Madly in Love


These poems are freighted with longing and doubt but they are never naïve. Passionate, unflinching family stories and personal loss are here, and yet the will to love breaks all molds.

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These poems are freighted with longing and doubt but they are never naïve. Passionate, unflinching family stories and personal loss are here, and yet the will to love breaks all molds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Late one summer night he tore through/ her latched screen door, his trousers/ in his hand, and declared his love." So begins the title poem, which leads off a charmed yet haunting collection that tracks and explores the weather patterns of longing, depression and despair. The "he" in the above quote is a librarianperhaps the ultimate personification of quiet desperationand his madness is par for Barnstone's passionate summers of "tornadoes, rivers flooding their banks,// agitated dreams, desire." In winter, however, yearnings are safely packed in ice; complacency and melancholia are the snowfall, and the only visitors to the poet's bed are the ghosts of a suicide uncle and grandfather. Spring arrives with insistence, "irises poke green/ butterknives through dark dirt," and Barnstone takes to the watera shower, a bath, a swim in the riverto soothe her body, with hope that love and sex will converge and her heart will rise. Scattered throughout these 29 poems are phrases borrowed from Emily Dickinson. Indeed, Dickinson's influence is apparent in Barnstone's deceptively simple lines, a matter-of-factness that seems to come straight from her bloodstream and a hushed urgency that is deafening. (Apr.)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ALIKI BARNSTONE is a poet, translator, critic, and editor. She is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Real Tin Flower, which was published when she was twelve years old and prefaced by Anne Sexton, and most recently, Bright Body (2011). She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she serves as Series Editor of the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation.

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Table of Contents

Madly in Love 3
After the Funeral 5
The Suicides 7
Psychology 9
Heart Murmur 12
With Skaters and Horses in Central Park 14
Night Unfixes the World 16
Bright Snow 18
Beth Says She's Mourning the Passing of Winter 21
March Winds 27
Dream of Orchids 28
What Takes Place 31
Imperative 33
Fairy Tale 34
Oh No! 36
Prescription 38
Argument 40
Moon 42
For Buck 43
Ending 44
The Bath 49
Ocean Fruit Stands 47
Solstice 51
The Friend of the Body 52
A Beautiful Day 53
A Humid Summer Day 54
So This Is Grief 56
Downriver 58
Love Poem 60
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