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Hum

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A new collection from the author of Or To Begin Again, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Poetry

Ann Lauterbach is one of Americas most innovative and provocative poets, acclaimed for her fierce, sensuous and intellectually charged poems.  In this, her ninth book of poems, Lauterbach pursues longstanding inquiries into how language forms and informs our understanding of the relation between empirical observation and subjective response; worldly attachment and inwardness; the given and the chosen. The poems set out not so much to find cogent resolutions to these fluid dyads as to open them to the fact of unknowing that is at the core of all human curiosity and desire. A central prose section tracks along a meditative edge, engaging the risky task of opening the mind to the limits of apprehension; the final section evokes, in the figure of the instructor, the essential contemporary question of how information becomes knowledge.

Review:

"'Maybe what is interesting will also be beautiful,' writes Lauterbach at the opening of her seventh collection of poems, knowingly marking out a world that exists after beauty, after emotion, after nature — after everything that traditionally makes poetry. Her speaker is determined to make the absence of beauty beautiful without being postmodern; the poems are abstract and slippery, and yield their meanings with reluctant late modernist grace. The book is organized into three sections, the first attending chiefly to sound, the second to visual art, the third to 9/11. The poems limn a space somewhere between the world-as-given and the ideal, concentrating on language's dual relationship to experience, '[a]s if 'life' could touch its metaphors.' The title poem addresses 9/11 in a series of simple declarative sentences, which repeat at intervals: 'The days are beautiful./ The towers are yesterday.' A poem about a Malevich painting argues for abstraction always derived from the concrete: 'the square was only/ a boy with his knapsack/ a woman crossing his path.' When her speaker, at intervals, simply gives it up ('I'm lonely for the integrity of sacred life, not religion, but love's/ trove, its coil around sex'), the hum of this book becomes a chorus of angels. FYI: Penguin will also publish Lauterbach's The Night Sky, a prose collection centering on the column she wrote for the American Poetry Review 1996 — 1999 ($25.95 272p ISBN 0-670-03410-X; May)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Since the mid-1970s, Ann Lauterbach has explored the ways in which language simultaneously captures and forfeits our experience. In Hum, her seventh collection of poetry, loss and the unexpected (the title poem was written directly in response to witnessing the events of 9/11) play against the reassurances of repetition and narrative story. By turns elegant, fierce, and sensuous, her musically charged poems move from the pictorial or imagistic to a heightened sense of the aural or musical in order to depict the world humming with vibrations of every kind from every sourcethe world as a form of life.

From "Hum"

Things are incidental.

Someone is weeping.

I weep for the incidental.

The days are beautiful.

Where is tomorrow?

Everyone will weep.

Tomorrow was yesterday.

The days are beautiful.

Synopsis:

From Hum:

Things are incidental

Someone is weeping

I weep for the incidental

The days are beautiful

Tomorrow was yesterday

The days are beautiful

Since the mid-1970s, Ann Lauterbach has explored the ways in which language simultaneously captures and forfeits our experience. In Hum, her seventh collection of poetry, loss and the unexpected (the title poem was written directly in response to witnessing the events of 9/11) play against the reassurances of repetition and narrative story. By turns elegant, fierce, and sensuous, her musically charged poems move from the pictorial or imagistic to a heightened sense of the aural or musical in order to depict the world humming with vibrations of every kind from every source—the world as a form of life.

About the Author

Ann Lauterbach is currently Schwab Professor of Language and Literature at Bard College, where she also directs the writing division of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. As well as receiving Guggenheim, New York State Foundation for the Arts, and Ingram Merrill Fellowships, she was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1993. She has published six collections of poetry, most recently If in Time.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143034964
Author:
Lauterbach, Ann
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series:
Poets, Penguin
Publication Date:
20050431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.98x6.10x.34 in. .36 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Hum New Trade Paper
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Product details 128 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143034964 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Maybe what is interesting will also be beautiful,' writes Lauterbach at the opening of her seventh collection of poems, knowingly marking out a world that exists after beauty, after emotion, after nature — after everything that traditionally makes poetry. Her speaker is determined to make the absence of beauty beautiful without being postmodern; the poems are abstract and slippery, and yield their meanings with reluctant late modernist grace. The book is organized into three sections, the first attending chiefly to sound, the second to visual art, the third to 9/11. The poems limn a space somewhere between the world-as-given and the ideal, concentrating on language's dual relationship to experience, '[a]s if 'life' could touch its metaphors.' The title poem addresses 9/11 in a series of simple declarative sentences, which repeat at intervals: 'The days are beautiful./ The towers are yesterday.' A poem about a Malevich painting argues for abstraction always derived from the concrete: 'the square was only/ a boy with his knapsack/ a woman crossing his path.' When her speaker, at intervals, simply gives it up ('I'm lonely for the integrity of sacred life, not religion, but love's/ trove, its coil around sex'), the hum of this book becomes a chorus of angels. FYI: Penguin will also publish Lauterbach's The Night Sky, a prose collection centering on the column she wrote for the American Poetry Review 1996 — 1999 ($25.95 272p ISBN 0-670-03410-X; May)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Since the mid-1970s, Ann Lauterbach has explored the ways in which language simultaneously captures and forfeits our experience. In Hum, her seventh collection of poetry, loss and the unexpected (the title poem was written directly in response to witnessing the events of 9/11) play against the reassurances of repetition and narrative story. By turns elegant, fierce, and sensuous, her musically charged poems move from the pictorial or imagistic to a heightened sense of the aural or musical in order to depict the world humming with vibrations of every kind from every sourcethe world as a form of life.

From "Hum"

Things are incidental.

Someone is weeping.

I weep for the incidental.

The days are beautiful.

Where is tomorrow?

Everyone will weep.

Tomorrow was yesterday.

The days are beautiful.

"Synopsis" by ,

From Hum:

Things are incidental

Someone is weeping

I weep for the incidental

The days are beautiful

Tomorrow was yesterday

The days are beautiful

Since the mid-1970s, Ann Lauterbach has explored the ways in which language simultaneously captures and forfeits our experience. In Hum, her seventh collection of poetry, loss and the unexpected (the title poem was written directly in response to witnessing the events of 9/11) play against the reassurances of repetition and narrative story. By turns elegant, fierce, and sensuous, her musically charged poems move from the pictorial or imagistic to a heightened sense of the aural or musical in order to depict the world humming with vibrations of every kind from every source—the world as a form of life.

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