I Was the Jukebox

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Overview

“[Beasley’s] lightness works best when it dapples her darkness—and when her darkness, as it often does, feels truly deep.”—Abigail Deutsch, Poetry
The winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize—“These poems are fresh, crisp, and muscular. They are decisive and fearless. Every object, icon, or historical moment has a soul with a voice. In these poems these soulful ones elbow their way to the surface of the page, smartly into the contemporary now.”—Joy Harjo, prize citation from...

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I Was the Jukebox: Poems

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Overview

“[Beasley’s] lightness works best when it dapples her darkness—and when her darkness, as it often does, feels truly deep.”—Abigail Deutsch, Poetry
The winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize—“These poems are fresh, crisp, and muscular. They are decisive and fearless. Every object, icon, or historical moment has a soul with a voice. In these poems these soulful ones elbow their way to the surface of the page, smartly into the contemporary now.”—Joy Harjo, prize citation from “The Piano Speaks”For an hour I forgot my fat self,
my neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment.
For an hour I forgot my fear of rain.
For an hour I was a salamander shimmying through the kelp in search of shore,
and under his fingers the notes slid loose from my belly in a long jellyrope of eggs that took root in the mud.

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Editorial Reviews

The Rumpus
Succeeds (to a tremendous level) at creating fascinating slices of reality and interesting characters.— Adam Palumbo
Adam Palumbo - The Rumpus
“Succeeds (to a tremendous level) at creating fascinating slices of reality and interesting characters.”
Publishers Weekly
More fun than most recent books, Beasley's second collection can also get quite serious: in the best parts, the poet pretends she is any number of nonhuman things—a jukebox, an orchid, the Egyptian god Osiris, an eggplant (in a sestina), grains of sand. She also writes “love poems” to big ideas: “Love Poem for College” begins “You hit on me. You hit on everyone.” Beasley portrays the sometimes chaotic landscape between sex and love, youth and adulthood, the young men and women who hope for everything and the grownups who settle for less. “For an hour I forgot my fat self./ My neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment,” says the piano, remembering when she was played. In “Another Failed Poem About Music,” “even the name” of a percussion instrument, “triangle... is a perfect betrayal.” Beasley can sound regretful, but also flirtatious: “You are the loneliest of the three bears,” she says in “Love Poem for Wednesday,” “hoping/ to come home and find someone in your bed.” If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393339666
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 90
  • Sales rank: 566,406
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley's first poetry collection, Theories of Falling, won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Beasley lives in Washington, DC.

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