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Deposition: Poems

Overview

Poet Katie Ford's debut collection, Deposition, confronts God in a language as shifting and ecstatic as divine encounter

This comes out of folklore.

Invented because tenderness at times

must be written in. There was a woman.

There was a cross. But in fact

they have ...

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Overview

Poet Katie Ford's debut collection, Deposition, confronts God in a language as shifting and ecstatic as divine encounter

This comes out of folklore.

Invented because tenderness at times

must be written in. There was a woman.

There was a cross. But in fact

they have hung him too high

to be touched.

—from "A Woman Wipes the Face of Jesus"

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rarely is poetry of such extremity—extremity of experience, extremity of spiritual practice and insight—presented in a style which manages to both horrify, and still break the heart, and, if not soothe, then at least find those reaches in the reader where there is compassion so open it awaits no recompense. Here is a poetry of witnessing—theological, emotional, intellectual—a private end to a century's horrors, a reminder that not all things begin again, and that from some reaches of experience instruction shines far less than the beauty of the survivor's report." —Jorie Graham
From the Publisher

"Rarely is poetry of such extremity—extremity of experience, extremity of spiritual practice and insight—presented in a style which manages to both horrify, and still break the heart, and, if not soothe, then at least find those reaches in the reader where there is compassion so open it awaits no recompense. Here is a poetry of witnessing—theological, emotional, intellectual—a private end to a century's horrors, a reminder that not all things begin again, and that from some reaches of experience instruction shines far less than the beauty of the survivor's report." —Jorie Graham

The New York Times
Moving and mysterious, the poems in Katie Ford's first collection possess the veiled brilliance of stained glass windows seen at night. Ford's central subject is trauma, and in a series of coded narratives she explores family abuse, medical torment and the Crucifixion. But Ford's deeper theme is the spiritual cost of survival.—Emily Nussbaum
Publishers Weekly
Recent Iowa MFA Katie Ford (who also holds a Harvard M.A. in Divinity) explores an altogether grittier, more disturbing register of American violence and Christian belief in her first collection, Deposition. Though some poems (especially near the end of the book) show too clear a debt to Jorie Graham, much of Ford's work anatomizes her very own, and very striking, fascination with first things, last things and the problem of evil. Especially compelling are several long-lined poems entitled "Last Breath": in one of those, "They blindfolded her put her in the closet for a month/ they didn't want her dead grass pulled out they wanted her to believe."
Library Journal
In moody, reflective verse as if seen through a darkened windowpane on a rainy autumn day, Ford explores the rigors of faith represented by Christ's descent (or "deposition") from the Cross. Clearly, this first collection makes unexpected use of Ford's Master of Divinity degree from Harvard. (LJ 2/1/03) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555973742
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Pages: 72
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Katie Ford grew up in Oregon and was educated at Whitman College and Harvard University, where she studied theology and poetry and received a Masters of Divinity degree. She currently studies and teaches poetry at the University of Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Put Your Hands upon Your Eyes 3
Last Breath on the Floor 5
Last Breath with No Proof 6
Largeness Like a Hand over a Mouth 7
Last Breath in Snowfall 9
Last Breath with Light on the Leaf 10
Darkest Where It Is Exposed to the Most Light 11
Last Breath on the Street 13
Last Breath with Belief in It 14
Last Breath Blue Nude 15
Someone Has to Tell Her There Is No Answering Back 16
Last Breath and Diseases in the Wheat 18
Last Breath Underneath 19
Last Breath Wants the Material 20
Last Breath at Dawn 21
Do You Look out the Window Because You Feel Watched? 22
Petition 25
That the Omissions Cast a Bluer Light 26
How It Is to Be in the Body 27
The Brace 29
The Historical Method 30
A Woman Wipes the Face of Jesus 33
Language of the Breaking Mind 34
Lamentation 35
Nocturne 36
On Being Devout 38
Flesh 39
The Hands of the Body without the Body, and Nothing to Hold 41
On Taking the Body off the Cross 43
Doctrine 44
The Shroud of Turin 49
Last Breath Deciduous 51
When the Trees Are Gone 52
The Manner in Which One Is Able to See 54
Last Breath Deposition 55
Last Breath I Chose Fire 56
Last Breath with a Hillside 57
It's Late Here How Light Is Late Once You've Fallen 58
Last Breath I Tied a Cloth to a Tree 59
Last Breath Undone for Another 60
O Everything Goes Black 61
Last Breath Ice and Woods 62
Take Your Hands off Your Eyes 63
Elegy to the Last Breath 65
Notes 67
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