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Here Be Monsters (National Poetry)

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Here Be Monsters (National Poetry) Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Nature, the most powerful force on Earth, is also the most mysterious. Once in a while, a poet with a scientist's eye gives us a view into that mystery. Colin Cheney, author of the debut collection Here Be Monsters, elucidates the world around us, the world we live in but treat as if it had little to do with us. Not so, these poems remind us. Not only do we inhabit the natural world, but it inhabits us. Consequences of this interdependence loom everywhere, from a trapped whale to the workings of cancer; to quote from 'Phaethon,' 'And though we are how cancer blooms / it's not as though making it through unaltered is the point' (p. 43). Nature's most tragic and destructive acts must be part of some long-term design, for in these poems, Nature is an intelligent force, rather than an arbitrary one. Here Be Monsters mixes images from the natural world with the dangers and fears facing men and women, creating its own weirdly beautiful geography." Erica Goss, Cerise Press (Read the entire Cerise Press review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his debut collection, Colin Cheney maps an American landscape of New York rooftop gardens, occupied Iraq, and crumbling New England farms. In poems inhabited by Charles Darwin and climate scientists, Beethoven and Elliott Smith, the reader finds a way to navigate the beauty and fears native to modern life. One sees in Cheney’s poetry the convergence of the urban and the natural and the ways in which the two inhabit each other—an uneasy coexistence at best, but the only kind possible.

Pollination and endangerment loom large in Here Be Monsters, as do the binaries of creation and destruction. A whale dies trapped under a bridge; bees kept in rooftop gardens lose their way; a friend stricken by malaria is taken to an urban hospital that doesn’t recognize the disease; a woman cremates her beloved dog in her pottery kiln and finds, the next morning, two perfect clay lungs among the ashes. In his poems Cheney explores the various types of damage with which humans are so closely entwined, including our encroachment on nature, our propensity to give in to our worst impulses, and the havoc that our cells can wreak on our own bodies.

About the Author

"Here Be Monsters is a desperate and magical exploration of the world as it is and as it lives in the imagination. Mythology meets evolution. History mingles, comfortably, with legend. The poems are lyrical and often classical, yet grounded and fresh...few writers can traverse such extensive territory as beautifully and seamlessly as he does in this debut collection." —Oxford American

“Nature is a serious character in Here Be Monsters, and these highly textured poems show us that disparate elements live side by side. Colin Cheney’s surprising, graceful leaps are never misleading or arbitrary. From poem to poem, line by line, classical and modern conceits converge throughout Here Be Monsters; the extraordinary touches the ordinary, and something changes in us.”—Yusef Komunyakaa

"As with the work of old geographers, the poems in Here Be Monsters abound in strange knowledge, which Cheney folds with assured craft into his lyrical/narrative mix, his language a beautifully balanced concoction—now simple and direct, now oblique and complex—of careful science, remote lore, and immediate feeling, all conjuring an atmosphere of skeptical wonder that the poet shares with us." —Eamon Grennan, author of Matter of Fact: Poems

"This is not the easiest poetry to write, but it is a joy to read and ponder as he turns wisdom into unforgettable, multidimensional journeys."--The Bloomsbury Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

one.

An Explanation of Dark Matter 3

Transmutation Notebook B 4

Cosmography with Retriever 5

Considering John Mark Karr with Laura McPhee’s Photographs of the River of No Return 8

Poet in New York 9

Landfill Orchids 11

Dress Rehearsal for Bestiary 13

Lord God Bird 16

Our Blood Aligns Toward Something 18

two.

Here Be Monsters 21

Half Ourselves & Half Not 23

Watson and the Shark 25

How We Were Spared 31

Elegy for Elliott Smith 33

Of Lights That Go Before Men, and Follow Them Abroad in the Fields, by the Night Season 35

Infidelity 37

Decline of the North American Songbird 39

three.

Phaethon 43

Of Their Hideous Change 44

Ars Poetica with Vulture 46

Stabat Mater (Marie Curie’s Pitchblende) 49

Letter to James Hansen from Boulogne 51

Observatory 53

Tractor, Riveter 54

Or Is It Yours? 56

Hanging Garden 58

four.

Stroud’s Digest on the Diseases of Birds 65

When to Paint the Eyes In 69

Jitterbugs 71

Film & Ghost Film 73

Husbandry 75

See It Feelingly 76

Regulations on the Creation of New Species 77

Salt Marsh 78

Notes 79

Product Details

ISBN:
9780820335766
Author:
Cheney, Colin
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
The National Poetry Series
Publication Date:
20100431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
80
Dimensions:
8.30x5.50x.40 in. .30 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Here Be Monsters (National Poetry) New Trade Paper
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Product details 80 pages University of Georgia Press
Colin Cheney’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Kenyo - English 9780820335766 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Nature, the most powerful force on Earth, is also the most mysterious. Once in a while, a poet with a scientist's eye gives us a view into that mystery. Colin Cheney, author of the debut collection Here Be Monsters, elucidates the world around us, the world we live in but treat as if it had little to do with us. Not so, these poems remind us. Not only do we inhabit the natural world, but it inhabits us. Consequences of this interdependence loom everywhere, from a trapped whale to the workings of cancer; to quote from 'Phaethon,' 'And though we are how cancer blooms / it's not as though making it through unaltered is the point' (p. 43). Nature's most tragic and destructive acts must be part of some long-term design, for in these poems, Nature is an intelligent force, rather than an arbitrary one. Here Be Monsters mixes images from the natural world with the dangers and fears facing men and women, creating its own weirdly beautiful geography." (Read the entire Cerise Press review)
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