Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems

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The editor of the anthology POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY (Norton, 1994) and the author of six earlier books of poetry, Hoover is credited with helping expand the possiblities for the ironic perspective in American verse. Seeming to find little or no contradiciton between pop irony and lyrical intensity, and often shifting between the two with a remarkable freedom, Hoover writes poems that, according to Ron Padgett, glow with the pleasures of surprise. The selected poems are an ideal starting-place for readers new ...
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Overview


The editor of the anthology POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY (Norton, 1994) and the author of six earlier books of poetry, Hoover is credited with helping expand the possiblities for the ironic perspective in American verse. Seeming to find little or no contradiciton between pop irony and lyrical intensity, and often shifting between the two with a remarkable freedom, Hoover writes poems that, according to Ron Padgett, glow with the pleasures of surprise. The selected poems are an ideal starting-place for readers new to Hoover, while the spare and resonant new poems offer his fans yet another slant in a fascinating trajectory.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Well-known for editing the Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry as well as the literary journal New American Writing, Hoover is also the author of five books of poems from which he here makes a cohesive selection, and adds new work. His aesthetic fuses the chatty observational wisdom of the New York School with a postmodern skepticism of linguistic transcendence ("intense bits/ of emotional/ baggage constant/ as genres"), which most often leads to a kind of familiar po-mo lament: "There's/ no `new meaning.'/ Old words circle/ beyond our contriving." Unlike anything envisioned by the Romantics, this is a world "designed by Michael Jackson," where Madonna and the Serbs lure our attentions away from modernist texts like Finnegans Wake--which is to say, the poems are deeply informed by the culture wars inaugurated in the '80s. One Hoover response is to playfully rebel against the literature, whether recommending Conrad's Heart of Darkness after one's finished watching I Love Lucy or claiming to have "sat on the face of T.S. Eliot / and squirmed my butt around." In the new poems, Hoover seems to be looking for a way to articulate a more positivist poetic, whether it be through affirmative eros ("love's/ singular language/ has ten/ tongues") or beauty: "I listen all day/ to Miles Davis play,/ beautifully and/ clearly, `So Near,/ So Far'." Whether or not Hoover finds a way out of the questions the poems ask, the questioning itself remains genuine and open-ended. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883689872
  • Publisher: Talisman House, Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 123
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.01 (d)

Meet the Author


Paul Hoover is the author of eleven books of poetry. He is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton, 1994) and, with Maxine Chernoff, the annual literary magazine NEW AMERICAN WRITING. His collection of literary essays, Fables of Representation, was published in the Poets on Poetry series of University of Michigan Press in 2004. He teaches at San Francisco State University.
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Table of Contents

Local Knowledge 1
Totem and Shadow 4
The System 7
In Which City 10
Family Romance 13
At Unrest 16
Theoretical People 18
Reflection's Edge 20
Surface Gods 22
Canticus Narcissus 24
In the Landing Zone 26
In a Shadow Gate 29
Stationary Journey 31
Red Lilies 32
Baseball 34
Voices Off 37
Night of the Hunter 39
Desire 41
The German Version 44
Impossible Object 48
As Quietly as Distant 53
The Garden 55
Section 24 57
Section 25 63
Section 30 66
Long History of the Short Poem 70
Compared to What 72
Tribal Item 73
The Orphanage Florist 75
Heart of Darkness 78
Sunlight in Vermont 82
Meyer is a Bum 96
By Their Love Are Grown Cosmographers 97
It Never Existed. It Remains 97
Clem's Farm 98
In a Suburb of the Spirit 98
The School for Objects 99
Trumpet Voluntary 99
Go into Your Homes 100
Geometric Pressure 100
Secret and a Theme 101
Intolerant Conversation 101
Industrial Lake, Indiana 102
Boston to Chicago 102
After Miss Graven's Remarks 103
We've Decided 103
At the Music Box 104
Poems We Can Understand 106
The Chinese Notebook 107
Heart's Ease 111
Words My Daughter Asked For 112
Written in Juice of Lemon 115
Somebody Talks a Lot 117
Piano for Eighty-Eight Hands 119
The Nature Poem 120
On History 123
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2001

    interesting cover design

    what we have here is the new and selected collection from the editor of norton's postmodern anthology (and that should tell you something about the poems inside). It's a good collection, though his new poems i found to be much weaker than his older work. There is an excerpt from his long poem 'Novel', which i feel is a must read. The poem's taken from his collection _Viridian_ were wonderful, i haven't read viridian, but i'm sure it is an awesome collection of poems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2000

    Challenging linguistic truth

    Paul Hoover's poems have the rare ability to surprise the reader with truth. How the poems, particularly the new ones, achieve this effect is through Hoover's scrupulous ear, eye, and mind. We are reminded again and again of the connectedness of inner and outer worlds and how a poet's synthesizing intelligence can render this complex view (and method) with grace.

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