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Halflife: Poemsby Meghan O'rourke
Synopses & Reviews
The insomniac speakers in Halflife are coming of age in a mythical world full of threat and promise. Seeking their true selves amid the fallen cathedrals of America, they speak wryly of destructive love affairs, aesthetic obsession, and encroaching war, but refuse to abandon hope in the power of imagination.
"The first collection from O'Rourke — critic, Slate culture editor and poetry editor at the Paris Review — displays a playful, energetic intelligence, varied aesthetics and a welcome self-possession, along with the inevitable growing pains. The power of first meetings, quick regrets and a generation for whom things happen fast animates O'Rourke when she is at her most inventive. Beginnings are her strong suit, as are evocations of teen dilemmas (as in 'My Life as a Teenager') and stellar lines: 'Strange to live in a wet world, then wake in the desert.' Also included are two autobiographical sequences whose terse, grim cadence resembles, perhaps too strongly, Louise Glck's, and a few other imagistic lyrics reminiscent of Sylvia Plath: 'The buds have already begun, fat pink fingertips.' Such moments, though, do not weigh down the book; they are outnumbered by the forward-looking, deft promises at which O'Rourke excels, ending even a poem called 'Elegy' on a melancholy high note: 'How lucky it is I was born/ to tell you the way it all turned out.' This may be one of the most talked about first books of the year." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Impressive. A box full of surprises and intense delights."--Billy Collins
"Magnificent."'"New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Meghan O'Rourkeis the literary editor of Slateand a poetry editor at the Paris Review.
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