In a Beautiful Country

In a Beautiful Country

by Kevin Prufer
     
 

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In a Beautiful Country examines America’s suburbs and exurbs where “The thrown newspaper fails / to reach the steps.” Taking place beside hospital beds and amid outlet malls, within earshot of military bases and in the light of horror movies, these poems mourn the loss of parents, friends, and our sense of our nation. Turning to ballad-like rhythms,…  See more details below

Overview

In a Beautiful Country examines America’s suburbs and exurbs where “The thrown newspaper fails / to reach the steps.” Taking place beside hospital beds and amid outlet malls, within earshot of military bases and in the light of horror movies, these poems mourn the loss of parents, friends, and our sense of our nation. Turning to ballad-like rhythms, Prufer critiques romanticized visions of art while asserting its central role in citizenship and empire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Death or violence occurs in nearly every poem in Prufer's latest, enabling and sometimes forcing the poet to locate what is beautiful in what is otherwise tragic. "You were burning so thoughtfully in the field," he writes in "The Failure of Parents to Survive Their Children," "like a horse who,/ running from a flaming barn…sets the grass afire/ as he passes through it." Prufer proves himself a master at maintaining an emotional distance from his images—"he is far away, and, anyway, this is only a dead girl"—that renders them as stark as they are gorgeous. Though Prufer, on rare occasions, can be so clinical with an image that it feels like little more than "a picture in a book," the timing and precision of his lineation and enjambment keep each of the book's four-poem sequences operating at a pitch that is always crisp. By peppering traditional and formal verse throughout—rhymed sonnets, artes poeticae, love poems, an elegy—Prufer attempts to locate a form and a place for violence within the history of poetry, the effect of which is most moving when this violence is woven into a strand that is personal, political, and so close one feels one can touch it. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“By peppering traditional and formal verse throughout--rhymed sonnets, artes poeticae, love poems, an elegy--Prufer attempts to locate a form and a place for violence within the history of poetry, the effect of which is most moving when this violence is woven into a strand that is personal, political, and so close one feels one can touch it.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935536116
Publisher:
Four Way Books
Publication date:
03/08/2011
Pages:
120
Sales rank:
1,389,776
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

KEVIN PRUFER is the author of four poetry collections and editor-at-large of Pleiades. He teaches at the University of Houston.

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