Orient Point: Poems

Overview

“Tender, sassy, quietly observant, deeply cutting ... a collection bursting with verbal and existential exuberance.”—Billy Collins
Julie Sheehan draws from nature guides and self-help books, weaves legal argot and street slang, and fills her work with “muscle, size, shadows, and nuance” (Linda Gregg).

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Overview

“Tender, sassy, quietly observant, deeply cutting ... a collection bursting with verbal and existential exuberance.”—Billy Collins
Julie Sheehan draws from nature guides and self-help books, weaves legal argot and street slang, and fills her work with “muscle, size, shadows, and nuance” (Linda Gregg).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Winner of the Barnard Women's Poets Prize, Sheehan's second collection (after 2001's Thaw) evinces a complex sensibility both playful and serious, refined and gregarious. Her vision is broad and anthropological, pointing outward to the physical world and empathic with those inhabiting unfamiliar or uncomfortable surroundings, from the Virgin Mary living among the mothers left childless by Herod's decree. to a Sudanese refugee in the Midwest ("He chews alone, he swallows alone, pristine/ he talks to no one"), to inner-city teens competing for the role of Shakespeare's Juliet. A skilled technician, the poet will sometimes heighten her subjects' sense of dislocation by filtering their narratives through unusual rhetorical registers, such as mock Middle English ("Bifel that rehearsen the girls; on occasion they rehearse;/ between trips to the bodega, they rehearse") and litanic pronouncement ("May ill repute visit her in smashes"). Sheehan's linguistic adventurism and ease with traditional formal structures are complemented by a wry wit (in Greenwich, CT, "...hedges are upholstered, each cobblestone/ has an appointment"; a cat is "loyal as tongue to tuna fish") that may surface when least expected. Recommended for larger poetry collections.-Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393330359
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/19/2007
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Sheehan won the Barnard Women Poets Prize for her previous collection. She lives on Long Island.

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Table of Contents

Honeymoon in the Grenadines 21
Maurice Greene, the fastest man alive, is asked the secret of his success 23
Brown-headed cowbirds 24
Sonnet : to a young refugee, upon finding asylum in the Midwest 31
It was a normal day except I fell 32
Polar bear in the Central Park Zoo 34
Ivory-billed woodpecker 35
Pecking order 46
From the minister of praise at large 47
Coyotes in Greenwich! 52
The visual display of quantitative information 55
Archaic smile 57
Valediction 62
Pine cone, fallen 63
Mercy school 64
Sonnet : to a marriage that cannot be saved by a weekend in Calistoga 69
Hate poem 70
Gifted 72
Stray 73
Sonnet : on a recurring argument going nowhere 75
Loose leaf from a destroyed journal 79
Dependent clause 81
Sonnet : upon losing one's lease, the devastation thereof 83
Coney island 84
I am not a confessional poet 93
Untenable position of his mother-in-law 95
Fugitive 97
Deadwood, S.D. 98
Rural development news 99
Ghazal : orient point 104
Candling eggs 109
St. Philomena 111
Harriet Tubman 113
Correspondence 114
Mary at the well 120
Details of Cana 121
Cottonwood tree, Woodbury County 122
A mother's favor will break your heart 124
On the feast of St. Margaret of Cortona 126
Salutations 130
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