A Hunger

A Hunger

by Lucie Brock-Broido
     
 

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Ranging from the mundane to the ethereal, the themes of Brock-Broido's first collection are interesting and sometimes startling. The poems range from those concerned with time, especially the conjunction of the past and the future; those influenced by things or places specifically American, poems that appear vaguely autobiographical; and those based on actual… See more details below

Overview

Ranging from the mundane to the ethereal, the themes of Brock-Broido's first collection are interesting and sometimes startling. The poems range from those concerned with time, especially the conjunction of the past and the future; those influenced by things or places specifically American, poems that appear vaguely autobiographical; and those based on actual historical or contemporary events, usually involving, and often narrated by, a child.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brock-Broido’s talismanic words open into a magical territory of ‘Domestic Mysticism’ . . . A violently skewed portrait of the female poet and her Muse, a hyped-up version of Stevens and his interior paramour, locked in a soliloquy ‘in which being there together is enough’ . . . Something in Brock-Broido likes stealth, toxicity, wildness, neon —‘perfect mean lines’ . . . The poems leap off the page." —Helen Vendler, The New Yorker“These poems are out of Stevens in the abundance, glitter, and seductiveness of their language, out of Browning in the authority of their inhabiting, and out of Plath in the ferocity and passion of their holding on—to feeling, to life, and to us . . . An astonishing first book.”—Cynthia Macdonald“Brock-Broido’s brilliant nervosity and taste for the fantastic impel her to explore the obscure corners of the psyche and the fringes of ordinary human experience . . . The poems in A Hunger are original, strange, often unsettling, and mostly beautiful.” —Stanley Kunitz
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ranging from the mundane to the ethereal, the themes of Brock-Broido's first collection are always interesting and sometimes startling. The poems can be roughly classified into three groups: those concerned with time, especially the conjunction of the past and the future; those influenced by things or places specifically American, poems that appear vaguely autobiographical; and those based on actual historical or contemporary events, usually involving, and often narrated by, a child. Some of the work's best moments occur in this latter category, where the poet writes with simplicity and clarity. In ``Birdie Africa,'' a poem based on the fire-bombing of the MOVE cult's Philadelphia tenement in 1985, a young boy describes his love for his father: ``But when I wind my arms around/ him, put my face into the dimmed scoop/ of his neck, he smells like good warm fire.'' Brock -Broido demonstrates an unusual ability to see things from the viewpoint of children, sensitively portraying their pain and confusion, but usually refraining from imposing upon them the mannered knowledge of the more sophisticated adult. In other poems, however, she takes the opposite tack, developing more mature themes with sometimes oblique references. By including sketchy explanations to several of her verses, Brock-Broido demystifies them a bit, but never reveals too much, leaving her poetry in a somewhat distanced realm. Overall, this is an absorbing volume, written with fine attention to word choice and rhythm, and at times able to achieve striking effects. (August)
Library Journal
Brock-Broido's first collection of poems reveals a poet with a hunger for ``Writing it all down so you would know/ Exactly what it is to trick oblivion.'' Her concerns include both public events and private experiences and perceptions of the world she lives in. Occasionally the more public poems seem merely topical. Thus, the insights in a poem like ``Birdie Africa'' are too easy; they go little beyond the revelations in a profile in People magazine (the source of an epigraph for another, more successful poem). But at her best, Brock-Broido's poems are quirky and graceful, resonant with ``the autoerotic sounds of her American voice/ Getting it all down.''Grace Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394758527
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/04/2005
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
72
Sales rank:
562,216
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.17(d)

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