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Incarnadine: Poems

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Incarnadine: Poems Cover

ISBN13: 9781555976354
ISBN10: 1555976352
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The anticipated second book by the poet Mary Szybist, author of Granted, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

The troubadours

knew how to burn themselves through,

how to make themselves shrines to their own longing.

The spectacular was never behind them.

-from “The Troubadours etc.”

In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color. One poem is presented as a diagrammed sentence. Another is an abecedarium made of lines of dialogue spoken by girls overheard while assembling a puzzle. Several poems arrive as a series of Annunciations, while others purport to give an update on Mary, who must finish the dishes before she will open herself to God. One poem appears on the page as spokes radiating from a wheel, or as a sunburst, or as the cycle around which all times and all tenses are alive in this moment. Szybist's formal innovations are matched by her musical lines, by her poetrys insistence on singing as a lure toward the unknowable. Inside these poems is a deep yearning — for love, motherhood, the will to see things as they are and to speak. Beautiful and inventive, Incarnadine is the new collection by one of Americas most ambitious poets.

Review:

"Mary Szybist's great poetic gifts confront the limits of human compassion, delving into some of its agonized consequences. Her works ambition is the creation of a free human in the midst of the seemingly endless tetherings of desire." Jorie Graham

Review:

"Mary Szybist's poems are about religious and sexual longing and about suspicion of religious and sexual longing....She has a gift for music, a gift for aphorism, a gift for being haunted." Robert Hass

Review:

"Mary Szybist's lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does." Kay Ryan

About the Author

Mary Szybist is the author of a previous poetry collection, Granted, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches at Lewis & Clark College and lives in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Sarah E Martin, April 22, 2014 (view all comments by Sarah E Martin)
Mary Szybist has elegance in her writing not often captured, and Incarnadine is no different. Even if her carefully placed words did not have meaning, I would be content to listen over and over again to their sound, rhythm and motion. Listening would be enough, for the effect is calming and peace. It is pleasure.

However, perhaps even better, her words do have meaning attached to their luscious sounds, and that meaning has depth. One of the poems in this collection that stood out to me is called “Update on Mary.” This poem holds a type of vulnerability not commonly found in writing. It lays before us private thoughts of the author that are so human and so truthful. One cannot help but connect to Szybist through her poetry. I was so moved by this poem that I wrote my own imitation of it to see how it felt to experience that same vulnerability. It was harder than I expected to release my secret thoughts, and not only did it make me appreciate “Update on Mary” even more, but writing my own was certainly therapeutic.

This collection also has a special theme to it that may not be immediately apparent in every poem, but certainly binds the pieces together. This theme is about the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, when Gabriel came to tell her she would carry the Son of God. Such a religious theme brings to these poems an awareness of the divine. She tells the annunciation scene from several perspectives and gives a pondering look on who the mother of Jesus was, but also a pondering look at us and our relation to the divine. Read this book, and I think without even trying you will be touched.
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Natalie K, April 11, 2014 (view all comments by Natalie K)
Incarnadine, Mary Szybist's lovely collection of poetry, is centered on Catholic imagery, especially the Annunciation scene. But it's not in an evangelical or pedantic way. It's more like musing or riffing, wondering and wavering. Throughout, she includes many alternative versions and views of the Annunciation. She comes up with different twists, like the point of view of the grass Mary kneels on, or as creatures in nature. One of my favorite poems from the book is called “Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle.” I guess it speaks to the brilliance of a poet to notice all the poems hiding in everyday moments��"although I doubt if it’s really an overheard conversation (do little girls assemble puzzles of the Annunciation?). Either way, it’s sweet and straightforward, as children are: “Are we supposed to believe she can suddenly talk angel?”

Not all of the poems are directly about Catholicism, although I think they are united by references to it. Other recurring themes include death, aging, and family. Poems like “Entrances and Exits” take seemingly incompatible little moments and unite them into one, rather like life itself. I also like “Close Reading,” sort of a clever, meta analysis of a nonexistent poem.

Szybist’s forms range from free verse to prose-poetry to concrete. Her poetry is quietly beautiful, delicate and thoughtful. See: "I do not believe in the beauty of falling" and "it’s as if I cut her heart-whole from the sky." I like to read the poems slowly and savor the words. It’s short but full of meaning.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781555976354
Subtitle:
Poems
Author:
Szybist, Mary
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
72
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Incarnadine: Poems New Trade Paper
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Product details 72 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555976354 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Mary Szybist's great poetic gifts confront the limits of human compassion, delving into some of its agonized consequences. Her works ambition is the creation of a free human in the midst of the seemingly endless tetherings of desire."
"Review" by , "Mary Szybist's poems are about religious and sexual longing and about suspicion of religious and sexual longing....She has a gift for music, a gift for aphorism, a gift for being haunted."
"Review" by , "Mary Szybist's lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does."
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