Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995

Hayden Carruth

Winner of the National Book Award, Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey contains powerful poems by one of North America’s premier poets. With passion, pathos, and great good humor—in poems that could only be written by a mature poet at the height of his powers—Carruth speaks with intimate and urgent clarity of love late in life. In heart-rending poems he addresses his daughter’s struggle against cancer, as well as the loves, friendships, and social concerns of a lifetime.

ISBN: 9781556591105

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Hayden Carruth (1921–2008) lived for many years in northern Vermont, then moved to upstate New York, where he taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He published twenty-four books of poetry, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies. He served as the editor of Poetry, poetry editor of Harper’s, and for twenty-five years as an advisory editor of The Hudson Review. The Bollingen, Guggenheim, and Lannan Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for …

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“Amply illustrates the openness and honesty with which Carruth addresses the world, the mixed compassion and outrage with which he responds to it, and his continued productivity through a long, distinguished career.” —Publishers Weekly

“Contemporary American poetry doesn’t get any richer than this.” —Booklist, starred review

“This is a poet whose virtuosity has often resembled the precision of pure math, a way of ordering a world where ‘Truly we are / the wise animals. Just not wise enough…’ These new poems linger tenderly on their subjects with the poise of Horace. That love and irony and poetry persevere even as the body fails occasions the grace of this masterly collection.” —The New Yorker

“Hayden Carruth’s voice is unique in American poetry: disarmingly personal but always informed by an acute historical and political intelligence, linguistically demotic and direct while prosodically complex and diverse.” —National Book Award citation

“A part of our country’s poetic treasure.” —Adrienne Rich

“Technically [Carruth] is a virtuoso.” —Galway Kinnell

“The poems in Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey… demonstrate a consistency of voice and quality that has helped make Carruth one of the country’s most decorated poets.” —The Christian Science Monitor

Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey, the National Book Award winner, extends Carruth’s already considerable accomplishment and reveals… the depth and breadth of his sense of humor… These poems… show vigor, rigor, experimental suppleness, and rare candor.” —Contemporary Literary Criticism

“[Carruth] has a sound all his own that is adept to any use he turns it to… These are poems without adornment not because Carruth is exhausted, but because he knows so well what he wants to say.” —Harvard Review

“[Carruth] is a people’s poet, readily understood, a tribune of our common humanity, welfare and plight. As [Carruth himself] said of William Carlos Williams, Carruth has been, more than any other poet of our time, ‘one of us, committed to our life, our reality, our enigma.'” —The Nation

“Hayden Carruth strides right into his poems. There is no preliminary posing, hedging, elbow-nudging, false bashfulness… He writes with candor, warmth, humor, sometimes outrage, always with sympathy. His language is so clear and his emotions so sincere that they disarm… Carruth shows us how poetry really does matter… ” —Poetry


National Book Award, 1996