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Tea
     

Tea

by D.A. Powell
 
Tea is a series of poems about survival. "To survive is an astonishing gift," D. A. Powell writes. "The price of that gift is memory." Visually arresting, Tea is an experimental poem-cycle with traditional formal techniques built into its "wild" surface.

The first section consists of portraits of young men, friends or former lovers, who have contracted or have died

Overview

Tea is a series of poems about survival. "To survive is an astonishing gift," D. A. Powell writes. "The price of that gift is memory." Visually arresting, Tea is an experimental poem-cycle with traditional formal techniques built into its "wild" surface.

The first section consists of portraits of young men, friends or former lovers, who have contracted or have died of AIDS. Pushing into the margins of culture as well as of the page, Powell combines all manner of subject and tone to create a work part memory play, part episodic novel, part funny pages -- even part dance. Poems sing from the mouths of actor Sal Mineo, Batman's sidekick Robin, and the little girl from The Exorcist. A fugue for a disco singer, a letter to the poet's dog, an ode to the 1980s and a confession of love to a public toilet vibrate between the comic and the tragic. Like its central metaphor, Tea is gossipy, swirling, steamy, and sober.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fine debut . . . Powell's discoed-out flippancy and attuned formalism are like the kiss of life to that age-old pair of sleeping beauties, sex and death . . . the poems record a fractured existence, full of foreboding desire and disappearance." --Publishers Weekly

"Powell has done something genuinely striking: he has invented a new prosodic instrument and played it almost flawlessly . . . This is a brash, gutsy, entertaining and moving first book. Keep it on the living room table."--Lambda Book Report

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819563347
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
02/01/1998
Series:
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
88
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

when I leave he is a discarded chrysalis. what I have become: [change]
I'll take you to paradise

What People are Saying About This

Robert Hass
"D. A. Powell's Tea is on the move, it reads like a handheld camera. It's writing that's willing to be as strange as it needs to be to get at experience, and the effect is both disturbing and exhilarating."

Meet the Author

D. A. POWELL is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and recipient of a 1997 Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation. He lives in San Francisco. His newest collection is Lunch.

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