A Festering Sweetness

Poems of American People

Renowned child psychiatrist and author takes a new approach—creating verse forms that capture the hopes, fears, and expectations of the deprived in the U.S.
Boston Review

A Festering Sweetness is a new approach for the renowned child psychiatrist and writer Robert Coles. His works have always portrayed children in their own social fabric and language, but in this book he has arranged the words and intent of the children and their parents into verse forms. These skillfully constructed poems capture the hopes, fears, assumptions, and expectations of these people.

The sense of life and suffering among the poor of the South, the northern ghettos, and the West conveyed in A Festering Sweetness could not be expressed in any form other than poetry. And only Robery Coles, who has lived and worked among these people, could have revealed with such sympathy and insight the minds and emotions of the deprived in America. He is a superb stylist, with an extraordinary sensitivity of ear and eye, as well as a fine and humane psychiatrist—indeed, a man in the doctor-writer tradition of William Carlos Williams.

72 Pages, 5.5 x 9.2 in.

June, 1978

isbn : 9780822952909

about the author

Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist on the staff of Harvard University Health Services. He is a frequent contributor to such leading periodicals as The New Yorker, New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, and American Poetry Review. His Children of Crisis, series on children of poor families, won the Pulitzer Prize.

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Robert Coles