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Sad Little Breathing Machine

by

Sad Little Breathing Machine Cover

 

Staff Pick

Matthea Harvey's second of three books, Sad Little Breathing Machine, is aurally dazzling. These are smart poems for readers with ears for eyes. Unapologetically, playfully, Harvey saws down the rope bridge between poet and reader. Then from the other side of the divide, winks, Come here already. And you want to. What emerges from between these poems is a wry, immaculate sensibility, beholden to the world as we know it, but siphoned through a fish-eye lens. Keen and mindful, she chooses carefully where to spill her side-of-mouth sense-making. In this, Harvey leaves a luminous little bread trail for us, amid a panoply of sound, and it's just enough to lead us to the house, where sure enough there's a key under the mat.
Recommended by Jae, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically inventive," offers her second stunning collection.

Units are the engines
I understand best.

One betrayal, two.
Merrily, merrily, merrily.

—from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems — of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

Review:

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." James Tate

Review:

"Taut and up-to-the-minute in its intellectual and its formal concerns, Harvey's sophomore effort seems sure to consolidate her status as a young poet to watch....Admirers of Brenda Hillman, or even Anne Carson, may find here a new favorite." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"This book is full of tiny music boxes...hear the songs and fall into strange, glittering and familiar abysses." BOMB

Synopsis:

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems — of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

Synopsis:

Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker

as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically

inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines

I understand best.

One betrayal, two.

Merrily, merrily, merrily.

-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate

Matthea Harvey is also the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.

Harvey, whose debut collection of poems was praised by The New Yorker as "intensely visual, mournfully comic, and syntactically

inventive," offers an equally stunning second collection in Sad Little Breathing Machine. Throughout this book, Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systemsof the body, of thought, of language itself. Her poems are themselves enginesdevices that, like poetry itself, propel both our comprehension and our misunderstanding. This is a poetry concerning our sense of wonder in all its guises. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"[Reading these poems,] I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end."James Tate

Synopsis:

Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker

as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically

inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines

I understand best.

One betrayal, two.

Merrily, merrily, merrily.

-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate

About the Author

Matthea Harvey is the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555973964
Author:
Harvey, Matthea
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Location:
St. Paul, Minn.
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
108-194
Publication Date:
20040331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
80
Dimensions:
8.49 x 6 x 0.245 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Sad Little Breathing Machine New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details 80 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555973964 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Matthea Harvey's second of three books, Sad Little Breathing Machine, is aurally dazzling. These are smart poems for readers with ears for eyes. Unapologetically, playfully, Harvey saws down the rope bridge between poet and reader. Then from the other side of the divide, winks, Come here already. And you want to. What emerges from between these poems is a wry, immaculate sensibility, beholden to the world as we know it, but siphoned through a fish-eye lens. Keen and mindful, she chooses carefully where to spill her side-of-mouth sense-making. In this, Harvey leaves a luminous little bread trail for us, amid a panoply of sound, and it's just enough to lead us to the house, where sure enough there's a key under the mat.

"Review" by , "I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end."
"Review" by , "Taut and up-to-the-minute in its intellectual and its formal concerns, Harvey's sophomore effort seems sure to consolidate her status as a young poet to watch....Admirers of Brenda Hillman, or even Anne Carson, may find here a new favorite."
"Review" by , "This book is full of tiny music boxes...hear the songs and fall into strange, glittering and familiar abysses."
"Synopsis" by , In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems — of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."
"Synopsis" by ,
Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker

as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically

inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines

I understand best.

One betrayal, two.

Merrily, merrily, merrily.

-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate

Matthea Harvey is also the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.

Harvey, whose debut collection of poems was praised by The New Yorker as "intensely visual, mournfully comic, and syntactically

inventive," offers an equally stunning second collection in Sad Little Breathing Machine. Throughout this book, Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systemsof the body, of thought, of language itself. Her poems are themselves enginesdevices that, like poetry itself, propel both our comprehension and our misunderstanding. This is a poetry concerning our sense of wonder in all its guises. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"[Reading these poems,] I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end."James Tate

"Synopsis" by ,
Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker

as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically

inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines

I understand best.

One betrayal, two.

Merrily, merrily, merrily.

-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate

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