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      War of the Encyclopaedists

      Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite 9781476775425

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Almost Invisible: Poems (12 Edition)


Almost Invisible: Poems (12 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307957313
ISBN10: 0307957314
Condition: Student Owned
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A Banker in the Brothel of Blind Women

A banker strutted into the brothel of blind women. “I am a shepherd,” he announced, “and blow my shepherd’s pipe as often as I can,but I have lost my flock and feel that I am at a critical point in my life.”“I can tell by the way you talk,”said one of the women,“that you are a banker only pretending to be a shepherd and that you want us to pity you, which we do because you have stooped so low as to try to make fools of us.” “My dear,” said the banker to the same woman,“I can tell that you are a rich widow looking for a little excitement and are not blind at all.” “This observation suggests,” said the woman, “that you may be a shepherd after all, for what kind of rich widow would find excitement being a whore only to end up with a banker?”“Exactly,” said the banker.

The Everyday Enchantment of Music

A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music. Then the music was polished until it became the memory of a night inVenice when tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty home of a heart in trouble.Then suddenly there was sun and the music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the memory of what happened af- ter Venice would begin, and what happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would also begin.

Poem of the Spanish Poet

In a hotel room somewhere in Iowa an American poet, tired of his poems, tired of being an American poet, leans back in his chair and imagines he is a Spanish poet, an old Spanish poet, nearing the end of his life, who walks to the Guadalqui- vir and watches the ships, gray and ghostly in the twilight, slip downstream.The little waves, approaching the grassy bank where he sits, whisper something he can’t quite hear as they curl and fall. Now what does the Spanish poet do? He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a notebook, and writes:

Black fly, black fly

Why have you come

Is it my shirt

My new white shirt

With buttons of bone

Is it my suit

My dark-blue suit

Is it because

I lie here alone

Under a willow

Cold as stone

Black fly, black fly

How good you are

To come to me now

How good you are

To visit me here

Black fly, black fly

To wish me good-bye

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Matt Martinson, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Matt Martinson)
I recently finished this miracle of a book. Each of its brief fifty pages consists of one paragraph. Each paragraph is something indefinable. They are not stories per se, nor are they poems exactly; they are too long to be aphorisms, too whole to be fragments, too concrete to be metaphysical, and too surreal to be flash fiction. Of course, defining something by what it is not only gets us so far. Perhaps I could call them scenes, but even that description doesn't quite fit. Maybe I can call them scenarios that evoke particular ideas, emotions, and questions. But that is still not good enough. So here's what I'm going to do: I will say what I think of the book, then provide an example for you to judge for yourself.

So what did I think of this book? I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I wished I could spend hours with each paragraph, ruminating upon it. But I also was so anxious to get to the next one that I had a hard time stopping myself. There's not much to say beyond that without gushing. So here is one of my favorite examples:

"Bury Your Face in Your Hands"
Because we have crossed the river and the wind offers only a numb uncoiling of cold and we have meekly adapted, no longer expecting more than we have been given, nor wondering how it happened that we came to this place, we don't mind that nothing turned out as we thought it might. There is no way to clear the haze in which we live, no way to know that we have undergone another day. The silent snow of thought melts before it has a chance to stick. Where we are is anyone's guess. The gates to nowhere multiply and the present is so far away, so deeply far away.
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Zulaikha, December 20, 2012 (view all comments by Zulaikha)
What can I say about Mark Strand that hasn't already been said? I admire his poetry for being simple and precise, with a dash of the unexpected, and the poems in his newest collection are no exception. When a poem leaves you simultaneously moved and unsettled, you know you are reading the work of a master, a master of language and imagery and voice, and even humor. As I made my way through "Almost Invisible," I stuck a post-it by my favorite poems, and by the end realized that I had stuck around 8 or 10 post-its.
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Product Details

Strand, Mark
Knopf Publishing Group
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.67 x 6.11 x 0.46 in 0.48 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
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Almost Invisible: Poems (12 Edition) Used Hardcover
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Product details 68 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307957313 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Strand's 13th collection comprises a series of short prose poems that borrow elements of fables as well as more modern forms of fiction, all with the grim turns and deadpan beauty for which Strand, who won the Pulitzer and is among the most famous American poets, is known. In one poem a man returns 'to the country from which he had started many years before' to find, in his childhood playground, 'dust-filled shafts of sunlight struck the tawny leaves of trees and withered hedges. Empty bags littered the grass.' Another waxes nostalgic about nostalgia itself, 'those hours given over to basking in the glow of an imagined future, of being carried away in streams of promise by a love or a passion so strong that one felt altered forever and convinced that the smallest particle of the surrounding world was charged with a purpose of impossible grandeur.' A poem called 'In the Afterlife' asks, 'When no one remembers, what is there?' These are poems of failing light, meditations on death's nearness that do nothing to stave it off. This is a short book, but Strand's many fans won't be disappointed." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , From Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand comes an exquisitely witty and poignant series of prose poems. Sometimes appearing as pure prose, sometimes as impure poetry, but always with Strand's clarity and simplicity of style, they are like riddles, their answers vanishing just as they appear within reach. Fable, domestic satire, meditation, joke, and fantasy all come together in what is arguably the liveliest, most entertaining book that Strand has yet written.
"Synopsis" by , From Pulitzer Prize–winner Mark Strand comes an exquisitely witty and poignant series of prose poems. Sometimes appearing as pure prose, sometimes as impure poetry, but always with Strand’s clarity and simplicity of style, they are like riddles, their answers vanishing just as they appear within reach. Fable, domestic satire, meditation, joke, and fantasy all come together in what is arguably the liveliest, most entertaining book that Strand has yet written.
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