The Iron Key

The Iron Key

by James Longenbach
     
 

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"The world in these poems, rendered from memory on a mythic tide, is at once palpable and numinous." —On the Seawall
“Tightly conceived, elegantly architectured, and sophisticatedly enunciated. . . . [The Iron Key] oozes nostalgia for the many charms of Venice, the complexities of Greek myths, and the ethereal pleasures of opera and poetry that is,

Overview

"The world in these poems, rendered from memory on a mythic tide, is at once palpable and numinous." —On the Seawall
“Tightly conceived, elegantly architectured, and sophisticatedly enunciated. . . . [The Iron Key] oozes nostalgia for the many charms of Venice, the complexities of Greek myths, and the ethereal pleasures of opera and poetry that is, paradoxically, both old-fashioned and refreshing.”—The Rumpus

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
James Longenbach (The Art of the Poetic Line) is an incontestably brilliant critic. This fourth book of poetry shares some of the virtues of Longenbach's criticism--the poems are unfalteringly wise and knowledgeable about the poetic tradition. At their best moments, these often narrative poems borrow the haunting logic of distant memories ("I wouldn't say this to everyone, but when I wrote / In heaven, if you say the word death, nobody understands, / I was thinking about paperclips"), but there are also moments when this book reads like a short story. Still, Longenbach is an expert storyteller and never fails to alight upon dazzling and often ominous visions: "The snow is in retrospect an image of/ Plenitude, not of desolation." His stories also tend to be scholarly: "Though my father painted like Sargent/ He raised me on modernism./ ... Space was color, shadow was color." Throughout the book, Longenbach seeks words for the few fundamental truths: "You're angry because everyone you love is dying./ You've known this since you were a child." (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393342666
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/02/2012
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

James Longenbach's work is often featured in The New Yorker and the Paris Review. He lives in New York.

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