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Barbara Hamby makes her poems out of jokes, Italian phrases, quotes from saints and philosophers, references to meals eaten and wines drunk. In a fluid, compelling voice, she sets a stage, peoples it with real and imagined characters, spins them into dizzying motion, and then makes everything disappear as with a wave of a conjurer's wand, leaving the reader to wonder, “Did that happen, or did I dream it?” One leaves her poetry the way one leaves a dark theater on a July afternoon, convinced that the ordinary passions really won't do—they need to be larger, as large as they are in these poems.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574410037
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1995
  • Series: Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Series , #2
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Hamby was born in New Orleans and was raised in Hawai'i. She is a poet, fiction writer, editor, and critic. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, and Negative Capability. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
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Table of Contents

The Language of Bees 3
Betrothal in B minor 5
Ova 7
Eating Bees 9
The Ovary Tattoo 10
Venus Speaks 12
Invention 14
Regarding Insects in General 17
Killer Bees Are Sighted in Belize 18
Toska 20
Arpeggio, Archipelago, Arpege 22
I Hear a Samba 24
The Dada of Bees 26
A Farewell to Beekeeping 27
James Atkins, Irlandese 31
Le Stelle Sono Innumerevoli 34
Al Fresco, Caro 35
St. Barbara of the Dog Bite 37
St. Anthony of the Floating Larynx 40
The Beautification of St. Lucy 43
St. Clare's Underwear 46
Borromini's Facade 48
Wild Greens 51
Nose 53
Skin 55
Delirium 56
Dust 58
Deception 61
Doubt 64
To Italy 69
Mrs. Pidgeon Writes to Her Daughter 72
Captain Walsh Contemplates a Storm in the Bay of Biscay While Keats and Severn Cower Below 74
Lt. Sullivan Amuses Keats during the Quarantine in the Bay of Naples (with Interjections by Death) 75
Keats' Disease Addresses Him in the Voice of Mr. Lovelace, Nemesis of Clarissa Harlowe in the Eponymous Novel Which Keats Finishes Reading (in Nine Volumes) the Night Before He Leaves Naples 79
Keats and Severn See Something Unusual 81
Dr. Clark Examines Keats upon His Arrival in Rome 82
Signora Angeletti Discusses Her Two Boarders (with recipe) 84
Lt. Isaac Marmaduke Elton and Keats on La Principessa Borghese (nee Pauline Bonaparte), Marble and Flesh 88
The Autopsy of John Keats 89
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