The Invention of the Kaleidoscope


About the Author:
Paisley Rekdal is assistant professor of English at the University of Utah

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The Invention of the Kaleidoscope

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About the Author:
Paisley Rekdal is assistant professor of English at the University of Utah

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Dazzling. Just as a kaleidoscope refracts and changes the object viewed, Rekdal’s subjects and protagonists are often unable to tell themselves from the stories they’ve been told. Rekdal’s news poems remind us that ‘every simple form could be converted, / beautified by being comgined.’”
Publishers Weekly

"A devastating personal reflection on love, early adulthood, political unrest, and the problems of artistic transformation. . . . dazzling."
American Poet

"A book of striking reverie . . . Rekdal's work deeply satisfies, for it witnesses and wonders over the necessary struggles of human awareness and being."
Rain Taxi

Publishers Weekly

In the two long poems and 17 shorter lyrics of her dazzling third collection, Rekdal's gaze lights variously on a Viking ship, horror movies, her Chinese grandmother's mastectomy scars and "armor on display." Rekdal (A Crash of Rhinos) writes with a strong rhythm and an eye for captivating imagery. Her speakers are often enthralled by small details such as a moth's "shoulders covered with fine and surprising fur," leaving her and her reader "looking and looking at what I won't release." The speakers of these poems find themselves similarly caught in narratives: "Every story has its archetype, doesn't it?" asks the speaker of "Post-Romantic," reflecting on the last patient of a legendary leper colony who lingers "in the belief she could not step outside." And in the excellent extended title poem, Sir David Brewster's 1830 invention is the backdrop for a narrative about a relationship in Dublin where "last week,/ they tried to set off a bomb on Grafton." Just as a kaleidoscope refracts and changes the object viewed, Rekdal's subjects and protagonists are often unable to tell themselves from the stories they've been told. Rekdal's new poems remind us that "every simple form could be converted,/ beautified by being combined." (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822959557
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 2/8/2007
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Paisley Rekdal is assistant professor of English at the University of Utah. She is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, and two books of poetry, A Crash of Rhinos and Six Girls Without Pants. She is the recipient of the Village Voice Writers on the Verge Award, the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series Award, an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review. Her poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Nerve, Ploughshares, Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Prairie Schooner, and on NPR, among other places.

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Table of Contents

Strawberry 1

The Invention of the Kaleidoscope 5

Cherry 21

A Pornography 23

The Gokstadt Ship 25

Armor on Display 27

What I Did 31

Bats 33

Song with Dog and Cemetery 34

Traumerei 39

Letter Written in Snow 41

Poisons 43

Post-Romantic 44

Moth 46

Night Scenes 48

Dear Lacuna, Dear Lard 63

Canzone 65

Rubbed 67

Ode 69

Peony 75

Acknowledgments 77

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