lannan Award, and the Massachusetts Book Award), A History of Color proposes poetry that is made to be useful. Moss is our leading psalmist. Metaphors for wonder abound, his language one of sorrow and exaltation.
A History of Color includes forty new poems; work from Moss's previous books, Asleep in the Garden, The Intelligence of Clouds, The Skull of Adam, and The Wrong Angel; and a group of early poems not previously published in book form.