Wings Apart by Burt Kimmelman


Suzuki writes: “The true artist, like a Zen master, is one who knows how to appreciate the myo of things . . . [to make] a glimpse of things eternal in the world of constant changes.” In Wings Apart, Burt Kimmelman does just that. He observes the natural world, the plaintive cry noted, but never breaking the reverie. His is a painterly art of tracking beauty and the movement of desire and loss in everyday life. “Wings apart / the bird floats / above trees.” As a true Zen haiku artist, Kimmelman finds solace in stillness, and reading his poems, I too am comforted by the beauty and acceptance therein. —Barbara Henning


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 52
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-33-6


“Kimmelman is obviously a master of his chosen strategies.”  —Hugh Seidman

“That every shadow of wonder can stand forth in the most familiar words is the gift this poet offers his readers time and again.” —Susan Howe

“A strict & powerful accounting, leaving me . . . filled with admiration & hooked on every word.” —Jerome Rothenberg

“He finds what is luminously transcendent.” —Harvey Shapiro

“A rare evocation . . . the wonder of this world in itself.” —Robert Creeley

“. . . artful, fastidious, learned. I am delighted by so much feeling for style.” —Alfred Kazin


Birthday Poem

“I walk in the slow rain,
never less accomplished, never happier.”
— Harvey Shapiro

I read Grace Paley’s stories as I sit
below our backyard maple tree and think
of how I never scare people like she
could with resentment and tenderness, deep
down, her love more than people could expect.

I take solace in the tree’s shade on this
unusually hot morning, squirrels
and birds high above me, our cats prowling,
my seventieth birthday, happiness
in the offing, a fortuitous moment.


Burt KimmelmanBurt Kimmelman was born and raised in New York City after the Second World War. Wings Apart is his tenth collection of poetry, following Abandoned Angel in 2016, and Gradually the World: New and Selected Poems in 2013. His poetry is often anthologized, and has been featured on National Public Radio; a number of interviews of him are available in print or online. Kimmelman has also authored books and articles mostly on literature, some on art and architecture, and some memoir. He is a professor of English, teaching literary and cultural studies at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey.

Additional information

Weight 4 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in