Skating with Heather Grace

Skating with Heather Grace

by Thomas Lynch
     
 

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Often his subjects are commonplace his wife, dog and children, his work and the poems are set at home in Michigan and abroad, in Ireland and Italy. (Several of the pieces are about Argyle, a mythic Irish character.) Like his father, Lynch is an undertaker, and the poems that address death here are sagacious and overcome the risk of morbidity by embracing life

Overview


Often his subjects are commonplace his wife, dog and children, his work and the poems are set at home in Michigan and abroad, in Ireland and Italy. (Several of the pieces are about Argyle, a mythic Irish character.) Like his father, Lynch is an undertaker, and the poems that address death here are sagacious and overcome the risk of morbidity by embracing life while facing death. Other standouts are his tender meditation on his daughter, "Skating with Heather Grace," and the heartfelt, gritty perceptions of "Tatyana." Most of the pieces are composed in pentameters, the majority written in a capricious blank verse.

Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Often his subjects are commonplace his wife, dog and children, his work and the poems are set at home in Michigan and abroad, in Ireland and Italy. (Several of the pieces are about Argyle, a mythic Irish character.) Like his father, Lynch is an undertaker, and the poems that address death here are sagacious and overcome the risk of morbidity by embracing life while facing death. Other standouts are his tender meditation on his daughter, 'Skating with Heather Grace,' and the heartfelt, gritty perceptions of 'Tatyana.' Most of the pieces are composed in pentameters, the majority written in a capricious blank verse."—Publishers Weekly

"Mr. Lynch's caustic humor is part inheritance, part the reaction to modern culture of a poet caught between two worlds. . . . Mr. Lynch, by no means incidentally, earns his living as an undertaker; mortality is this book's underlying theme. The dire struggle in these poems—and despite strong domestic leanings, Mr. Lynch appears driven to extremes—is balancing life's opposing forces."—The New York Times

"This powerful, provocative collection of 42 poems introduces a poet who speaks with authority and eloquence. . . . Like his father, Lynch is an undertaker, and the poems that address death here are sagacious and overcome the risk of morbidity by embracing life while facing death."—Publishers Weekly

The New York Times
Mr. Lynch’s caustic humor is part inheritance, part the reaction to modern culture of a poet caught between two worlds. . . . Mr. Lynch, by no means incidentally, earns his living as an undertaker; mortality is this book’s underlying theme. The dire struggle in these poems—and despite strong domestic leanings, Mr. Lynch appears driven to extremes—is balancing life’s opposing forces.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This powerful, provocative collection of 42 poems introduces a poet who speaks with authority and eloquence. Often his subjects are commonplacehis wife, dog and children, his workand the poems are set at home in Michigan and abroad, in Ireland and Italy. (Several of the pieces are about Argyle, a mythic Irish character.) Like his father, Lynch is an undertaker, and the poems that address death here are sagacious and overcome the risk of morbidity by embracing life while facing death. Other standouts are his tender meditation on his daughter, ``Skating with Heather Grace,'' and the heartfelt, gritty perceptions of ``Tatyana.'' Most of the pieces are composed in pentameters, the majority written in a capricious blank verse. Although at times the meter suffers from excessive use of run-over lines, elsewhere there is grace and control, indeed virtuosity. Lynch is a poet with something to say and something worth listening to. (January)
Library Journal
first book, Lynch speaks directly and boldly, invoking ritual by bringing the reader close to its performance: ``Soon as I am able/ I intend to turn/ to gold myself.'' A Midwesterner who earns his living as an undertaker, Lynch writes poems that unpretentiously rehearse the dreams of the dying as they celebrate the everchanging relationships of the livingof four children, of a marriage in transition. There is craft and careful language, at times a Yeatsian echo, as in the three ``Argyle'' pieces for the sin-eater of old Ireland who serves the dead. Throughout, Lynch traces his ties to the past, and though his poems sometimes dazzleas do the metaphysical conceits of ``For the ex-wife on what I don't wish you''as often they are ways of ``learning gravity,'' Heather Grace's task in the title poem. Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, English Dept., Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887485411
Publisher:
Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date:
02/07/2011
Series:
Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series: Poetry
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
887,131
Product dimensions:
4.70(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.50(d)

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Meet the Author

THOMAS LYNCH's poems, essays, and stories have appeared in Granta, The Atlantic, Harper's, and The Times (of London, New York, Ireland, and Los Angeles), and elsewhere. His book, The Undertaking, was a finalist for the National Book Award. The PBS Frontline film based on this work won the 2008 Emmy Award for Arts & Culture Documentary. His first collection of stories, Apparition & Late Fictions, has recently been published by W. W. Norton. He lives in Milford, Michigan, and in Moveen West, County Clare, Ireland.

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