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Fall Higher

Overview

"Young has always stood out for his sharp humor, boundless poetic energy, and sheer readability. If adventurous poetry can sometimes feel like a tenuous tightrope walk, Young's poems feel more like zip lines."—The Boston Globe

"This book reads like a long, breathless thank-you for life's seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness, and joy."—Los Angeles Times

Fall Higher is a major collection by one of America's most inventive ...

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Fall Higher

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Overview

"Young has always stood out for his sharp humor, boundless poetic energy, and sheer readability. If adventurous poetry can sometimes feel like a tenuous tightrope walk, Young's poems feel more like zip lines."—The Boston Globe

"This book reads like a long, breathless thank-you for life's seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness, and joy."—Los Angeles Times

Fall Higher is a major collection by one of America's most inventive and entertaining writers. In this paperback release, Dean Young's work contends with the challenges of love, wryly cataloging mistakes, deterioration, and broken vows. Young's humor is as sharp as ever, and coupled with a vulnerability that renders Fall Higher his most intimate collection to date.

"The True Apology Takes Years"

The true apology takes years.
Terrible dry eyes!
The tree rings grow closer and closer together but the nail is swallowed.
Great heaps of rubble are moved up and down the shore.
Finally a dance is performed to complete the forgiveness,
stamping out small fires,
the whole palladium decorated with thistles like the last twenty pages of a Victorian novel.
Now that your hunger is gone you're welcome to the banquet . . .

Dean Young has published twelve books of poetry, including finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and Griffin Award. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, as well as an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches at the University of Texas and lives in Austin, Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his13th book, Young (Primitive Mentor) confronts mortality and the frailty of relationships with his trademark humor and inventiveness, but also with a newfound vulnerability and urgency. "We all feel/ suspended over a drop into nothingness," he writes in "Scarecrow on Fire," which ends "This is my soul, freed." These poems swing between those poles of fear and hope. A poem made of lines that resemble fortune cookie fortunes attests that life wears us away while it sustains us, advising, "Your feelings will never change, you'll just stop paying so much attention" and "The same laughter will have to work the rest of your life." Elsewhere, death is figured as a catalyst for life: "Because they will die soon/ the young couple has another baby." Self-loathing abounds in poems that ask questions like "What blank is yours to fill in/ regarding the worm's intestines?" In one section, a relationship ends ("suddenly I know I'll be an awful/ dim and recognizable character in my ex-wife's next novel") and in the next, another begins ("now I want a Russian novel, a 50-page description of you sleeping"). Overseeing all of it is the awareness that hope emerges in unlikely ways: "Just because we have birds inside us, we don't have to be cages." (Apr.)
Library Journal
"Poetry is a good provider of the strange," writes Young, an observation well supported by the torrential downpour of surreal imagery ("the piano turns out to be 88 mousetraps"), offbeat humor ("You were nearly killed putting up Xmas decorations"), and existential pronouncements ("We all feel/ suspended over a drop into nothingness") that fill to the brim his latest book (after 2008's Primitive Mentor). Inspired by "the hocus-/ pocus gnosis of this world," Young's fast-paced improvisations are held together not only by the occasional imposition of rhymed couplets and triplets and a self-rationalizing philosophy in which a grounding belief in the protean illogic of human existence is the point ("I did hallucinogens for corroboration"), but through a subtle yet strong emotional engagement, as recognizably deep notes of loss, failure, regret, tenderness, awe, and despair can be discerned amid the bright dissonance of non sequiturs. VERDICT Some serious-minded readers may grow exasperated with Young's kitchen-sink approach and class-clown shenanigans, but others will admire an energetic imagination that shows no sign of depletion even after 11 vibrant collections.—Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY
Dana Jennings
Mr. Young knows that to be truly reverent, the poet needs to be irreverent…But for all his humor and linguistic jazz, Mr. Young doesn't shun the big questions.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556593116
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 105
  • Sales rank: 475,445
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Young: Dean Young has published eleven books of poetry, including finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and Griffin Award. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, as well as an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas.

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Table of Contents

1

Lucifer 5

Red Glove Thrown in Rosebush 7

This Evening from Far Away 8

Scarecrow on Fire 9

Madrigal 10

Rock Garden 12

Dragonfly 14

Selected Recent and New Errors 16

Opal 18

Fucked-Up Ode 19

The Usual Decision-Making Process 20

Irrevocable Ode 21

Sleeping Aid 23

Commencement Address 25

Fate 26

Omen Ode 27

Vintage 29

These End-Stopped Affairs 31

Elemental 34

2

Flamenco 37

Song 38

Wolfspeak 39

Tangle 41

The Past 42

Infinitive Ode 46

Easy as Falling Down Stairs 48

Undertow 49

Ephemerides 50

Vacationland 52

Music Was My Education 54

Full-Time at the Cyclotron 55

Articles of Faith 56

The True Apology Takes Years 58

The Fox 60

After My Own Heart 61

Scenes from the Crystal World 63

Optimistic Poem 64

Late Valentine 66

Happy Zero-th Birthday, Gideon 67

Non-Apologia 69

Flamenco 71

3

Changing Genres 75

Is This Why Love Almost Rhymes with Dumb? 76

Three Weeks from Two Days Ago 78

Alternating Current 80

Wolf Lying in Snow 81

Another Strange Rose for the Afterlife 83

Bay Arena 84

Instant Recognition between Strangers 86

My Current Favorite Disease 87

My Brief Careers 89

Demon Cycle 91

Scarecrow on Fire 96

Man Overboard 97

Delphiniums in a Window Box 100

Winged Purposes 101

Teetering Lullaby 103

About the Author 105

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