The Common

The Common

by Gail Mazur
     
 

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At the heart of Gail Mazur's The Common is the refusal to simplify what is paradoxical in our world and a recognition of the tensions in our own divided nature. These unflinching poems create a place where wisdom and foolishness, fear and courage, rage and pity, love and diffidence, naturally co-exist.

Desire, ambition, devotion, and devastating loss are all

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Overview

At the heart of Gail Mazur's The Common is the refusal to simplify what is paradoxical in our world and a recognition of the tensions in our own divided nature. These unflinching poems create a place where wisdom and foolishness, fear and courage, rage and pity, love and diffidence, naturally co-exist.

Desire, ambition, devotion, and devastating loss are all subjects for Mazur's clear-eyed poems, which resonate with the contradictions between the body's yearning and the mind's acknowledgment of the consequences of our choices. In a poetry driven by unrelenting questioning, Mazur tries, in Rilke's worlds, "to love the questions themselves."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In ``Traces,'' Mazur (The Pose of Happiness) reminds herself how crazy she must have been ``when I built a home/ over my father's bulldozed house.'' These two lines sum up her ongoing preoccupations: a sense of place and heritage; death and martyrdom. We travel with her from Boston to Houston to France. Her willingness to voice her imaginings can lead to certain arbitrary considerations; for instance, she superimposes Chernobyl on a boy carrying lilacs or meditates on an organ donor's past life. Her more emotional journeys carry greater weight. Poems about her father are especially poignant. We see him, deceased, taking the lawn mower out at night and cutting the cemetery's grass, or hear him singing with his young child. Mazur's polished craft is frequently more memorable here than any poem's emotional impact. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226514390
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Series:
Phoenix Poets Series Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
81
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Gail Mazur is the founding director of the Blacksmith House Poetry series and the author of six previous books of poems, including They Can’t Take That Away from Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Insitute of Radcliffe College as well as the St. Botolph Club Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.

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