The Ha-Ha: Poems

The Ha-Ha: Poems

5.0 2
by David Kirby
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A feature of English landscape architecture, a ha-ha is a wall at the bottom of a ditch; its purpose is to allow the presence of cows and sheep on one's lawn, but at an agreeable distance and with none of the malodorous unsightliness that proximity would bring. Similarly, The Ha-Ha, the latest offering from poet David Kirby, is both an exploration of the ways in

See more details below

Overview

A feature of English landscape architecture, a ha-ha is a wall at the bottom of a ditch; its purpose is to allow the presence of cows and sheep on one's lawn, but at an agreeable distance and with none of the malodorous unsightliness that proximity would bring. Similarly, The Ha-Ha, the latest offering from poet David Kirby, is both an exploration of the ways in which the mind invites chaos yet keeps it at a distance and an apologia for humor, reflecting Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh's observation that tragedy is merely underdeveloped comedy. Embracing wit, wide-ranging scholarship, and an equal love of travel as well as the pleasures of home, The Ha-Ha depicts comedy as a radical form of intelligence, a way of thinking that just happens to be noisy and rumbustious.

We are staying with Barbara's parents on Oahu, and the first night we're there, I notice an angry-looking man is staring at me

out of the neighbor's upstairs window and mumbling something, but the second night I realize that it's that poster of Bo Diddley

from the famous Port Arthur concert, and there's a phone wirein front of his face that bobs up and down when the trade winds blow,

which they do constantly, making it seem as though Mr. Diddley is saying something to me.

From "The Ha-Ha, Part I: The Tao of Bo Diddley" published in The Ha-Ha: Poems by David Kirby. Copyright © 2003 by David Kirby. All rights reserved.

- See more at: http://lsupress.org/books/detail/the-ha-ha/#sthash.g8vUSeuN.dpuf

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
The stream-of-consciousness and jazz-based rhythms of Kerouac and Ginsberg meet the surreal, philosophical musings of Wallace Stevens, with an occasional dose of cathartic confessionalism a la Robert Lowell. — Andy Brumer
Library Journal
Fueled by Kirby's (English, Florida State Univ.) use of lengthy lines, his preference for enjambment, and his tendency toward free association, these high-energy poems leave one breathless. Long sentences, including some that run for 24 lines, and the brisk conversational tone hasten the reader along. A combination of anecdotes, repartee, and verbal wit, the best poems come together in an absurd yet logical conclusion, as in "A Man Like You but Older," in which the poet spies on his younger self, ultimately wishing he could have known then what he knows now. Verbal misunderstandings, like those in "France/Francine's Begonias," and puns abound. For instance, the title indicates a fence to keep livestock at a distance from the house just as it indicates laughter, with Kirby adding his own spin that the ha-ha is a structure against chaos as is perhaps poetry. Resembling both a Jay Leno monolog and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the poems in Kirby's 21st book are highly recommended for all libraries. [Kirby is a longtime LJ reviewer.-Ed.]-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807128947
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2003
Series:
Southern Messenger Poetry Ser.
Pages:
55
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >