Synopses & Reviews
In her third collection of poetry, Viper Rum
, Mary Karr delves into autobiographical subject matter; various beloveds are birthed and buried in these touching lyrics, some of which, as the title suggests, deal with drink:
I cast back to those last years
I drank, alone nights at the kitchen sink,
bathrobed, my head hatching snakes,
while my baby slept in his upstairs cage
and my marriage choked to death
Precise and surprising, Karr's poems "take on the bedevilments of fate and grief with a diabolical edge of their own" (Poetry).
Also included is Karr's controversial and prize-winning essay "Against Decoration," in which she took aim against the verbal ornaments that too often pass for poetry these days-the "new formalism" that elevates form to an end itself.
In her third collection of poetry, Karr delves into autobiographical subject matter including the births and deaths of beloved family members. It also contains Karr's controversial and prize-winning essay "Against Decoration" in which she takes aim against verbal ornaments that too often pass for poetry these days.
About the Author
Mary Karr's poems and essays have won Pushcart prizes and have appeared in magazines such as the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Parnassus. She was a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, and is now the Jesse Truesdale Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse.
Table of Contents
viper rum Viper Rum
Incant Against Suicide
The Wife of Jesus Speaks
The Last of the Brooding Miserables
Four of the Horsemen (Hypertense and Stroke, Coronary Occlusion and Cerebral Insult)
Beauty and the Shoe Sluts
Field of Skulls
Summons (or This Won't Hurt You a Bit and It'll Cheer Me Up)
Requiem for the New Year
The Grand Miracle
Mr. D. Refuses the Blessing
Limbo: Altered States
The Century's Worst Blizzard
Revenge of the Ex-Mistress
Dead Drunk (or The Monster-Maker at Work)
The Invention of God in a Mouthful of Milk
Afterword: Against Decoration
Index of Titles and First Lines