Donkey Gospel

Donkey Gospel

4.8 4
by Hoagland
     
 

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Award-winning poet Tony Hoagland's work sparkles with effervescence, a jujitsu cleverness--a "wise-guy" aesthetic. Through unexpected subjects ranging from the boy who speaks only in "Kung Fu" dialogue, to a man visiting a lesbian bar, Hoagland gives us a sense of finally being able to say the truth about the credentials of manhood.  See more details below

Overview

Award-winning poet Tony Hoagland's work sparkles with effervescence, a jujitsu cleverness--a "wise-guy" aesthetic. Through unexpected subjects ranging from the boy who speaks only in "Kung Fu" dialogue, to a man visiting a lesbian bar, Hoagland gives us a sense of finally being able to say the truth about the credentials of manhood.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hoagland's second book (after Sweet Ruin, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1992) is nothing if not imaginative. Invigorated by "fine distress," these graceful, perceptive poems gaze without blinking at what we hide from each other and ourselves when "head and heart/ are in different time zones." Concerned by broken bonds of love and "climaxes of suffering" in a "dying, burning world," he's also angry, at times startlingly, at "dividedness" of identity, which makes it impossible to remain connected in a "hated prison" of selfhood. With refreshing candor (one poem defends D.H. Lawrence, "who opened up the world"), Hoagland reveals what happens when giving and "tenderness" are blocked by a "mass of delusions" and "strange appetites." Acceptance of "joy and suffering made one at last" transforms what appear to be extravagant elegies into genuine empathy for "all our yearnings, all our fears." This award-winning collection illuminates conflicts between individual desire for self-actualization and the "dark and soaring fact" of experience. To be alive, for Hoagland, "hurts exquisitely." For larger poetry collections.Frank Allen, Northhampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA
From the Publisher

“An absolutely refreshing compound of playfulness and depth . . . There's no warmed-over theory on this menu, and no guilt casserole, either: [Donkey Gospel is] an unabashedly spicy book. But if one is seduced into the book by the wildness of its flavors, one finishes by loving its substance.” —Heather McHugh

“There's an underlying sweetness to the poems, and a gratitude for having survived so much human fecklessness (including, of course, one's own), and these complicate the poems' anger and puzzlement and rumple their severe surfaces. The resulting mixture has much of the complexity of a personality that willingly weathers its own perplexities and experiences, rather than striking a pose of competence and trying to ride out the storm.” —William Matthews

“If the current flush of identity politics has you bored beyond belief, you might look for a deeper and truer sense of identity and belief in Donkey Gospel. It's a powerful second book, and leaves one wanting more.” —Harvard Review

“In Donkey Gospel, Hoagland's puzzlement is palpable, and yet his effervescent cleverness and original twists of phrase, sometimes aphoristic in philosophical content, ring true. His poetry of cultural irony, contemporary sexuality, and the absurdities of the rock-and-roll generation leave us with a satisfied feeling of having ridden out a storm.” —Ruminator Review

“[A] series of autobiographical poems about being a guy, from backslapping tales of sexual exploits to the dark and dirty truths of male animalism . . . Apologetic for being cerebral, Hoagland pays homage to Auden and D. H. Lawrence in poems that recognize one's powerful vocabulary and the other's ability to fight, and fuck, and crow in prose.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555972769
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
71

Meet the Author

Tony Hoagland's first book, Sweet Ruin, was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Zacharis Award from Ploughshares at Emerson College. A member of the writing faculty at the University of Pittsburg, Hoagland has also received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.

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Donkey Gospel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TerreSpencer More than 1 year ago
For the past six months, I have carried one of Tony Hoagland's poetry chapbooks with me for another perspective of the inanities of life, to smile about the imperfection of our human desire for perfection in the ways that the author shares poem by poem, frame by frame, line by line. His work is wry, honest, troubling and sometimes belly-shaking hilarious. Donkey Gospel is good medicine in perfectly-metered doses. Enjoy how revealing and fun poetry can be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tony Hoagland writes about you and me, all of us, everyone of us. As I read his book I kept saying out loud, 'Yes' and 'How True'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tony came to read to my school last year and there was a lot of controversy about one particular poem that he wrote, 'Self-improvement.' The problem was that the teachers took offense because they chose to concentrate on merely the surface of the words, while the students looked deeper into the poem and discovered what he was trying to get across. His work is direct but crafty. Though I have not yet purchased 'Donkey Gospel,' what I have read from the book is outstanding and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an open mind.