Cities and Towns: Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vogelsang (A Planet and Twentieth Century Women), who has been an editor at the American Poetry Review for over 20 years, employs mega-imagery ("he worried for the entire world"), a disorientation of time and place and metaphysical pondering couched in everyday language. In "Lyric," thinking of writing a song on a cross-country road trip, the speaker wonders: "Put the sun's memory in it./ What? What? My memory of the sun from earlier today/ Or the sun's memory in its own brain?" This collection, winner of the publisher's 1995 Juniper Prize, is a slippery fish of a book. The poems reflect the effort, grace and intelligence of a practiced poet, but their actual content seems to evaporate with the turn of a page. Exhibiting neither uniquely disturbing visions nor off-the-wall perceptions, these poems have the effect of flashes of landscape seen from a speeding car or snatches of vivid conversation overheard at a bar: they command a reader's attention but have difficulty holding it. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558490215
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 6.57 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Table of Contents

Kern County 3
New Street 5
Which Letter? 6
Empire 7
Sunken Relief 8
Skip Tracers 9
Conversation in Increasing Stanzas 10
Lyric 13
Bad Boy 14
Philadelphia 16
2215 Spruce 17
Is It Him or Us? 18
Forked 19
Two Monkeys 20
You'll Feel Better Afterward 21
The Readers 22
The Four Ghosts 23
Material 24
The Alps 26
The Umbrella 28
Soft Then Hard 30
Merovingian 31
Two Problems 32
The Hebrus River 34
Slipping Around 36
The Grass on the Other Side 37
Secret 42
Character 44
Swollen Haiku 45
Signals Crossed 46
Drifters 47
What Is That Thing? 49
The Escape 50
Pants on Fire 51
Say No 53
Rue Replique 54
The Face 55
Epic 56
Arizona 57
Tarjetas Postales 58
The Future 65
Second Avenue 67
My Fate 69
How Far Can You Swim? Two Hours. 71
The Nose, the Grand Canyon, and the Sixties 72
Notes 75
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