This Sharpening

Overview


Poetry. Vivid, propulsive, and compelling, Ellen Doré Watson's THIS SHARPENING maps with unflinching attention the unraveling of a marriage and the persistence of longing, the pain of loss and the persistence of pleasure in motherhood, and the stuff of everyday life--whether indulging fantasies of revenge, reveling in a child's kisses, or deconstructing a first date in 25 years. "Ellen Watson is an eloquent, passionate poet; tender, wildly inventive, with the wonder of childhood and a grown woman's comic sense. ...
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Overview


Poetry. Vivid, propulsive, and compelling, Ellen Doré Watson's THIS SHARPENING maps with unflinching attention the unraveling of a marriage and the persistence of longing, the pain of loss and the persistence of pleasure in motherhood, and the stuff of everyday life--whether indulging fantasies of revenge, reveling in a child's kisses, or deconstructing a first date in 25 years. "Ellen Watson is an eloquent, passionate poet; tender, wildly inventive, with the wonder of childhood and a grown woman's comic sense. Watson's poetry is the real thing"--Robert Pinsky. "I am stupid with awe of Ellen Doré Watson. Reading her work does that to you, makes you a little drunk on the world, a little tipsy and stumble-tongued"--Claiborne Smith.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Watson's fiery third effort offers a rare combination: the propulsive rawness of performance poetry and the pathos of impending middle age. These insistent, not-quite-narrative poems describe the daughter she loves, the husband she leaves and the dangerous world through which she moves, where "a child needing new lungs / waits for another child to die." Individual lines can sound direct-"Newly in my body, blind to the lie at the core / I toy with forbidden self"-when the poems that contain them remain evasive and hard to pin down. Poems about motherhood, and divorce, paint a picture of a world both fragile and precariously coherent: to her ex, Watson (Ladder Music, 2001) writes, "I'm ashamed / we failed at forever"; about a newborn, she says, "Today is the first day everything about her / is my job." The political poems dominating the volume's close perhaps take on predictable targets ("The President // who doesn't know how to be sorry") though they do so with ferocity and confidence in the belief that the personal has always been political. The effective rapidity of these lines does deprive some poems of depth. On the whole, though, Watson's accessible subjects and clear phrasing should draw readers to her work. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932195439
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Pages: 85

Meet the Author


Director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, Ellen Doré Watson is the author of DOGGED HEARTS (Tupelo Press, 2010), THIS SHARPENING (Tupelo Press, 2006), LADDER MUSIC (Alice James Books, 2001), and WE LIVE IN BODIES (Alice James Books, 1997), as well as Broken Railings (Green Lake Chapbook Prize, Owl Creek Press, 1996). She is also the translator of twelve books from Brazilian Portuguese, including The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adélia Prado (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), and serves as Poetry Editor of The Massachusetts Review. Watson's poems have appeared widely in journals, including The American Poetry Review and The New Yorker. Among her awards and honors are the Bullis-Kizer Prize from Poetry Northwest, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and a 1990 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant. Library Journal named her one of "24 Poets for the 21st Century."
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Table of Contents

Dance with the devil 1
Free will 2
Sweet but 3
Be properly sacred 4
Interrogative 5
Another something 6
How to look at mother 7
Almost 8
Cupped palms 9
What you know (note to self) 10
Ghazal 11
Petals in the dirt 13
After the lightning bugs 17
Two months after news of trouble in paradise 18
Consider 20
Far from it 21
Go deep 22
Prophecy 23
House, the verb 24
Match in my fist 25
Moving on 26
No moss 28
Ghost disc 29
Yes from no 35
Sins of grammar & usage 37
Parentheses 38
House made larger 39
Daughter : an apology 40
Ever since 41
Inside & out 42
Also the world 43
Did you know 44
As it was 45
You get up 49
The way down 50
Forest to stone 51
Teeth to grass to branch 52
Skein 53
Rib(cage) 55
Father mine 57
Circled by water 58
No longer mine 59
Far cry 60
Between us 61
Late red 63
Need to know basis 67
Clock says 69
Earth is where 70
Say your house shudders 71
Sunday morning 72
Anniversary 73
On the lawn 74
Our species alone 76
The road of May 77
Doing is believing 78
First date in twenty-five years 79
January, looking around 80
Interviewing herself, midstream 81
Not a sweater 82
Slow rapids 83
Per se 84
Warp of door, proximity of darkening 85
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