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Original Essays | July 22, 2014

Nick Harkaway: IMG The Florist-Assassins



The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
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    Nick Harkaway 9780385352413

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2 Burnside POET- A- Z910 [A] to 906 [Z]
2 Hawthorne Poetry- A to Z

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The Beforelife

by

The Beforelife Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this stunning collection, Franz Wright chronicles the journey back from a place of isolation and wordlessness. After a period when it seemed certain he would never write poetry again, he speaks with bracing clarity about the twilit world that lies between madness and sanity, addiction and recovery. Wright negotiates the precarious transition from illness to health in a state of skeptical rapture, discovering along the way the exhilaration of love--both divine and human--and finding that even the most battered consciousness can be good company.

Whether he is writing about his regret for the abortion of a child, describing the mechanics of slander ("I can just hear them on the telephone and keening all their kissy little knives"), or composing an ironic ode to himself ("To a Blossoming Nut Case"), Wright's poems are exquisitely precise. Charles Simic has characterized him as a poetic miniaturist, whose "secret ambition is to write an epic on the inside of a matchbook cover." Time and again, Wright turns on a dime in a few brief lines, exposing the dark comedy and poignancy of his heightened perception.

Here is one of the poems from the collection:

Description of Her Eyes

Two teaspoonfuls,

and my mind goes

everyone can kiss my ass now--

then it's changed,

I change my mind.

Eyes so sad, and infinitely kind.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Franz Wright presents a mesmerizing portrait of the addict in recovery in his stunning and exuberant book of poems. In short, powerful lines, Wright describes the seductive legacy of an alcoholic father, the relief of finding other people after a time of hellish isolation, and the twilit world of "purgatory cove" — that in-between space where the spell of addiction and mental illness is still nearly as vivid as the promise of a new life.

About the Author

Franz Wright, the son of the poet James Wright, was born in Vienna in 1953 and grew up in the Northwest, the Midwest, and northern California. His most recent works include Ill Lit: Selected & New Poems and an expanded edition of translations entitled The Unknown Rilke. He has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Whiting Fellowship, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other honors. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, Elizabeth.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375709432
Author:
Wright, Franz
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Location:
New York
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Narcotic addicts
Subject:
Drug abuse
Subject:
Rehabilitation
Subject:
Drug addicts - Rehabilitation
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
99-002
Publication Date:
20020431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8 x 5.4 x 0.5 in 0.25 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

The Beforelife Used Trade Paper
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Product details 96 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375709432 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Franz Wright presents a mesmerizing portrait of the addict in recovery in his stunning and exuberant book of poems. In short, powerful lines, Wright describes the seductive legacy of an alcoholic father, the relief of finding other people after a time of hellish isolation, and the twilit world of "purgatory cove" — that in-between space where the spell of addiction and mental illness is still nearly as vivid as the promise of a new life.
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