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Mother Quiet

Overview

Martha Rhodes is the author of two previous collections, Perfect Disappearance and At the Gate. She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, New School University, and at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a founding editor and the director of the independent literary press Four Way Books.
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Overview

Martha Rhodes is the author of two previous collections, Perfect Disappearance and At the Gate. She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, New School University, and at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a founding editor and the director of the independent literary press Four Way Books.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post

"The aim of poetry (and the higher kind of thriller) is. . . . to be unexpected and memorable. So a poem about death might treat it in a way that combines the bizarre and the banal: the Other Side as some kind of institution—a creepy hospital, an officious hotel or retirement home. Martha Rhodes takes such an approach in 'Ambassadors to the Dead,' from her abrupt, unsettling, artfully distorted, indelible new book Mother Quiet. . . . Blending the matter-of-fact with the surreal, as a way of comprehending the stunning, final reality, Rhodes is an inheritor of Emily Dickinson's many poems on the same subject."—Robert Pinsky, The Washington Post

— Robert Pinsky

James Longenbach
"What is the difference, asks Martha Rhodes, between forgetting and being forgotten? Why do our most primal images of self-definition-the house, the childhood bedroom, the mother's body-become more vaporous the more we speak? The poems of Mother Quiet don't just ask these questions; they inhabit these questions. . . . 'The inside of her mouth was black and airless,' says Rhodes of the dead mother, and the image is at once a poet's blessing and a poet's curse. Weird, dark, hilarious, direct, otherworldly-these poems display a poet in command of every note the English language is capable of sounding. They will not be silenced: they are unforgettable."

-James Longenbach, author of Fleet River and Modern Poetry after Modernism

The Washington Post - Robert Pinsky

"The aim of poetry (and the higher kind of thriller) is. . . . to be unexpected and memorable. So a poem about death might treat it in a way that combines the bizarre and the banal: the Other Side as some kind of institution—a creepy hospital, an officious hotel or retirement home. Martha Rhodes takes such an approach in 'Ambassadors to the Dead,' from her abrupt, unsettling, artfully distorted, indelible new book Mother Quiet. . . . Blending the matter-of-fact with the surreal, as a way of comprehending the stunning, final reality, Rhodes is an inheritor of Emily Dickinson's many poems on the same subject."—Robert Pinsky, The Washington Post
James Longenbach

“What is the difference, asks Martha Rhodes, between forgetting and being forgotten? Why do our most primal images of self-definition—the house, the childhood bedroom, the mother’s body—become more vaporous the more we speak? The poems of Mother Quiet don’t just ask these questions; they inhabit these questions. . . . ‘The inside of her mouth was black and airless,’ says Rhodes of the dead mother, and the image is at once a poet’s blessing and a poet’s curse. Weird, dark, hilarious, direct, otherworldly—these poems display a poet in command of every note the English language is capable of sounding. They will not be silenced: they are unforgettable.”—James Longenbach, author of Fleet River and Modern Poetry after Modernism
The Washington Post

"The aim of poetry (and the higher kind of thriller) is. . . . to be unexpected and memorable. So a poem about death might treat it in a way that combines the bizarre and the banal: the Other Side as some kind of institution—a creepy hospital, an officious hotel or retirement home. Martha Rhodes takes such an approach in ''Ambassadors to the Dead,'' from her abrupt, unsettling, artfully distorted, indelible new book Mother Quiet. . . . Blending the matter-of-fact with the surreal, as a way of comprehending the stunning, final reality, Rhodes is an inheritor of Emily Dickinson's many poems on the same subject."—Robert Pinsky, The Washington Post

— Robert Pinsky

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932023183
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 61
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author


Martha Rhodes is the author of two previous collections, Perfect Disappearance and At the Gate. She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, New School University, and at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a founding editor and the director of the independent literary press Four Way Books.
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Table of Contents

A progression 3
Yes, I know 4
Who sits behind you? 6
The step 7
Gone 8
Existence 9
My body worn out from it 10
Remorse 11
My brain was enormous 12
Such atmosphere 14
Ambassadors to the dead 15
Plague : Westwood, Massachusetts, Norfolk County 16
Into the volcano 17
Upon the diagnosis of my nephew 21
O we 22
The illness 23
Mother, quiet 24
If I see her face 25
Rheumatic fever, 1942, my mother recovers 26
Of an evening 27
The after 28
Our house 29
Fear day 30
The promise 31
The hose 32
Yesterday, out of the blue 33
A revelation 34
The gift of April 35
When 36
In the garbage can 37
From the abandoned 38
Monday at lunch 39
You! behind the house! 40
The cure 41
The restorers 42
Relief 43
This may be 44
Closing the house 47
Hope 48
Nectarines 49
Dammit! 50
Migrations 52
At the gate of Phillips Exeter Academy 58
John 59
20th year 60
The retrieval 61
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