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My Father Says Grace: Poems

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his third collection, My Father Says Grace, Donald Platt combines elegy with verse of larger historical allusion and reference. At the center of the book stand poems detailing a fathers stroke and slowly developing Alzheimers disease and how it affects one family. An extended meditation on a mother-in-laws dying provides counterpoint to elegies for more public figures like Walt Whitman and Janis Joplin. The private life in “the valley of the shadow of death” often gets juxtaposed with explicitly political verse. One of these poems records the racially charged conversations in a small southern towns Amazing Grace Beauty Salon. Another describes a Vietnam protestor, famously photographed while sticking flowers in an MPs gun barrel, alongside images from his later life as a transvestite. The poems tend to find themselves in the midst of crisis, historical or personal. They yearn for “transport” and strive “to be ‘carried across, away, out, toward, back into / / some new country / where the soul improvises, croons scat to itself alone.”

Synopsis:

In his third collection of poems, My Father Says Grace, Donald Platt mixes elegy with larger historical allusion and reference. At the center of the book stand poems detailing a father's stroke and slowly developing Alzheimer's disease and how it affects one family. An elegy for a mother-in-law provides counterpoint to elegies for more public figures like Janis Joplin and Walt Whitman. The private life "in the valley of the shadow of death" often gets crossed with explicitly political poems, such as a meditation on the long history of racial tensions in the deep South, or one on a Vietnam protestor, famously photographed sticking flowers in an MP's gun barrel, alongside images from his later life as a transvestite.

About the Author

Donald Platt is an associate professor of English at Purdue University. His previous collections, Fresh Peaches, Fireworks, & Guns and Cloud Atlas, were published by Purdue University Press as winners of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize. He is a recipient of the “Discovery”/The Nation Prize, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes. His poems have appeared in many magazines and journals, including The New Republic, Nation, Paris Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Iowa Review, Southwest Review, and Southern Review, and have been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2000 and 2006. He lives with his wife, the poet Dana Roeser, and their two daughters in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781557288370
Author:
Platt, Donald
Publisher:
University of Arkansas Press
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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Product details 96 pages University of Arkansas Press - English 9781557288370 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In his third collection of poems, My Father Says Grace, Donald Platt mixes elegy with larger historical allusion and reference. At the center of the book stand poems detailing a father's stroke and slowly developing Alzheimer's disease and how it affects one family. An elegy for a mother-in-law provides counterpoint to elegies for more public figures like Janis Joplin and Walt Whitman. The private life "in the valley of the shadow of death" often gets crossed with explicitly political poems, such as a meditation on the long history of racial tensions in the deep South, or one on a Vietnam protestor, famously photographed sticking flowers in an MP's gun barrel, alongside images from his later life as a transvestite.
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