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Silvertone

Overview

These poems both celebrate and question the psychological existence we give to the objects that define our lives: the silver spoon from which the speaker sips, during each Epiphany, the sacred Borscht which she later catches her mother, after guests have left, pouring down the drain; the acoustic guitar on which the speaker’s father strums his minor-keyed songs from Ukraine; or the granite bust of a national poet that, in the hot sun, fails to inspire. With heart and humor the speaker examines what stays, goes, ...

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Overview

These poems both celebrate and question the psychological existence we give to the objects that define our lives: the silver spoon from which the speaker sips, during each Epiphany, the sacred Borscht which she later catches her mother, after guests have left, pouring down the drain; the acoustic guitar on which the speaker’s father strums his minor-keyed songs from Ukraine; or the granite bust of a national poet that, in the hot sun, fails to inspire. With heart and humor the speaker examines what stays, goes, and how every object, once illuminated by the past, has the ability to take on new meaning. Or, as Miles Davis put it, “I’ll play it first then tell you what it is later.”

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What People Are Saying

Rebecca Seiferle
“Music rises out of the body of experience in Dzvinia Orlowsky’s lyrical new collection Silvertone, named after her father’s guitar. Like that guitar being evaluated by the guitar salesman in Scituate ‘the neck is warped. / The strings are shot from human sweat,’ this collection is compellingly shaped by a sense of lyrical possibilities and actuality’s limitations—as if the body’s a rented musical instrument, where memory is ‘weightless / as embers of music.’ Orlowsky’s voice, by turns, piercing or meditative, knows we are ‘All of us, sumptuous vanishing points.’”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887485640
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,420,314
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Pushcart Prize recipient and Founding Editor of Four Way Books, DZVINIA ORLOWSKY is the author of four poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones, co-winner of the 2010 Sheila Motton Book Award. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2008 as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary. Her translation from Ukrainian of Alexander Dovzhenko's novella, The Enchanted Desna, was published in 2006. She teaches at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College and at Providence College.

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Table of Contents

Smoke on the Water
Black Dog
Used Boat
Silvertone
Roses in Their Hands
Baptism
In God’s Language
Advent Calendar
Praying to Fra Lippi’s Mistress
The Grass Tall Enough
Shoe Laces
Borscht
Uncle
Stolen
What I Inherited
Foreign Woman
Firing My Father’s Mossberg
Illegible Postcards
Wild Violets
Her Gift
Jesus Loves Fat People
Size Zero
Still As I Was
My Acupuncturist Discovers a Point
The Fox
To See a Horse
Muse
Stung
North of Patsy Cline
Prolonged
Memorizing Music
Early Hour
Notes

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