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Hard Country

Overview

First published by West End Press in 1982, this book-length poem about a journey across America has been out of print for a decade but has maintained its underground reputation as a major response to the male epic consciousness of twentieth-century American poetry.

"In this political geography of the continent's body, the land is corporeal, erotic and ever-present. . . . Doubiago's imagination is always unified and political. . . . Sharon Doubiago is 'a complex of occasions,' a brilliant response to Whitman, an ...

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Overview

First published by West End Press in 1982, this book-length poem about a journey across America has been out of print for a decade but has maintained its underground reputation as a major response to the male epic consciousness of twentieth-century American poetry.

"In this political geography of the continent's body, the land is corporeal, erotic and ever-present. . . . Doubiago's imagination is always unified and political. . . . Sharon Doubiago is 'a complex of occasions,' a brilliant response to Whitman, an American poet, free, spiritual and gifted."—Carolyn Forché

"A unique search for the meaning of personal and national history, narrated by a woman seeking her own liberation and fulfillment through struggle against the reactionary mores and politics of her time."—Thomas McGrath

"Sharon Doubiago fearlessly enters the labyrinth of our history, our search and danger as woman as human as deep American wanderer. . . . It is a long saga, a woman's history and a history of us all."—Meridel Le Sueur

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780931122255
  • Publisher: West End Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1982
  • Pages: 250

Meet the Author

Sharon Doubiago, a native of Los Angeles, has lived for more than twenty years in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of two previous books of poetry including another book-length poem, "South America, Mi Hija." Her most recent publications are a volume of short stories, The Book of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1997) and a lengthy dissection of the O. J. Simpson Case, The Husband Arcane: The Arcane of O (1996).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Headstone 1
Headstone, I 3
Signal Hill 5
Headstone 7
Headstone, II: American Alchemy 29
Part I: Ramona 31
Part II: Hard Now against the Man: Female Problems 43
Headland 57
Headland, I: Ramon/Ramona 59
I Was Born Coming to the Sea 61
Father 62
Charon 64
Santana 65
L. A. Blonde 66
Ramon/Ramona 67
Hall of Justice: The Sixties 69
Ramon, My Country Tis of Thee 70
Headland, II: Bicentennial 71
The Dream 73
Psyche in January 75
The Poet's Uncle in February 80
Letter to Luke Breit in Point Arena 81
Visions of a Daughter of Albion 83
Love Song for a Man Whose Mother Killed Herself 95
White Deer in a Field 96
You Leave 97
Forests 98
Night Mare on Albion Ridge 99
107[degrees] When We Ride into Town the Week before Her Birthday 100
Fourth of July 102
Bicentennial 103
Heartland 105
Metamorphosis 106
Avenue of the Giants 107
She Is a Flock of Birds Rising 108
My Mother Is a Poem I'll Never Write 109
Letter to Ramona 110
Insomnia 112
Kerouac and Monroe on Kalaloch 113
Oregon 117
Idaho 123
Tourists Out of Season 124
Idaho Is What America Used To Be 125
Insomnia: Somewhere the Four Corners of the Sioux 126
Leaving Boise: Retreat 127
Utah 134
The Heart of America: Yellowstone 135
Wyoming 140
Infant Found Alive at Wounded Knee 149
Crazy Horse 150
Sleeping on Main Street in a Wyoming-South Dakota Border Town 152
Sitting Bull Must Have Been a Taurus 153
Plainsongs 157
Hard Country 163
Detroit I 166
Detroit II 168
Late Summer '42 169
Kentucky: A Cherokee Name of Magic 170
Tennessee 171
Looking for the Melungeon 173
At Cumberland Gap Post Office a Letter from Loretta in Los Angeles 174
Great Smoky 175
Comfort Me with Apples, Stay Me with Flagons, Jesus, Lover of My Soul 177
Going around the Country Looking, for Your Mother 181
It'll Be a Bad Winter if Screech Owls Sound like Women Crying 185
Song of Songs: The Lady in the Lake 187
Mother 195
Appalachian Song 209
Louisiana 210
Travels with Charlie: How Far Does the World Extend? 214
Austin: The Making of a Boy 218
El Paso del Norte 221
Petrified Forest 223
Arizona 224
When All Is Said and Done 233
Ramon, the Colorado 235
Heartsea 247
Los Angeles 249
Notes 259
Acknowledgments 265
Afterword: I and I in Language 267
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