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Seeing Stars

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Seeing Stars Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A thrilling new collection from the hugely acclaimed British poet Simon Armitage. With its vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, and tall tales, this absurdist, unreal exploration of modern society brings us a chorus of unique and unforgettable voices.

All are welcome at this twilit, visionary carnival: the man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the black bear with a dark secret; the woman who oversees giant snowballs in the freezer. “My girlfriend won me in a sealed auction but wouldn’t / tell me how much she bid,” begins one speaker; “I hadn’t meant to go grave robbing with Richard Dawkins / but he can be very persuasive,” another tells us. The storyteller behind this human tapestry has about him a sly undercover idealism: he shares with many of his characters a stargazing capacity for belief, or for being, at the very least, entirely “genuine in his disbelief.” In these startling poems, with their unique cartoon-strip energy and air of misrule, Armitage creates world after world, peculiar and always particular, where the only certainty is the unexpected.

Review:

"Armitage, the author of many books of poetry and prose, is among Britain's most popular poets (and poets are actually a bit famous over there), though this is only his second individual collection to appear in the U.S. (there was a slim selected volume called The Shout). It's about time we started seeing his work: Armitage is drily funny, clever, technically adept, and dark, but not too dark. The prose poems forming this new book resemble nothing so much as the recent work of the American poet James Tate, though they're not quite as wacky. In little prose stories and dramatic monologues, Armitage manages to touch on everything from the concerns of the sperm whale ('Don't be taken in by the dolphins and their winning smiles, they are the pickpockets of the ocean') to 'the ruins of sex' and ill-conceived ventures like 'Cheeses of Nazareth ('I fear for the long-term commercial viability of the new Christian cheese shop in our neighborhood'). The moral of all of these fables might be 'don't get your hopes up,' although Armitage does let a glimmer of light show through here and there, albeit at an odd angle, as when a married couple draw a curtain in the middle of their house, dividing them for life while simultaneously keeping them 'inseparable and betrothed.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Simon Armitage was born in and lives in West Yorkshire, England. His twelve previous titles include Killing Time, Selected Poems, The Universal Home Doctor, Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In 1993, he was named the London Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year; he is the recipient of a Forward Prize and in 2010 won the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. He works as a freelance writer, broadcaster, and playwright; writes extensively for radio, television, and film; has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; and is professor of poetry at the University of Sheffield.

Table of Contents

The christening — An accommodation — The cuckoo — Back in the early days of the twenty-first century — Michael — I'll be there to love and comfort you — The English astronaut — Hop in, Dennis — Upon opening the chest freezer — Seeing stars — Last words — My difference — The accident — Aviators — 15:30 by the elephant house — An obituary — Knowing what we know now — The experience — Collaborators — Ricky Wilson couldn't sleep — The knack — The practical way to heaven — To the bridge — Beyond Huddersfield — Cheeses of Nazareth — Show and tell — Upon unloading the dishwasher — Poodles — The personal touch — The last panda — Sold to the lady in the sunglasses and green shoes — The war of the roses — A nativity — The delegates — The overtones — The sighting of the century — The crunch — Bringing it all back home — Last day on planet Earth.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307599438
Subtitle:
Poems
Publisher:
Random House Inc
Author:
Armitage, Simon
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20110802
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
77

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Seeing Stars
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 77 pages Random House Incorporated - English 9780307599438 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Armitage, the author of many books of poetry and prose, is among Britain's most popular poets (and poets are actually a bit famous over there), though this is only his second individual collection to appear in the U.S. (there was a slim selected volume called The Shout). It's about time we started seeing his work: Armitage is drily funny, clever, technically adept, and dark, but not too dark. The prose poems forming this new book resemble nothing so much as the recent work of the American poet James Tate, though they're not quite as wacky. In little prose stories and dramatic monologues, Armitage manages to touch on everything from the concerns of the sperm whale ('Don't be taken in by the dolphins and their winning smiles, they are the pickpockets of the ocean') to 'the ruins of sex' and ill-conceived ventures like 'Cheeses of Nazareth ('I fear for the long-term commercial viability of the new Christian cheese shop in our neighborhood'). The moral of all of these fables might be 'don't get your hopes up,' although Armitage does let a glimmer of light show through here and there, albeit at an odd angle, as when a married couple draw a curtain in the middle of their house, dividing them for life while simultaneously keeping them 'inseparable and betrothed.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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