The Sublime

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this collection, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the Vassar Miller Prize, Holden writes in a plain, unadorned voice about the real world of divorce, death, sickness and drudgery. His poems contain few metaphors, and those he does use are firmly anchored in the everyday. "The Model Train" is a long poem about divorce: "We began systematically/ to take apart our life, like an HO-gauge/ model train set." A determined realism, grounded in the ordinary, gives Holden's work a direct, unpretentious tone that suits his often grim subject matter well. For Holden, larger social forces batter individual lives; this collection focuses on events both global and personal, moving from the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island to his teaching his son to drive a car or taking a friend's father to the hospital. In "Gulf: January 17, 1991," a couple chooses to make love rather than watch the televised carnage of the Gulf War. At its best, Holden's plainspoken poetry celebrates such small moments of personal victory. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574410204
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/1996
  • Series: Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Table of Contents

Gould 3
Hunt 7
Knowing 9
Teaching My Son to Drive 12
Spook House 13
The Third Party 15
Gulf, January 17, 1991 19
Sea World San Diego, California 21
Old Newsreel Footage 23
Three Mile Island 25
Love in the Time of Cholera 26
Taking Rocky's Father to the Hospital 28
Dry-Wall 30
The Model Train 31
Divorce 38
Emptying the House 39
December Sunset 43
Earthshine 47
School Yard 50
Grown Men Shooting Baskets 52
Karate 53
Zeno's Paradox 54
After Closing Luigi Cremona's Projective Geometry 55
Integrals 57
Pope's House 59
The Principle of Duality 61
Night Game 62
Faking 63
Western Meadowlark 65
The Sublime 67
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