Curious Conduct

Overview

Curious are the workings of history and governments, the relations between the sexes, the behavior of animals, the life of objects, the labors of art, and the transformations of the imagination. In exploring these subjects, Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s poems in Curious Conduct pursue and develop their own mode of investigation, a way into their subjects whether it be by interrogation, time travel, anthropomorphism or other conductive strategies.

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s first book, ...

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Overview

Curious are the workings of history and governments, the relations between the sexes, the behavior of animals, the life of objects, the labors of art, and the transformations of the imagination. In exploring these subjects, Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s poems in Curious Conduct pursue and develop their own mode of investigation, a way into their subjects whether it be by interrogation, time travel, anthropomorphism or other conductive strategies.

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s first book, Placebo Effects (W.W. Norton), was selected by William Matthews as a winner in the 1997 National Poetry Series. For seven years she was publisher and co-editor of the literary magazine American Letters & Commentary. Currently, Beaumont teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beaumont (Placebo Effects) co-edited The Poets' Grimm, an anthology of modern poems based on fairy tales, and a vivid fairy tale sensibility pervades her most original work in this second collection, complete with wolves, frog princes and modern-day Cinderellas. Some poems depend on tour-de-force conceits: one shows what rocks would say if they had their own language (the rock's speech begins "I only dance when I'm thrown"), while another gives ingenuous excerpts "From the Book of the Boot." Nineteenth-century Europe (from the Napoleonic wars to the rise of the parasol and the heyday of absinthe) makes another inspiration for Beaumont's glittery works, whose contemporary analogues range from Brenda Hillman to James Tate, mixing extended analogies with teasing non sequiturs: "If it weren't so sunny in this room/ we'd worry about the economy." Beaumont's self-portraits are likewise enticingly diverse: in "Regime" her contemporary speaker is a Baroque ruler in an oil painting; in "Circa 1812" "I'm in my early life as a fly, and I skim from table to/ table in search of the best gossip, best jam." Hanging over it all, and saving it from frivolity, is an air of persistent unhappiness: Beaumont's smorgasbord of techniques and scenes depicts a world "where the poor dog must sing for his supper/ on national television," and where "We are only as happy as our last dream." (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929918515
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Series: American Poets Continuum Series
  • Pages: 84
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Jeanne Marie Beaumont earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. Her first book, Placebo Effects, was selected by William Matthews as a winner in the 1997 National Poetry Series and was published by W.W. Norton. With Claudia Carlson, she co-edited the anthology The Poets' Grimm: Twentieth Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales (Story Line). For seven years she was publisher and co-editor of the literary magazine American Letters & Commentary. Beaumont teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.
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Table of Contents

Chapter one 3
Some ancient mutations 5
Almost touch 6
From the book of the boot 8
A gift of invisible ink 9
Hotel Grimm 11
Keepsake parakeet 13
Her parasol 14
The green fairy 16
Making history 18
History's memory 20
Memory's history 21
For the mourning of children 22
Poem from which wolves were banished 25
Skill (A.M.) 29
Skill (Noon) 30
Skill (P.M.) 31
Berggasse 19, Vienna 32
"Red gladiola" 34
Netherlands 35
A year among the optimists 36
Regime 38
Circa 1812 40
Ionesco street 42
Untitled 45
Afraid so 48
R.S.V.P. 50
Uncorrected proof 51
I brake for animals 52
Rock said 54
After 55
Third shoe 59
My doctrine 60
Metaphor drawer 62
The plenty 63
Keep this letter on hand at all times 65
Accessory 66
Concerning the details of her dress 67
The hungry bowl 69
Bonnard 70
Moon river dog 71
Sleeping with animals 72
Last love song 73
The project thus far 74
Skill (midnight) 75
Astral logic 76
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