This great poetry book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. Here's something a little different ... rather then rewrite this with a formal review, I've just pasted here the letter I sent the author after I finished reading this:
Hello Mr. Dunn,
I want to thank you for Different Hours, which I just read tonight, and to send my regrets in not having talked with you at the Poetry Workshop last weekend.
I attended the conference for nonfiction/memoir writing. I went to school for art and also studied literature, but my education sadly swerved around poems. I've known Peter my whole life and read his work for years, but with no inkling as to why I liked it. A thrill of the weekend was sitting up late with poets, finally hearing fire for their work and others'. It was the vivacious Miss Emari who first mentioned you; she talked about being in your classes. At the book sale, I took everyone's recommendations and swiftly lost $100. Yours was the best I bought. And I liked the de Chirico closeup.
So it turns out the beauty in poetry is the same as in art – truth always, specific detail, universality, unspoken danger and loss, passion for life and a current of optimism. You talk about mists, and to me your book was gray and dawnlike, a color of contentment and impartial observation, fogged with washes but with darker, unstated violets of violence and deep regret just off-camera. I remember the breakthrough in art school when I first made a better sketch by withholding information and leaving blank spaces; unstated, it was clearer. I can tell when a work strikes a chord in me if I can't go to sleep without first relentlessly gushing about it to someone – ideally the author, especially if my friends are asleep.
So, thanks for e-listening. If you're interested, my art and other passions are on my unnecessarily vast web site, www.jesserichards.com.
PS> My three favorite lines in the book are:
How could they get together? They were like two people who couldn't get together
Outside the wind chime began to chime
I think I'm smelling the rain we can smell before it rains.
I like the symmetry. I also appreciated the Atlantic City bus station setting of Another Man, since I was laidover there on my bus trek back to Manhattan from Cape May.