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Minsk: Poems

Minsk: Poems Cover

 

Staff Pick

"Like Margaret Atwood, [Greenlaw] explores the wildness of place and body; like W. S. Merwin, she frames large concepts with spacious words and an edged wit. Minsk is a lovely, cool-eyed look at the world as we remember and imagine it."
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the London Zoo to an Essex village and the Arctic Circle, Greenlaw explores elements of place — the childhood landscapes we leave behind, those we travel toward, and those that we believe to be missing from our lives. Greenlaw's restless, inquisitive tone builds to make Minsk a hypnotic collection from one of the leading poets of her generation.

Camel Hair

Every few years it becomes
a question of backbone.
Anhedonia,
not love of winter
but a loss of the feel of the world,
a way ahead of the cold.
Even the cells refuse
to talk to one another.
As black and white
as a two-hour wait on the kerb
of a six-lane arterial road,
in a secondhand straw-coloured Dior coat,
for the last bus and its overload
to accelerate past out of its own
well-oiled backsplash.

Review:

"A much-revered English poet makes her American debut with this subtle and consistently polished collection, whose title refers not just to a cold Belarussian capital but to cold hearts and cold shoulders close to home. Greenlaw's brilliantly downcast opening sequence describes a frustrating smalltown childhood, lived 'in a quiet place/ where the undiluted dark of the streets/ without streetlight, had no emphasis.' Poems about piano lessons, kids' antics aimed 'smack dab in the village eye,' 'anhedonia' and a young adult's struggles in London give Greenlaw's careful and sympathetic take on what appears to be her own biography, while similarly deft poems chronicle medieval and fairy tale lives that resemble her own or seek parallels in mythology and zoology. A closing sequence (called, for the prevalent ice, 'A Drink of Glass') follows the poet's trip to the Arctic Circle. Often compared to Elizabeth Bishop, Greenlaw is also a talented novelist (Mary George of Allnorthover), and the quiet triumphs show both her Bishop-like subtlety and her talent for compressed narrative." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] lovely and intelligent collection that asks serious questions about the nature of childhood memory and its presence in our lives....These poems are always musical, and this music is restless and often unexpected." Library Journal

About the Author

Lavinia Greenlaw is a prize-winning poet and novelist. Minsk is her first collection of poems to be published in the United States. She lives in London.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Edward Hirsch xi

I

The Spirit of the Staircase 3

The Falling City 4

The Dissection Room 5

The Parachute 6

Lupins 8

The Long Day Closes 9

Blackwater 11

Essex Rag 14

Clownfish 16

Foxtrot 18

Zombies 19

Battersea Dojo 20

A STRANGE BARN

Bunk 22

Spin 23

Hush 24

Hiss 25

Scat 26

Flit 27

Stomp 28

II

Faith 31

Mephisto 32

Lachesis 33

A Damsel in Distress 34

Camel Hair 35

The Sun Sessions 36

The Partial Truth 37

Lord Yarborough's Defence 38

The Flight of Geryon 39

High Summer Weir 42

Ergot 43

Against Rhetoric 44

Hush . . . 46

Minsk 47

The Last Postcard 48

Bright Earth 49

'What makes for the fullness and perfection of life' 54

III

A DRINK OF GLASS

Kaamos 57

Steam 59

Blue Field 60

Sisu 62

THE LAND OF GIVING IN

Edda 63

Ibsen 64

Vaerøy 65

Silica 66

Bird Walk 67

Heliotropical 68

The Boat Back into the Dark 69

Acknowledgments 71

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151010929
Subtitle:
Poems
Foreword:
Hirsch, Edward
Foreword:
Hirsch, Edward
Author:
Greenlaw, Lavinia
Author:
Hirsch, Edward
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Single Author - British & Irish
Subject:
General Poetry
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20050404
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.5 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Minsk: Poems
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 96 pages Harcourt - English 9780151010929 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"Like Margaret Atwood, [Greenlaw] explores the wildness of place and body; like W. S. Merwin, she frames large concepts with spacious words and an edged wit. Minsk is a lovely, cool-eyed look at the world as we remember and imagine it."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A much-revered English poet makes her American debut with this subtle and consistently polished collection, whose title refers not just to a cold Belarussian capital but to cold hearts and cold shoulders close to home. Greenlaw's brilliantly downcast opening sequence describes a frustrating smalltown childhood, lived 'in a quiet place/ where the undiluted dark of the streets/ without streetlight, had no emphasis.' Poems about piano lessons, kids' antics aimed 'smack dab in the village eye,' 'anhedonia' and a young adult's struggles in London give Greenlaw's careful and sympathetic take on what appears to be her own biography, while similarly deft poems chronicle medieval and fairy tale lives that resemble her own or seek parallels in mythology and zoology. A closing sequence (called, for the prevalent ice, 'A Drink of Glass') follows the poet's trip to the Arctic Circle. Often compared to Elizabeth Bishop, Greenlaw is also a talented novelist (Mary George of Allnorthover), and the quiet triumphs show both her Bishop-like subtlety and her talent for compressed narrative." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] lovely and intelligent collection that asks serious questions about the nature of childhood memory and its presence in our lives....These poems are always musical, and this music is restless and often unexpected."
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