Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo

Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo

Richard Hugo William Kittredge / Jan 19, 2020

Making Certain It Goes On The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo Richard Hugo was in James Wright s words a great poet true to our difficult life Making Certain It Goes On brings together as Hugo wished the poems published in book form during his lifetime tog

  • Title: Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo
  • Author: Richard Hugo William Kittredge
  • ISBN: 9780393307849
  • Page: 333
  • Format: Paperback
  • Richard Hugo was, in James Wright s words, a great poet, true to our difficult life Making Certain It Goes On brings together, as Hugo wished, the poems published in book form during his lifetime, together with the new poems he wrote in his last years.

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    About "Richard Hugo William Kittredge"

      • Richard Hugo William Kittredge

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information Richard Hugo December 21, 1923 October 22, 1982 , born Richard Hogan, was an American poet Primarily a regionalist, Hugo s work reflects the economic depression of the Northwest, particularly Montana Born in White Center, Washington, he was raised by his mother s parents after his father left the family In 1942 he legally changed his name to Richard Hugo, taking his stepfather s surname He served in World War II as a bombardier in the Mediterranean He left the service in 1945 after flying 35 combat missions and reaching the rank of first lieutenant.Hugo received his B.A in 1948 and his M.A in 1952 in Creative Writing from the University of Washington where he studied under Theodore Roethke 1 He married Barbara Williams in 1952, the same year he started working as a technical writer for Boeing.In 1961 his first book of poems, A Run of Jacks, was published Soon after he took a creative writing teaching job at the University of Montana He later became the head of the creative writing program there 2 His wife returned to Seattle in 1964, and they divorced soon after He published five books of poetry, a memoir, a highly respected book on writing, and also a mystery novel His posthumous book of collected poetry, Making Certain It Goes On, evinces that his poems are marked by crisp, gorgeous images of nature that often stand in contrast to his own depression, loneliness, and alcoholism Although almost always written in free verse, his poems have a strong sense of rhythm that often echoes iambic meters He also wrote of large number of informal epistolary poems at a time when that form was unfashionable.Hugo was a friend of poet James Wright.Hugo s The Real West Marginal Way is a collection of essays, generally autobiographical in nature, that detail his childhood, his military service, his poetics, and his teaching.Hugo remarried in 1974 to Ripley Schemm Hansen In 1977 he was named the editor of the Yale Younger Poets Series.Hugo died of leukemia on October 22, 1982.


    1. I think of this collection as an unintentional autobiography. If you read the poems from start to finish in the order presented, you follow Richard Hugo's progression from loneliness to love and friendship, addiction through recovery, and depression to hope. Most appealing of all are his poems revealing his love of nature, and of beauty in all its manifestations. He visited places altered by progress and imagined the lives of those forgotten by history, those who loved and depended upon the land [...]

    2. Just discovering Hugo's poetry. My heart hurts, it dances, it sinks and it soars with his words. He was a Seattle native, but wrote about Montana, Italy and Scotland as well as the Pacific Northwest. My copy-only a week old- is becoming dog-eared as I select poems in wonder, promising to return.

    3. This guy makes my heart explode. I don't really care about drinking or Montana or fishing that much. Those are Hugo's main obsessions. But he drops truth like this:You might come here Sunday on a whim.Say your life broke down. The last good kissyou had was years ago. You walk these streetslaid out by the insane, past hotelsthat didn't last, bars that did, the tortured tryof local drivers to accelerate their lives.And then you sit alone for awhile.

    4. I wrote a review that covered this book as well as four others. You can find it here:hubpages/hub/FiveBestNewBo

    5. I can't say anything about Richard Hugo without remembering the first time I laid eyes on "Near Kalalock." I was twenty, rather desolate and hard-drinking, and the images of the poem sobered me with their affective heat. The kind of heat two people make facing a gray, uncertain world--in this case, poet and reader.Tan foam tumbles and we call the bourbon in us wind.We put this day in detent with a pastoralanxiety for stars. Remember when our eyeswere ocean floors and the sun was dissonantand col [...]

    6. The best way to explain his ability is to quote him:" Today, I am certain,for all my terrible mistakes I did the right thingto love places and scenes in my innocent way and to spendmy life writing poems, to receive like a womanthe world in its enduring decay and to tellthat world like a man that I am not afraid to weepat the sadness, the ongoing day that is draining our lifeand is life."==To reassure you, there are no noted "terrible mistakes" in his biography, he, as Kunitz would note, is just [...]

    7. I will be honest and say that I knew almost nothing about Richard Hugo and had never read his poems until I became Writer in Residence at the literary center that bears his name. Now, having completed a first pass through his collected poems, I am in love. He is the quintessential Seattle poet.

    8. something tells me there's something uncool these days about Hugo, but he's very important to me.

    9. The collected poems of one of America's finest poets. Hugo was one of those poets that I guess I was destined to like. The first few weeks of my freshman year at the University of Colorado I heard him read. I think he was the first "professional" poet I'd ever heard read and the moment was transformative for me. A decade later I heard him read again, not too many months away from his death. We talked about Jack Wheatcroft, my poetry teacher. He read well. He had gained much weight. And over the [...]

    10. Dear Dick, Loved your war poems and how they permeated the rest. Read you because they say you did good nature poems. I think they don't know the west. We just take that part for granted; it suffuses our lives. Good thing though, couldn't live any other way, myself. Could have used less about trout and your early take on women. Who am I to judge and give stars? Oh well, we are all trying. The last ones sailed. Susan

    11. This man was incredibly talented. His poems are all crafted with a clean, crisp sense of line; an immaculate ear; and quite the libido (just look at how many are in this collection!). My problem? I don't think he achieved that point beyond sheer virtuosity in many of the works,—the whole pastoral jazz can get tiring. I miss, in comparison, Roethke's delicacy, whimsy and masterful hysteria.

    12. Richard Hugo's poem "Driving Montana" begins like this:"The day is a woman who loves you. Open."It may be the best first line by any American poet and it is fully representative of the body of Hugo's work: imagistic, personal, honest and finely attuned the music and heartbreak of life in the American West.

    13. I've read Hugo over and over, over long period of time, and the more I read him, the better he gets. He's just a rock solid, really really really first-rate poet, especially if you love Montana. His book on teaching and writing poetry, The Triggering Town, is also something I turn back to, every couple years.

    14. I knew Richard Hugo's essays before I knew his poetry -- if that makes any sense at all. I picked up this collected poetry volume from a local library --- and while I can't say this book changed my life, I did enjoy Hugo's work, especially the poems from his book The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservior. This is a fine collection of a poet's life work!

    15. This collection of poetry mostly adheres to the "in things not ideas" school of poetry and writing with great success. This is narrative poetry at its best and I constantly re-read work from it. Hugo taught and influenced James Welch, James Crumley and others.

    16. A strong aura of rural decay but also resilient beauty. "Nothing dies more slowly than a scene". Populated by dead end dive bars and lonely people, Hugo's poems sound across mountains and plains alike.

    17. Another book from Chris Wall. He sent me this collected works of this great Montana poet, and oh Lord, does his work hit hard. He has a unique voice and has slipped from the scene since his death in '82. That's a real shame. This guy should be read and reread.

    18. I love love love Richard Hugo. He writes earthy poems in colloquial language, but he takes on sweeping themes -- love, death, the passing of time, and the tenacity of the human spirit!Try "Glen Uig" or "Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg"

    19. Place-based writing at its best. If you've been where he's been, you can see it all again. If you have never been, then get ready to visit.

    20. Really quite captivating marvelous work. I love "Pike Place Market," another titled "Eileen," sand dunes, and Montana. Landscapes.

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