Facts about the Moon

Facts about the Moon

5.0 1
by Dorianne Laux
     
 

"Laux writes gritty, tough, lyrical poems that depict the actual nature of life in the West today."—Philip Levine
In her powerful fourth collection, Dorianne Laux once again strikes fire from neighborhood moments: a quiet street at dusk, a pool hall, a bare tree. Focusing on the grace of working people, she captures the pain and beauty of women in all

Overview

"Laux writes gritty, tough, lyrical poems that depict the actual nature of life in the West today."—Philip Levine
In her powerful fourth collection, Dorianne Laux once again strikes fire from neighborhood moments: a quiet street at dusk, a pool hall, a bare tree. Focusing on the grace of working people, she captures the pain and beauty of women in all their variety, caught in the "lunar pull" of our time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Laux's fluent and likable first person shoots straight on sex, relationships and American adulthood in this substantial and unusually various fourth collection. The Oregon poet opens with a funny, compassionate political poem about urban mass transit, segues to "Vacation Sex" ("We've been at it all summer") and then to a meditation on the flag of Alaska, designed (as Laux explains) by a 13-year-old orphan 78 years ago. If she casts a wide net for subjects, Laux (Smoke) shows equal breadth with her free verse forms; the most accomplished tend to use long lines, and to digress, tersely and thoughtfully, from their narrative threads. Describing her marriage, her Western travels and her erotic history as girl and woman, Laux works in the idiom of Philip Levine and Sharon Olds, yet Laux's best verse is perhaps more surprising than theirs: if she occasionally sounds lugubrious, more often she makes "new cells pungent with the old codes." Laux has not invented a new style, but she has improved the one she has: "It took me years to grow a heart," Laux quips, "from paper and glue"; her verse certainly draws on it. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
San Diego Union-Tribune
To understand why her work is so widely read and admired, listen to the music Dorianne Laux makes, line after line....She is quick-witted and compassionate, with a genius for phrasing that never compromises the perfect clarity of her text....Continually engaging and, at her best, luminous.— Steve Kowit
Steve Kowit - San Diego Union-Tribune
“To understand why her work is so widely read and admired, listen to the music Dorianne Laux makes, line after line....She is quick-witted and compassionate, with a genius for phrasing that never compromises the perfect clarity of her text....Continually engaging and, at her best, luminous.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393060966
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/14/2005
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Dorianne Laux has been a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Facts about the Moon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kansas City Star- Kathleen Johnson Sunday, December 11, 2005 Dorianne Laux has a gift for finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. It¿s this ability that makes the West Coast poet¿s fourth and most recent collection, Facts About the Moon, so remarkable and moving. As the title suggests, the moon looms large here: Its gravity emphasizes the collection¿s female viewpoint, and its uncompromising light illuminates the everyday experiences of women. The nine-line ¿Moon in the Window¿ is one of Laux¿s tightest poems and one burning with truth: I wish I could say I was the kind of child who watched the moon from her window, would turn toward it and wonder. I never wondered. I read. Dark signs that crawled toward the edge of the page. It took me years to grow a heart from paper and glue. All I had was a flashlight, bright as the moon, a white hole blazing beneath the sheets. The lunar leitmotif shines brilliantly in many of these works. For instance, in the relatively lengthy title poem about, among other things, a mother¿s unconditional love for her son, the forceful pull of the moon parallels the ¿brutal pull¿ of love. Laux has built a solid reputation as a poet, partly on the strength of her highly explicit erotic poems. ¿Vacation Sex¿ continues her exploration of sex as a fundamental subject for poetry. And ¿Kissing Again¿ picks up on this notion with more subtlety ¿ but no less effectiveness ¿ extolling the mid-life pleasure of ¿Kissing again, after a long drought of not kissing.¿ Here, a few representative lines of this poem made of sensual couplets: ... the luxuriant tonguing of another spongy tongue, the deft flicking and feral sucking, that prolonged lapping that makes a smooth stone of the brain ... Such description brings to mind what Laux, along with co- author Kim Addonizio, wrote in a chapter titled ¿Writing the Erotic¿ in their splendid poetry-writing handbook, The Poet¿s Companion: ¿We won¿t begin to attempt to talk about the difference between `erotic¿ and `pornographic,¿ except to say that the best definition we ever heard was this: `Erotica is what I like. Pornography is what you like.¿ ¿ Obviously, this is a poet with a sense of humor, but, like the four boys in a bookstore in her poem ¿Savages,¿ who ¿buy poetry like gang members / buy guns ¿ for aperture, caliber, / heft and defense¿ ¿ she¿s dead serious about her art. When she writes, ¿They are savage / for knowledge, for beauty and truth. / They crawl on their knees to find it,¿ Laux could just as well be describing herself. Facts About the Moon, by Dorianne Laux (101 pages Norton $23.95)