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1 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

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Blessings for the Hands (Phoenix Poets)

by

Blessings for the Hands (Phoenix Poets) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From The Sky Inside the Shaking Tree

What you feel

reveals you.

 

Watch

for the sustenance

inclined to a source,

 

enamored of singularity,

quickly here and quickly

 

gone, shadow from which

the body's courage comes.

 

Fireflies

apparently stumbling.

 

I slapped one on my leg.

Its blood glowed.

 

Blessings for the Hands follows various speakers—often disabled speakers, who never once figure themselves as objects of complaint or self-pity—through the haunted dreamscape of “normalcy.” Indeed, dreams are continuous presences in this unusually subtle and elegant debut collection that juxtaposes physical circumstances with the vast interior life of the imagination. The subjects of Blessings for the Hands are real and imagined confrontations—and reconciliations—between family members, friends, strangers, and animals. Matthew Schwartzs quasi-autobiographical verse complicates and clarifies the emotions waiting just underneath the patterns and expectations of the speakers daylight lives, where anger, joy, corporeality, and mortality all seem to collide. For Schwartz, poetry is a sleight of hand that keeps the reader guessing through nearly imperceptible shifts between present vision and absent reality. Blessings for the Hands is a lyric reckoning of the tension between the life we are given and the life we are determined to lead.

 

Blessings for the Hands is emotionally strong and imaginatively wild, distinctive, deeply moving, without an ort of self-pity, and pervaded by ‘compassion down to your fingertips (which Chekhov said is ‘the only method both to write and to live). This angle of vision is sharp enough to unify much disparate material. The poems are clear and musical and consequently a pleasure to read and reread despite their gravity. I think this may be lasting work.”—Michael Ryan

 
 

About the Author

Matthew Schwartz is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. He is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and the International Institute of Modern Letters.
 
 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 

Greeting

Bright Drink

Minor Parts

Necessity

Hannah

After Dinner, Laughing

Obligation

Division

Visitors 

Bodyweight

Generations

Poem for Maya

At Family Parties, My Mother is Endlessly Social

Reminders to a Friend, to Myself 

Lightness

Photograph, for a Class on Perspective

Dead Bird

Flood 

II

Suspicions 

Flowers

Nesting Dolls

Blizzardstyle

My Grandparents Grief 

Departure

Design

A Thought

Blessings

Climbing

 

III

The Sky Inside the Shaking Tree

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226740959
Author:
Schwartz, Matthew
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Phoenix Poets Series
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
72
Dimensions:
8.5 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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