Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 by Ralph Angel, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006

Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006

by Ralph Angel

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Exhilarating, dangerous new poems and a generous selection of previous work.


Exhilarating, dangerous new poems and a generous selection of previous work.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The melancholies outnumber the exceptions in this two-decade retrospective drawn from Angel's three prior collections (e.g., Twice Removed) and augmented with 23 new poems. A poet of the interior, Angel conjures a half-lit, Prufrockian world forever caught between states of dreaming and waking: "As in this quiet, always. My body. A whispered song." The ghostly speaker, as if in suspended animation, does not inhabit so much as haunt his surroundings, warily observing from a distance ("Out there/ it goes badly for me"). A little lassitude goes a long way, though, and precisely drawn images too frequently meander into vague, muted non sequiturs that evoke a low-key John Ashbery: "heat-warped air over limp flags and bright brick,/ where an ordinary sigh breathes what's right,/ while the hard-core are properly disposed of/ on the far-reaching hills." Though the perspective in Angel's more recent work widens now and again including a "you" and a "we" along with the "I" and his diction loosens ever so slightly, he maintains rigorous tonal control throughout. The consistency is admirable, but the cumulative effect is claustrophobic. For very large poetry collections. Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Sarabande Books
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6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Angel is the author of four poetry books: Anxious Latitudes; Neither World, which received the 1995 James Laughlin Award; Twice Removed; and Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006. He teaches at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA Program in Writing faculty at Vermont College. Originally from Seattle, he lives in Los Angeles.

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