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The Ledge [NOOK Book]

Overview

Michael Collier's much acclaimed fourth collection of poetry poises experience on the ledge between the everyday and the unknown. In THE LEDGE, the poems are narrative and colloquial, musical and crystalline, at once intimate and sharp-edged. The world is rendered beautifully mysterious as the poems slide into unexpected emotional territory. The artistry and directness of THE LEDGE confirm Collier's place among the most significant poets of his generation.
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The Ledge

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Overview

Michael Collier's much acclaimed fourth collection of poetry poises experience on the ledge between the everyday and the unknown. In THE LEDGE, the poems are narrative and colloquial, musical and crystalline, at once intimate and sharp-edged. The world is rendered beautifully mysterious as the poems slide into unexpected emotional territory. The artistry and directness of THE LEDGE confirm Collier's place among the most significant poets of his generation.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Collier builds many of his poems around a single incident, whether his speaker is caught lying, in naked boyhood, on a bathroom floor while his sisters conduct a mock-crucifixion, or is simply being captivated by a man who crashes through a country club's plate-glass door. In this, Collier's fourth book, such ruminations still have their descriptive charms, but generally lack the dramatic urgency necessary to sustain the book as a whole. At times, Collier attempts to up the ante by invoking the mythical likes of an Odysseus or Sisyphus, but such figures often end up being trivialized. In "Pay-Per-View," for example, Collier compares the distorted images of a scrambled hotel porno flick to Pandora's "winged souls that once escaped/ from her exquisite jar--the shadows of our pains, the venom/ carriers of our desires." A plethora of animal poems prove capable vehicles for some nice phrasal and observational turns: a snake's skin is "a loose diamond basket weave"; "The New Opossum" is an "upholder of middle-class values,/ and link to a romantic past"; while the "Brave Sparrow" is playfully exhorted to "Stay where you are, you lit fuse, you dull spark of saltpeter and sulfur." Still, domestic scenes that confront a young son with "the puddle of urine/ beneath the toilet" or the rabbit-killing dog of "A Real-Life Drama" don't reverberate in the manner Collier seems to be aiming for, making images like "[h]is cock,/ a huge suppurating rudder, stirred the sulfuric/ ocean of his realm" (describing Cerberus) seem desperate stays against bourgeois ennui. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
The first poem in Collier's The Ledge contrasts the youthful reader who plunges ahead while reading Homer and the mature reader who lingers. It's an apt beginning to this fourth collection from the director of the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference because one should linger over these elegant yet penetrating poems, which reading after reading yield startling truths. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Michael Collier's genius for depicting the world of things starkly illuminates the spiritual hungers that drive human making and the intricate, at times brutal, psychological mechanisms that underpin our domestic and social arrangements." - Tom Sleigh
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547346847
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/17/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • File size: 120 KB

Meet the Author

Michael Collier has been the director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference for five years and has taught English at the University of Maryland, College Park, for fifteen years. His previous volumes of poetry are THE CLASP AND OTHER POEMS, THE FOLDED HEART, THE NEIGHBOR, and most recently THE LEDGE, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Collier is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, NEA fellowships, and the Discovery/The Nation Award, among other honors. He resides in Maryland.
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Read an Excerpt



Excerpt


A Real-Life Drama

This dog standing in the middle of the street,
tail stiff, fur bushy with fear, and a pedigree rabbit,
its neck broken and bleeding beneath his paws,
might have been forgiven or simply taken away

and shot under different circumstances
and no one would have said much, except his owner
who'd gone out into the yard at the start
of the commotion, having been involved

at other times with the dog's truancies, and yelled,
"Bosco, Bosco, goddamnit!" but unavailing,
and everyone understanding that once more Bosco
had been taken over by the dark corner of his nature.

But this other sentiment we shared as well: the man
who'd raised the rabbit shouldn't husband something
so rare and beautiful he couldn't keep it
from the likes of Bosco.

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Table of Contents

Argos 3
Safe 5
Ghazal 7
My Crucifixion 8
Moon Valley Country Club 9
A Last Supper 10
The Word 12
The Snake 14
The New Possum 15
The Hammer 16
A Real-Life Drama 21
The Swimmer 22
The Farrier 24
The Choice 25
Christmas Train Park at the Arbutus Firehouse 27
The Lessons 29
Catbird 31
All Souls 32
Time to Move 34
A Remainder 36
The Wave 38
Brave Sparrow 40
Pay-Per-View 45
Cerberus 47
Swans 48
Hummingbird Aviary 49
Ghazal of the Sahara 50
Long Summer 51
Fathom and League 52
The Blame 54
An Awful Story 55
All Darkness 56
The Dolphin 57
Keats and Francesca 59
Pax Geologica 60
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    stonekit

    Greykit?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    G

    Greykit stumbles to her paws and slowly walks back to camp, panting slightly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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