The Playhouse Near Dark

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An unsentimental exploration of childhood and parenthood, The Playhouse Near Dark delves into the marvels, terrors and transformations of a new life. Pregnancy and birth are profound experiences, both creative and alienating; the infant—“this force / this vortex of sheer need”—is as powerful as he is vulnerable. In language that is often startlingly intense yet always accessible, this book probes the ways the arrival of a child shapes our perceptions of everything in our world. ...
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Overview

An unsentimental exploration of childhood and parenthood, The Playhouse Near Dark delves into the marvels, terrors and transformations of a new life. Pregnancy and birth are profound experiences, both creative and alienating; the infant—“this force / this vortex of sheer need”—is as powerful as he is vulnerable. In language that is often startlingly intense yet always accessible, this book probes the ways the arrival of a child shapes our perceptions of everything in our world.
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What People Are Saying

Martha Collins
"Elizabeth Holmes's poetic charting of two pregnancies and the earliest years of her children's lives takes the reader into surprisingly unfamiliar territory. From the ultrasound in which she becomes a 'dull / slow boom, haunting the background,' through an infancy in which a child is a 'live current of will / wrapped in a body / of squall and piss,' to the last poem, where children play against the coming darkness, the movement of the book is seamless. With unexpected imagery and an exceptionally fine ear, Holmes explores and balances emotional complexities that will speak to all of us."
Alison Lurie
"Elizabeth Holmes's moving poems make the experience of motherhood vivid and immediate. They will awaken intense memories in any reader who's ever had a baby, and enlighten those who haven't."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887484643
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

ELIZABETH HOLMES’s first book of poetry was The Patience of the Cloud Photographer (Carnegie Mellon, 1997). Her poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, and Gettysburg Review. A graduate of Davidson College and Cornell University, she works as a writer and editor in Ithaca, New York.
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Table of Contents

Taking a History
Sonogram
Belly
After Labor
Doorstep
Dream Babies
Colic
Eowntown in Front of the Drugstore
At the 7/Eleven
Liam at Six Months
Back Muscles
Sleep and the Baby
Startle Reflex
Daybreak

Pregnant and Far Gone
Having a Baby at 39
Not Me, I'm Not
Early Labor
The Midwife
Second Birth

At One Year
Puss in Boots
Satellite
The Clear-Cut
Moving in Sleep
Liza Meets Motherhood
Watching Rain
The Child's Anger Is Immense
After the Solstice
In Country Kildare
A Farewell Picnic

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