Otherhood: Poems


Written in the spaces between otherness and brotherhood, Otherhood combines traditional lyricism with experimentalism, passionate engagement with cold-eyed investigation, and personal details with a depersonalized distance to create a new poetic synthesis.
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Written in the spaces between otherness and brotherhood, Otherhood combines traditional lyricism with experimentalism, passionate engagement with cold-eyed investigation, and personal details with a depersonalized distance to create a new poetic synthesis.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A poet who undeniably attempts and achieves more in each new book than the last. . . . dazzles the reader . . . With four books in the past decade, [he] has established himself as one of the great poets of his generation.”
--Crab Orchard Review

“[Shepherd’s] gifts are admirable in their abundance and their brilliance. “
--American Book Review

Publishers Weekly
"Blue glass tends to replace/ lapis" remarks the speaker of Reginald Shepherd's Otherhood, and his laconic, angry and intimate reflections over more than 40 lyrics make this fourth collection "skin annotated by the wound/ that explicates his mortality." Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Shepherd fashions poems from memory, myth, and etymology, creating "a wavering world/ of absences and outlines." As in his three previous books, all published by Pittsburgh (Some Are Drowning, 1988; Angel, Interrupted, 1996; Wrong, 1999), Shepherd is a master of figurative speech, especially metaphors. For him, "light scrolls across an unmade bed" as he listens to "water dialects" and finds nuances in the "knife edge of fact." Like Hopkins and Marianne Moore, Shepherd loves poetic lists, folding their sound and substance into the meaning of the poem: "every/ fish, finch, swallow" or "dog rose, oleander, terebinth." Sustaining these powerful lyrics is Shepherd's constant referencing of figures from classical mythology, notably Apollo, Eros, Icarus, and Cronos, all the while creating his own personal mythology because "occasionally a god speaks to you," and every poem becomes "another key/ to all mythologies." The title refers to his own personal history and lifestyle, for, as he confesses, "words break me/ break from me." A stunningly beautiful collection; recommended for all larger libraries.-Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822957973
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2003
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Reginald Shepherd (1963–2008) was the author of five previous books of poetry: Fata Morgana; Otherhood; Wrong; Angel, Interrupted; and Some Are Drowning. His work has been widely anthologized, and has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies.
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Table of Contents

Reasons for Living 3
An Abbreviated History of Signs 5
Kingdom: An Epithalamium 7
Little Hands 8
Flicker 11
The Invention of Longitude 13
Wing under Construction 15
In the City of Elagabal 18
Periplus 27
Blue One Lake 30
Burnt from the Notebooks 32
Syntax 34
Polaroid 35
Confluence 37
Three Songs about Snow 38
Amant Marine 40
Les Semblables 41
Roman Year 42
Homology 49
Hygiene 52
Apollo on What the Boy Gave 55
Iconography Says: 57
Apollo Steps in Daphne's Footprints 59
A Little Bitter Commentary 61
Wicker Man Marginalia 63
Lighthouse Wreckage 65
Photogram: Submerged Rocks 70
Justice: An Ode 72
Semantics at Four P.M. 74
Transitional Objects 76
Occurrences across the Chromatic Scale 78
Frame 80
Cygnus 82
Littoral 85
Interglacial 86
Weather Comes from the West 87
One of Their Gods 88
Manifest 89
Unravel 90
The Practice of Goodbye 91
Imaginary Elegy 93
The Anania Butterfly 94
Notes 95
Acknowledgments 97
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