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The Tether: Poems

The Tether: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Graceful and resonant new work by a lyric poet at the height of his skill.

"Like something broken of wing,

lying there.

Other than breathing's rise, catch,

release,

a silence, as of some especially wounded

animal that, nevertheless, still

is conscious,

you can see

straight through the open

eye to where instinct falters because

for once it has come

divided"

--from "Chamber Music"

In the art of falconry, during training the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is gradually lengthened and eventually unnecessary. In these new lyric poems, Carl Phillips considers the substance of connection — between lover and beloved, mind and body, talon and perch — and its the cable of mutual trust between soaring figure and shadowed ground. Contemporary literature can perhaps claim no poetry more clearly allegorical than that of Carl Phillips, whose four collections have turned frequently to nature, myth, and history for illustration; still, readers know the primary attributes of his work to be its physicality, grace, and disarming honesty about desire and faith. In The Tether, his fifth book, Phillips's characteristically cascading poetic line is leaner and more dramatic than ever.

In the art of falconry, the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is gradually lengthened during training, until it is eventually unnecessary. In these new lyric poems, Carl Phillips considers the substance of connection--between lover and beloved, mind and body, talon and perch.

Contemporary literature can claim no poetry more clearly allegorical than that of Carl Phillips, whose four collections have turned frequently to nature, myth, and history for illustration; still, his readers know the primary attributes of his work to be its physicality, grace, and disarming honesty about desire and faith. In The Tether, his fifth book, Phillips's characteristically cascading poetic line is leaner and more dramatic than ever.

"Passionately austere, [Phillips's] poems restore to us that curious admixture of formal regard and casual speculation."Rita Dove, The Washington Post Book World

"[These poems are] intimate because [they are] interior, because of the eroticized energy driving so many of them . . . Piqued, stimulated, challenged, [the reader] feels grateful for what is overheard as this disciplined mind wanders, grateful for the lyric that outstrips all diversionary maneuvers."Carol Moldaw, The Antioch Review

"Immensely magnetic . . . Phillips's poems argue for unsparing, inspired examination of that tethered falcon, the soul."Carol Muske-Dukes, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"PossiblyprobablyCarl Phillips articulates the ineffable hesitation of love better than other contemporary poets. Certainly The Tether forces us to think about everything that surrounds what is saidthe silences, the nuances, the half-formed questions, the contradictions, and the assertions that need, of necessity, to be qualified almost as soon as they are uttered. These are 'poems in the act of becoming.' Maybe this is love's truest language."Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

"[Phillips writes] batter-my-heart provocations worthy of John Donne [that are] subdued to a still, mature reverence."The New Yorker

"[These] poems have a rare sensuality, and they successfully marry a brooding and philosophical outlook with high lyricism and musicality."Kate Moos, Ruminator Review

"The music here is an admittedly cerebral one, and the poems are enjoyable, like late James, as much for the length and intricacy of their twistings as for the actual content. . . . Much of [this content] is passionately flourished. Many poems concern desire, the ways it may be satisfied, deferred, or disappointed: 'The hunt-was good; the kill, / less so, as you'd said to / expect. I don't listen, always." The metaphor of the hunt is one of Phillips's favorites, and he doesn't shy away from either the brutality or the tenderness it calls for. The empathy of Phillips's work, especially when set off against his remarkably austere language, is terrific and moving. The strength of these poems is their sinuosity of thought. In the best cases, that hard thought flowers into feeling and makes the poems memorable."Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Graceful and resonant new work by a lyric poet at the height of his skill.

As I understand it, I could

call him. Though it would help,

it is not required that I give him

a name first. Also, nothing

says he stops, then, or must turn.

--from "The Figure, the Boundary, the Light"

In the art of falconry, during training the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is gradually lengthened and eventually unnecessary. In these new lyric poems, Carl Phillips considers the substance of connection — between lover and beloved, mind and body, talon and perch — and ts the cable of mutual trust between soaring figure and shadowed ground.

Contemporary literature can perhaps claim no poetry more clearly allegorical than that of Carl Phillips, whose four collections have turned frequently to nature, myth, and history for illustration; still, readers know the primary attributes of his work to be its physicality, grace, and disarming honesty about desire and faith. In The Tether, his fifth book, Phillips's characteristically cascading poetic line is leaner and more dramatic than ever."

About the Author

Carl Phillips is the author of four books of poems, including Pastoral and From the Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is an associate professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374267933
Subtitle:
Poems
Author:
Phillips, Carl
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Location:
New York
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Single Author / American
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
ERDC/CRREL TR-00-7
Publication Date:
20020403
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

The Tether: Poems
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Product details 96 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374267933 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Graceful and resonant new work by a lyric poet at the height of his skill.

As I understand it, I could

call him. Though it would help,

it is not required that I give him

a name first. Also, nothing

says he stops, then, or must turn.

--from "The Figure, the Boundary, the Light"

In the art of falconry, during training the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is gradually lengthened and eventually unnecessary. In these new lyric poems, Carl Phillips considers the substance of connection — between lover and beloved, mind and body, talon and perch — and ts the cable of mutual trust between soaring figure and shadowed ground.

Contemporary literature can perhaps claim no poetry more clearly allegorical than that of Carl Phillips, whose four collections have turned frequently to nature, myth, and history for illustration; still, readers know the primary attributes of his work to be its physicality, grace, and disarming honesty about desire and faith. In The Tether, his fifth book, Phillips's characteristically cascading poetic line is leaner and more dramatic than ever."

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