Dearest Creature

Dearest Creature

5.0 2
by Amy Gerstler
     
 

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A surreal new collection from an acclaimed poet

Hallucinogenic plants chant in chorus. A thoughtful dog grants an interview. A caterpillar offers life advice. Amy Gerstler’s newest collection of poetry, Dearest Creature, marries fact and fiction in a menagerie of dramatic monologues, twisted love poems, and epistolary pleadings. Drawing on sources as

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Overview

A surreal new collection from an acclaimed poet

Hallucinogenic plants chant in chorus. A thoughtful dog grants an interview. A caterpillar offers life advice. Amy Gerstler’s newest collection of poetry, Dearest Creature, marries fact and fiction in a menagerie of dramatic monologues, twisted love poems, and epistolary pleadings. Drawing on sources as disparate as Lewis Carroll and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as abnormal psychology, etiquette, and archaeology texts, these darkly imaginative poems probe what it means to be a sentient, temporary, flesh-and-blood beast, to be hopelessly, vividly creaturely.

Editorial Reviews

David Kirby
Look, a poem either sends you a bill or writes you a check. You can use up too much of your intellectual and emotional capital, not to mention your good will, and come away feeling had. Or you can pat your billfold and say, "Hey, this baby just got a little fatter"…As grave as they are amusing and always bittersweet, these poems pay up again and again. Dearest Creature is an A.T.M.—the letters standing, in this case, for "artistic thrill machine." In Amy Gerstler I trust.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
The persona charging through these poems by National Book Critics Circle Award winner Gerstler (Bitter Angel) is a real toughie—"fiery, impossible, untamable," intent from childhood on being different ("Complaints are already filtering in"), ready to knock back a drink, declaring to an absent lover, "I lie vividly awake." The energy, the rebelliousness nearly steams off the page; our speaker recalls the female deity of one poem, "her scent/ tinged with carnivorous whiffs of blood." The voices here go beyond the human: a dog explains the canine passion for rolling in muck ("To transfer ghost cloak of invisibility, silly"), a black taffeta dress and a little pink number chat cattily in the closet, and a tumbler advises, "After all you've/ been through, what you need is vodka, pronto." Even the closing elegies are forthright: "Fear not the tarnish and diminishments of age/ …as you creak, leak, and freak/ your way to the grave." VERDICT A smart and irreverent look at life as protean, pulsating, and a challenge to be met. Occasionally, the poems read like chopped-up prose, but the poet saves all with her wicked, witty ways. For all poetry lovers.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143116356
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Series:
Poets, Penguin Series
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
939,555
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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