Pharaoh, Pharaoh

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A soft, romantic spirit haunts this collection of poems, a meditation on the events and repercussions of lives lived in the South. In "Searching the Title," which establishes the author's place among family and upon the land, an "old, forgotten dimension" is symbolized by a fading map. Andrews digs under the skin of events and objects to get at significance, even if it's only hinted at. "Auction" muses about the character of a dead man and his wife through the inventory of their possessions: "His late wife's dressing table gives up/ its confused vanities: snaggletooth combs,/ the warbled wire of hairpins, a lipstick,/ a faint layer of blush over all." The middle poems wend through a familiar scenery of rural fences, funerals, a farm grave, a chicken coop, moonlight, a road that once was a riverbed. At one point, the poet remembers getting sick with "romantic fever" and lying in bed watching the fireflies "coughing up light." The final poems in the book hover around death: the dying of animals, the picking clean of their bones by buzzards and the dying of humans. Andrews often displays a subtle craft and an eye for symbolic, compelling detail. But many of the poems describe a mood of privatized sentimentality that is neither immediate nor engaging. These spare, melancholy poems, with their fenced-in, distant clarity, remain in the province of the writer. (May) FYI: This collection is part of the publisher's Southern Messenger Poets series, edited by Dave Smith.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807121597
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1997
  • Series: Southern Messenger Poets Series
  • Pages: 76
  • Sales rank: 594,179
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author

LSU Press

Claudia Emerson Andrews' poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, the Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, the Southern Review, and New England Review, among other publications. She was awarded an NEA fellowship in 1994 and previously served as poetry editor of the Greensboro Review. She lives in Chatham, Virginia, where she is the academic dean at Chatham Hall.

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

Searching the Title 1
Auction 5
Cleaning the Graves 6
Airstream 7
One Hand on the Wheel 10
Portrait 11
Nothing for the Salt 12
Abandoned Farm Grave 14
Going Once, Going Twice 15
The Milk Cow Speaks of Winter 17
The Moon Is Made 21
In the Acoustic Shadow 22
Romantic Fever 23
Skin Deep 24
Bedtime Story 26
Prodigal 28
Fortune 29
Plagues 30
First Tooth 31
Bait 35
Bait Man 36
The Taxidermist 40
Timepiece 41
Transgressions 45
Barn Cat 47
Morphine Dreams 48
Stable 49
Gossip 50
Stoic 52
Looking for Grandmother's Grave 53
Hawk 54
Phoenix 55
Inheritance 56
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