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Devotions (Phoenix Poets)

by

Devotions (Phoenix Poets) Cover

ISBN13: 9780226764351
ISBN10: 0226764354
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the hands of Bruce Smith, devotions are momentary stops to listen to the motor of history. They are meditations and provocations. They are messages received from the chatter of the street and from transmissions as distant as Memphis and al-Mansur. Bulletins and interruptions come from brutal elsewheres and from the interior where music puts electrodes on the body to take an EKG. These poems visit high schools, laundromats, motels, films, and dreams in order to measure the American hunger and thirst. They are interested in the things we profess to hold most dear as well as whats unspoken and unbidden. While were driving, while riding a bus, while receiving a call, while passing through an X-ray machine, the personal is intersected—sometimes violently, sometimes tenderly—with the hum and buzz of the culture. The culture, whether New York or Tuscaloosa, Seattle or Philadelphia, past or present, carries the burden of race and “someones idea of beauty.” The poems fluctuate between the two poles of “lullaby and homicide” before taking a vow to remain on earth, to look right and left, to wait and to witness.

Review:

"Smith's energetic, muscular and all-around superb sixth collection appears to contain almost everything. The onrushing poems in long-lined free verse, long sentences and longer lists address the most intimate subjects — 'the faces of all those you love while you're loving/ the one you love' — along with the most far-flung: his book throws down an almost Whitmanesque challenge to anyone who says that present-day poetry cannot see America whole. As in earlier books, Smith (Songs for Two Voices) does well by the grittier, and the more macho, people and things of these States, such as 'an ex-con... on parole, careful to defer to the pushy,/ the striving, the vaulting who have inherited the earth since his send up/ for his crimes.' Several pages look with a hard tenderness at townscapes and people of the old industrial heartland, from the pollution, corruption, and rock and roll clubs of 1980s Providence, R.I., to present-day Syracuse, N.Y. (where Smith teaches). But he is never narrow, nor single-minded: global climate change and the scope of all history ('We were the infinite apes at infinite keyboards'), the sonnet and the history of sonnets, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, 9/11, a Chinese restaurant in Alabama, high school shop class, maternal elegy, Pindaric ode, and stellar astronomy all light up at least a page. Smith is consistently more ambitious than most of his peers. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Bruce Smith is professor of English and creative writing at Syracuse University and the author of four books of poems. His book The Other Lover, also published by the University of Chicago Press, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

 

Devotion: Coin-Op

Devotion: Hörlust

Devotion: New York, July

Devotion: Thirst Reduction

Devotion: Redshift

Devotion: Smoke

Devotion: High School

Devotion: Hunan House

Devotion: Soup

Devotion: Fort Drum

Devotion: Medea

Devotion: Red Roof Inn

Devotion: Guitar

Devotion: The Burnt-Over District

Devotion: Dub

Devotion: Obbligato

Devotion: Rent

Devotion: Dizzy Gillespie

Devotion: Js Dream

Devotion: Al Green

Devotion: Paris

Devotion: Contraband

Devotion: New York, 1970

Devotion: Josephine P

Devotion: Changeling

Devotion: The Garment District

Devotion: Wuthering Heights

Devotion: Sleep

Devotion: The Bus to Utica

Devotion: Providence

Devotion: Syracuse

Devotion: Syracuse en Rose

Devotion: Dress

Devotion: Closer

Devotion: Flight

Devotion: Ode

Devotion: October

Devotion: Amerika

Devotion: Rimbaud

Devotion: The Game

Devotion: Baseball

Devotion: X

Devotion: Infant Joy

Devotion: Infant Sorrow

Devotion: The Republic

Devotion: Active Shooter Protocol

Devotion: Car Wreck

Devotion: Nature

Devotion: The Insects

Devotion: Dusk

Devotion: Race Traitor

Devotion: Futurismo

Devotion: Sun

Devotion: Midrash

Devotion: Crows

Devotion: Roman

Devotion: The UnbiddenDevotion: Fly

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Roy Kesey, January 16, 2012 (view all comments by Roy Kesey)
How I loved this book and its constant slants: as in thematic shift, as in diagonal rhyme, as in the receiver coming short across the middle, his ribs about to be broken, and he knows this, stretches up for the ball anyway. Each movement working deeper and deeper, as if a miner, as if a sliver. Does its most excellent work in/on the mess that is contemporary America in all its bigness and smallness. I have a weakness for that particular ground, and don’t know anyone working it to better effect. My favorite book of 2011.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226764351
Author:
Smith, Bruce
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Phoenix Poets
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
104
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
» Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Devotions (Phoenix Poets) New Trade Paper
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Product details 104 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226764351 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Smith's energetic, muscular and all-around superb sixth collection appears to contain almost everything. The onrushing poems in long-lined free verse, long sentences and longer lists address the most intimate subjects — 'the faces of all those you love while you're loving/ the one you love' — along with the most far-flung: his book throws down an almost Whitmanesque challenge to anyone who says that present-day poetry cannot see America whole. As in earlier books, Smith (Songs for Two Voices) does well by the grittier, and the more macho, people and things of these States, such as 'an ex-con... on parole, careful to defer to the pushy,/ the striving, the vaulting who have inherited the earth since his send up/ for his crimes.' Several pages look with a hard tenderness at townscapes and people of the old industrial heartland, from the pollution, corruption, and rock and roll clubs of 1980s Providence, R.I., to present-day Syracuse, N.Y. (where Smith teaches). But he is never narrow, nor single-minded: global climate change and the scope of all history ('We were the infinite apes at infinite keyboards'), the sonnet and the history of sonnets, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, 9/11, a Chinese restaurant in Alabama, high school shop class, maternal elegy, Pindaric ode, and stellar astronomy all light up at least a page. Smith is consistently more ambitious than most of his peers. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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