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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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2 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

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Book of Hours

by

Book of Hours Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bereavement

Behind his house, my father’s dogs

sleep in kennels, beautiful,

he built just for them.

 

They do not bark.

Do they know he is dead?

They wag their tails

 

& head. They beg

& are fed.

Their grief is colossal

 

& forgetful.

Each day they wake

seeking his voice,

 

their names.

By dusk they seem

to unremember everything—

 

to them even hunger

is a game. For that, I envy.

For that, I cannot bear to watch them

 

pacing their cage. I try to remember

they love best confined space

to feel safe. Each day

 

a saint comes by to feed the pair

& I draw closer

the shades.

 

I’ve begun to think of them

as my father’s other sons,

as kin. Brothers-in-paw.

 

My eyes each day thaw.

One day the water cuts off.

Then back on.

 

They are outside dogs—

which is to say, healthy

& victorious, purposeful

 

& one giant muscle

like the heart. Dad taught

them not to bark, to point

 

out their prey. To stay.

Were they there that day?

They call me

 

like witnesses & will not say.

I ask for their care

& their carelessness—

 

wish of them forgiveness.

I must give them away.

I must find for them homes,

 

sleep restless in his.

All night I expect they pace

as I do, each dog like an eye

 

roaming with the dead

beneath an unlocked lid.

 

 

Memorial Day

Thunder knocks

loud on all the doors.

 

Lightning lets you

inside every house,

white flooding

 

the spare, spotless rooms.

Flags at half mast.

 

And like choirboys,

clockwork, the dogs

ladder their voices

 

to the dark, echoing off

each half-hid star.

 

 

Greening

It never ends, the bruise

of being—messy,

untimely, the breath

 

of newborns uneven, half

pant, as they find

their rhythm, inexact

 

as vengeance. Son,

while you sleep

we watch you like a kettle

 

learning to whistle.

Awake, older,

you fumble now

 

in the most graceful

way—grateful

to have seen you, on your own

 

steam, simply eating, slow,

chewing—this bloom

of being. Almost beautiful

 

how you flounder, mouth full, bite

the edges of this world

that doesn’t want

 

a thing but to keep turning

with, or without you—

with. With. Child, hold fast

 

I say, to this greening thing

as it erodes

and spins.

Review:

"In his eighth poetry collection, Young (Ardency) offers an impressively musical exploration of grief and endurance. Drawing its title from the illuminated manuscripts that contained psalms and prayers, the book is divided into five symbolically headed chapters. The tension between death and creation, and the poet's struggle to contain both, fuels these short-lined poems whose delicate gears deploy insight with heartbreaking accuracy. The opener, 'Domesday Book,' acknowledges the passing of the poet's father: 'Strange how you keep on/ dying — not once/ then over// & done with — ' and treats grief with frank honesty and an alluring, yet almost unsettlingly steady, rhythm: 'How terrible/ to have to pick up// the pen, helpless/ to it, your death/ not yet// a habit.' The subsequent sections, 'The Book of Forgetting' and 'Confirmation,' move past the book's initial death into new sorrow, 'What remains// besides pain?/ How to mourn what's just/ a growing want?' Though the poems are ripe with pain, they also contain moments of reverberating joy, as when the speaker in 'Expecting' hears his son's heartbeat during a sonogram: 'You are like hearing/ hip-hop for the first time — power// hijacked from a lamppost — all promise.' Young wrestles with loss and joy with enviable beauty and subtlety." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Kevin Young is the author of seven previous books of poetry, including Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels, winner of a 2012 American Book Award, and Jelly Roll, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink. Young’s book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and won a PEN Open Book Award. He is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English, curator of Literary Collections and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.

About the Author

US

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307272249
Author:
Young, Kevin
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Subject:
General Poetry
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.38 x 0.86 in 0.92 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Featured Titles

Book of Hours Used Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307272249 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his eighth poetry collection, Young (Ardency) offers an impressively musical exploration of grief and endurance. Drawing its title from the illuminated manuscripts that contained psalms and prayers, the book is divided into five symbolically headed chapters. The tension between death and creation, and the poet's struggle to contain both, fuels these short-lined poems whose delicate gears deploy insight with heartbreaking accuracy. The opener, 'Domesday Book,' acknowledges the passing of the poet's father: 'Strange how you keep on/ dying — not once/ then over// & done with — ' and treats grief with frank honesty and an alluring, yet almost unsettlingly steady, rhythm: 'How terrible/ to have to pick up// the pen, helpless/ to it, your death/ not yet// a habit.' The subsequent sections, 'The Book of Forgetting' and 'Confirmation,' move past the book's initial death into new sorrow, 'What remains// besides pain?/ How to mourn what's just/ a growing want?' Though the poems are ripe with pain, they also contain moments of reverberating joy, as when the speaker in 'Expecting' hears his son's heartbeat during a sonogram: 'You are like hearing/ hip-hop for the first time — power// hijacked from a lamppost — all promise.' Young wrestles with loss and joy with enviable beauty and subtlety." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Kevin Young is the author of seven previous books of poetry, including Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels, winner of a 2012 American Book Award, and Jelly Roll, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink. Young’s book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and won a PEN Open Book Award. He is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English, curator of Literary Collections and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.
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