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    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138


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Chameleon Hours (Phoenix Poets)


Chameleon Hours (Phoenix Poets) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Ways of Going

for Steve

Will it be like paragliding—

gossamer takeoff, seedlike drifting down

into a sunlit, unexpected grove?

Or ski-jumping—headlong soaring,

ski-tips piercing clouds,

crystal revelations astonishing my goggles?

. . . . Skittery flicker of a glare-weary lizard

startled into the sheltering wings of a leaf,

rusting freighter with a brimming hold

shimmering onto a crimson edge. . . .

Sad rower pushed from shore,

I'll disappear like circles summoned

by an oar's dip.

However I burn through to the next atmosphere,

let your dear face be the last thing I see.



Whether writing poems about North American life and landscape; or love poems; or elegies for family and friends; or poems on serious, debilitating illness and the transformations it can effect—Elise Partridge offers in Chameleon Hours words forged by suffering and courage. Full of wit and empathy, Partridges poems draw inspiration from sources as whimsical as tortoises and pontoons, as poignant as a homeless woman taking shelter inside a post office on a winter night, and as deeply personal as her own cancer diagnosis at a young age. Chameleon Hours is a book about the rewards of being reminded of ones own mortality and the lyric expression of life in all its intensity.
“In their ample, embracing, nuanced appetite for sensory experience, [Partridges] poems achieve an ardent, compassionate and unsentimental vision.”—Robert Pinsky, Washington Post
“Partridges impressive poems pursue a careful thinkers yearning for abandon, a loyal friend and partners wish for change. Attentive to fact, to what she sees and knows, Partridge nonetheless makes space for what is wild, outside and within us—for the fears and the blanks of chemotherapy, for sharp variations within (and without) frames of metre and rhyme, and for the welcome consistencies of married love. She has learned detail-work, and patience, from Elizabeth Bishop, but she has made other virtues her own: riffs on familiar phrases open startling vistas and even her love poems get attractively practical. Hers is a welcome invitation: lets listen in.”—Stephen Burt
“Reading Chameleon Hours, I find myself marveling at the luck of each heron, mosquito, field of Queen Annes Lace, each person, place, thing or circumstance in this beautiful book, to have Elise Partridges exquisite and precise attention. And how lucky we are to get to listen in as she offers each of them her flawless ear; the book is full of understated sonic gems like ‘a kickball straight into pink lilac. In ‘Chemo Side Effects: Memory, after describing ‘groping in the thicket for ‘the word I want . . . scrabbling like a squirrel on the oaks far side, she tells us ‘I could always pull the gift / from the lucky-dip barrel; scoop the right jewel / from my dragons trove. . . . We of course already know this. Its evident in every one of these poems.”—Jacqueline Osherow


Praise for Fielders Choice

“Partridge is a technical wizard for whom thinking and feeling are not separate activities. She is a hawk-like observer of the particular . . . many times ascending to pitch-perfect verse.”—Ken Babstock, Globe and Mail (Canada)


About the Author

Elise Partridge is a teacher and editor.  She is the author of Fielders Choice.

Table of Contents




     Two Scenes from Philadelphia


     Group Portrait

     The Artist's House

     In the Barn


     Two Monuments

     First Death

     Miss Peters

     Mia's House

     Supermarket Scanner


     For a Father


     The Secret House


     One Calvinist's God



     Gnomic Verses from the Anglo-Saxon

     Four Lectures by Robert Lowell

     Sisyphus: The Sequel

     Philosophical Arguments

     Depends on the Angle


     As I Was Saying


     Rural Route


     Song: The Messenger

     The Book of Steve


     Buying the Farm


     Cancer Surgery

     Prognosis: 50-50

     A Valediction

     Room 238: Old Woman and Hummingbird

     Chemo Side Effects: Memory

     Chemo Side Effects: Vision


     Forty-Eight Years

     Granted a Stay

     First Days Back at Work

     Chameleon Hours

     Ways of Going

      Farewell Desires


     Home Is the Sailor

     For Jenny

     The Runt Lily

     Since I Last Saw You



     World War II Watchtower


     Pauper, Boston

     Vuillard Interior

     Where Your Treasure Is

     US Post Office, December 22

     Two Cowboys


     Heron, Tampa


     Epitaph for Diane

     Edwin Partridge

     Snail Halfway Across the Road

     From Festes's Self-Help Book

     Unknown Artists


     Snapshots of Our Afterlife

     Small Vessel


Product Details

Partridge, Elise
University of Chicago Press
Single Author / American
American - General
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Phoenix Poets Series
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
8.5 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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