That Was Oasis

Overview

For over three decades, Michael McFee has been, in the words of one critic, "putting together a body of work that few poets anywhere, of any age, can match for its poise, its wit and metaphorical power, its accessibility and depth of feeling." That Was Oasis, McFee's eighth full-length book of poetry, is a collection of spirited and diverse elegies. Its poems pay inventive attention to the overlooked or underappreciated, to such subjects as saltines, holding hands, killing a copperhead with a hoe, the word ...
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Overview

For over three decades, Michael McFee has been, in the words of one critic, "putting together a body of work that few poets anywhere, of any age, can match for its poise, its wit and metaphorical power, its accessibility and depth of feeling." That Was Oasis, McFee's eighth full-length book of poetry, is a collection of spirited and diverse elegies. Its poems pay inventive attention to the overlooked or underappreciated, to such subjects as saltines, holding hands, killing a copperhead with a hoe, the word "bunk," bald spots, the young Thelonious Monk, and a minor-league baseball park in Asheville, North Carolina—all of which, seen in the right light, can become unexpected oases in the quotidian.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“. . . For all their delicate wit and whimsy, these are poems with weight and heft to them, many of them sad and profound, others intensely lyrical, and all of them artful in their attention to the craft of verse. If McFee has a knack for some goofy phrases, they work so well because he folds them into otherwise tight and refined verse. That is, he takes his poetry, but not himself, seriously. This gives his writing a quiet confidence. Neither savage nor slight, McFee’s comic impulse doesn’t leave any victims in its wake. Instead he takes aim at the inevitable griefs of life, his deft touch with irony capturing the fullness of human experience. Much of this counterpoint is achieved by a (sometimes irreverent) spiritual vocabulary that infuses the work with a sense of the sacred. Tinged with melancholy, and haunted by a familiar specter of mortality, That Was Oasis possesses an urbane humor that is knowing but not analytical, wise without condescension, born of a deep love and understanding of people, their quirks and psychoses—even, or especially, the poet’s own.”—Evan Gurney, The Carolina Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887485480
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 1/11/2012
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 1,243,336
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL MCFEE was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and has taught for several decades in the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. His nine previous collections of poetry include Shinemaster (2006), Earthly (2001), and Colander (1996), all published by Carnegie Mellon. He is also the author of a prose book, The Napkin Manuscripts: Selected Essays and an Interview (2006), and the editor of several anthologies of North Carolina literature.
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Table of Contents

Q
Erasures
The Copperhead
Salt
Cigarette Urn
Old Newspaper Clipping in an Old Novel

Saltine
Poultice
Gravy
The Banjo
Pork Skins
Handful of Keys

Bunk
Tree House
Oasis
Study Hall
Holding Hands
It

Tipsy
A Hymn
Street Preacher
:
Lit
Thelonious and Archie

Unbuttonings
Mistletoe
Bald Spot
50
Hydrotherapeutical
Bibliotaph

McCormick Field

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