Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »
  1. $18.20 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Flying Shoes

    Lisa Howorth 9781620403013

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside POET- A- Z910 [A] to 906 [Z]

Rock Harbor

by

Rock Harbor Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A masterful new collection by one of our most important contemporary lyric poets

Wind as a face gone red with blowing,

oceans whose end is broken stitchery--

swim of sea-dragon, dolphin,

shimmer-and-coil, invitation. . . . You Know

the kind of map I mean. Countries as

distant as they are believable . . .

--from "Halo"

Carl Phillips lyric explorations of longing and devotion, castigation and mercy, are unrivaled in contemporary poetry.

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title--a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster--these poems negotiate and map out the impulse toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

Carl Phillips is the author of five other books of poems, including The Tether (FSG, 2001) and From the Devotions, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of a 2001 Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

A Publishers Weekly Best Book

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster these poems negotiate and map out the impulses toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

"Phillips's previous volume of poetry explored the often antagonistic negotiations between the devout and the divine, the lover and the loved. Rock Harbor is harder and more forceful: 'No' and 'not' are two of the poet's favorite end words. But in these poems, which are at least as erotic as they are religious, 'no' often means 'yes,' and the succumbing is of a bittersweet, little-death sort. In one poem, Phillips asks, 'Isn't it only in / the bracing and first wake of / loss that we guess most cleanly / the speed with which what held us / left us?' The pull that Phillips is resisting grows stronger all the time, and when it recedes it leaves a residue: the 'record-of-where-a-wind-was' to be examined by 'left-to-our-own-devices / acolytes.'"The New Yorker

"Unlike Pastoral and The Tether, Carl Phillips's two previous books, Rock Harbor drops us in a particular place: the location feels both certain (a rock) and secure (a harbor). And while Phillips has been writing about the body for years, the boldness with which he declares his preoccupation is startling . . . Throughout Rock Harbor, everything is 'difficult / to see.' We know where we are. We know what we're looking at. But the drama of this poetry is a drama of equivocationthe process of a mind discovering that what it sees is the product of what it thinks. And thought, for Carl Phillips, is syntax . . . Other poets have worked with the studiously short line that Phillips generally employs; other poets have been obsessed with the endlessly elaborate negotiation of the body and the soul. No other poet sounds like Carl Phillips because no one else locates that negotiation so squarely within the formal procedures of the poetry: the intricately calibrated tension between baroque syntax and brief line feels simultaneously like the action of the mind and the movement of the body . . . His poems make us feel palpably that line is the means by which a poet controls intonation and stress . . . At a time when many poets of his generation are exploring a wide variety of sonic shenanigans, Phillips offers the sound of high seriousness, and it is a sound that puts all but a handful of American poets to shame . . . Like Proust, Phillips is intensely aware of the way in which the object of our knowledge shifts from second to second, rendering even the most meticulous observation obsolete. A 'face, turning,' says Phillips in 'Moving Target,' becomes 'a turned one' before we can get the words out. 'What so satisfied, / before, about distortion,' he asks, 'that, now, I miss it?' Far from being discouraged by the process of perpetually suspended rediscovery, Phillips finds it thrilling. And he does not merely describe the process but embodies it in the syntactical drama of [his] poetry."James Longenbach, Boston Review

"In Rock Harbor, the poet enters the image as if plunging into a black hole, totally surrendering to the lyric moment. Wholly losing himself in a metaphorical construction, Phillips whispers in a dreamscape where subjective symbolism triggers recurring iconic fragments that yearn for transcendence. At the same time, Phillips always assumes a reverent, courting tone that is formal yet tender . . . At best, Phillips's poetry captures spare evocations of the sublime, condensed awe and fractal glances of splendor gained in an earnest, meditative state of awareness. Always, the poems in Rock Harbor are ambitious and brave."Michael Graber, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

"The author of five previous collections . . . Phillips is a Harvard-educated classicist whose poems are subtly informed by both gay and African American sensibilities. Here he approaches the high, airy abstraction characteristic of Jorie Graham's recent work, compressing elliptical meditations into lyric forms that sometimes seem built entirely of rhetorical gestures: interjections, postponements, qualifications, questions, and hyperextended figures . . . In poetry, as in music, the silences are as significant as the soundssomething ably proved by Phillips's verse . . . [These poems are] deeply compressed bits of beautyand thought-provoking, too."Library Journal

"Phillips reduces lyric poetry to its bare minimum, translating complex states of being into spare and clever syllogisms. His landscapes are stark, singular, and still. The living entities present, be they bird, tree, horse, or man, stand alone in wind and shifting light. Monumental in their carved perfection and deep mystery, they are embodiments of transcendence, objects of desire, instruments of pleasure and pain. As in The Tether, Phillips is fascinated by the pull between the wild and the refined, the imagined, and the tangible . . . Classical in his allusions, his mathematical lines, his emotional restraint, the sculptural elegance of his settings, and his depictions of the puppeteer powers of the gods and the ever-present possibility of violence in sexual acts, Phillips transports his readers to a rarefied poetic universe where everything metamorphoses in a 'shift-of-a-cloud / fashion,' just like dreams, perception, life itself."Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Lingering at the junctures of desire and attainment, Phillip's sixth collection demonstrates how the largest questions of ethics and responsibility play out, or perhaps disappear, in the smallest moments of intimate relationships, and find death as their limit. The extremely attenuated lines of last year's The Tether have filled out here, but Phillips' trademark phrasal difficulty and oblique half-metaphors remain as beautiful and perplexing as ever . . . Phillips is at a seemingly indomitable stretch of his career."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

A masterful new collection by one of our most important contemporary lyric poets

Wind as a face gone red with blowing,

oceans whose end is broken stitchery--

swim of sea-dragon, dolphin,

shimmer-and-coil, invitation. . . . You Know

the kind of map I mean. Countries as

distant as they are believable . . .

--from "Halo"

Carl Phillips lyric explorations of longing and devotion, castigation and mercy, are unrivaled in contemporary poetry.

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title--a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster--these poems negotiate and map out the impulse toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

Synopsis:

Wind as a face gone red with blowing,

oceans whose end is broken stitchery--

swim of sea-dragon, dolphin,

shimmer-and-coil, invitation. . . . You Know

the kind of map I mean. Countries as

distant as they are believable . . .

--from "Halo"

Carl Phillips lyric explorations of longing and devotion, castigation and mercy, are unrivaled in contemporary poetry.

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title--a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster--these poems negotiate and map out the impulse toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

About the Author

Carl Phillips is the author of five other books of poems, including The Tether (FSG, 2001) and From the Devotions, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of a 2001 Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374251406
Subtitle:
Poems
Author:
Phillips, Carl
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Location:
New York
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Single Author / American
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
99-109
Publication Date:
September 2002
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Tether: Poems Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. Complete Poems (Penguin... New Trade Paper $16.00
  3. Cascadia (Wesleyan Poetry) Used Trade Paper $8.95
  4. New Poets of America Series #0009: Rose New Trade Paper $15.50
  5. Last Blue Used Hardcover $2.95
  6. The Silent Treatment Used Trade Paper $2.25

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Rock Harbor Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374251406 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A masterful new collection by one of our most important contemporary lyric poets

Wind as a face gone red with blowing,

oceans whose end is broken stitchery--

swim of sea-dragon, dolphin,

shimmer-and-coil, invitation. . . . You Know

the kind of map I mean. Countries as

distant as they are believable . . .

--from "Halo"

Carl Phillips lyric explorations of longing and devotion, castigation and mercy, are unrivaled in contemporary poetry.

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title--a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster--these poems negotiate and map out the impulse toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

"Synopsis" by ,
Wind as a face gone red with blowing,

oceans whose end is broken stitchery--

swim of sea-dragon, dolphin,

shimmer-and-coil, invitation. . . . You Know

the kind of map I mean. Countries as

distant as they are believable . . .

--from "Halo"

Carl Phillips lyric explorations of longing and devotion, castigation and mercy, are unrivaled in contemporary poetry.

Here, in his sixth book, Phillips visits those spaces, both physical and psychological, where risk and safety coincide, and considers what it might mean to live at the nexus of the two. Sifting among the upturned evidence of crisis, from Roman Empire to westward expansion, from the turn of a lover's face to the harbor of the book's title--a place of calm fashioned of the very rock that can mean disaster--these poems negotiate and map out the impulse toward rescue and away from it. Phillips's pooling, cascading lines are the unsuppressed routes across his unique poetic landscape, daring and seductive in their readiness to drift and reverse as the terrain demands.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.