Treason

Overview

Treason, Terese Svoboda's fourth book of poetry, is about betrayal: child to parent, wife to husband, a nation to its people. Short, sometimes gnomic or comic, many of the poems circle the subject of the mother as betrayer, creator and destroyer, seductive and maternal, the tie that terrorizes while it comforts.

Terese Svoboda, like Denis Johnson, publishes both fiction and poetry, and, also like Denis Johnson, is one of the best in both genres. In Treason, she is at the height ...

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Overview

Treason, Terese Svoboda's fourth book of poetry, is about betrayal: child to parent, wife to husband, a nation to its people. Short, sometimes gnomic or comic, many of the poems circle the subject of the mother as betrayer, creator and destroyer, seductive and maternal, the tie that terrorizes while it comforts.

Terese Svoboda, like Denis Johnson, publishes both fiction and poetry, and, also like Denis Johnson, is one of the best in both genres. In Treason, she is at the height of her powers where her style is becoming more identifiable (one thinks of Keats, Dickinson, James, Yeats, Plath, Ashbury), meaning this collection is political, highly poised, grand and intensely lyrical - a collection like none other. Sit back and let Treason work its terrible magic as its lines and images lead to each epiphany, each horror, and moment after moment of beauty.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moods wash through this poet and fiction writer's (Trailer Girl) fourth book of lyrics with an uncompromising, catch-me-if-you-can ineffability. "The Nickel Wife" is as inchoate as overheard conversation, with no single detail giving away entirely what the poem might be about ("You don't hear their words/ turn dull, his third glass/ empty"), and word play does a lot of work throughout (one poem derives the word "Mehta-physics" out of a child's desire to embrace an Indian nanny). Yet Svoboda has a knack for gem-like couplets, fluid free verse and curious off-rhymes linking several lines back to their sonic progenitors. Some specific themes get lost in the shuffle: a section concerned with African war and politics generally offers little more than a tragic, phantasmagoric take on the events that inspired them, but the spare "Sex and Class and Race," concerned with a parent's feelings for lost children, works toward an emotionally fulfilling conclusion without sacrificing the arch play of puns. The short "Duet" conjures up a rich set of existential ironies and effective intimations of the animal "other" while working within the traditional motif of the sea voyage: "The emptiness of the water/ means they're hiding, not/ that the dolphins can't see us./ If they look like sharks,/ imagine what we resemble." If Svoboda seems carried away by dense musicality, allusive content and gothic twists of grammar, readers will nevertheless find the waters here teeming with life. (Feb.) Forecast: Zoo Press, in Lincoln, Neb., was launched last year by editor and Columbia MFA holder Neil Azevedo, who published 11 books of poetry, fiction and drama in the press's first year, and pledges another 10 titles in 2003, and 10 yearly thereafter. With quality covers and an "advisory board" of poetry heavy-hitters, look for Zoo to be a less glossy alternative for younger writers who don't quite make it into BigSmallPressMall.com. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780970817761
  • Publisher: William Ralph Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Play 1
Bridge, Mother 5
Statues of Women That Are Neither Angels nor Allegory 6
Harpies 8
Eurydice Abandoned in the Caves of Hades 9
Cosmo Dog 10
Sharon 11
New Girl 12
Up in Flames 14
The Morning Light and Its Rings 15
Night Bird 16
Tsvetayeva 17
Woman with God 18
Parents 22
Treason 23
A Column of Whiteness 27
Crucifixion 29
Khartoum Light 31
Ghost House 32
No Picnic 33
At The Castle 34
Discovery 36
Extremist 37
Money Can't Fix It 38
When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley 39
Report from High School 40
Driving L.A. 41
The Listener Goes to Water 45
Red Fox in Series 46
Flesh or Fetish 48
The Cynic's Post 49
The Answers 51
Drink Beer until You're Handsome 52
The High Cost of Principle 53
The Comfort of TV 54
The Unconscious 55
Peacocked 56
The Horse in the Garden 57
The Plants Revolve 58
Curse the Fish into Wishing 60
Signal 61
Mr. Magneto 65
On the Blown Marquee: Hurricane 67
Who Goes with Whom? 68
Marriage Boat 69
The Silence of the Tortoise 70
Aubade 71
Nipple 72
The Nickel Wife 73
Belles Lettres 74
The Common Good 75
Endymion 76
Fitting In 77
At What Cost 78
Pornography Is Good 79
Rock Polisher 80
Gone Wave 81
No Spring 82
Sex and Class and Race 83
Release the Gifts 85
Longing to Stop Longing 86
Bridges and Air 87
Pilgrim's Progress 91
Sister Love 92
Death Stayed 93
Duet 94
Land's Cape 95
Root Canal As a Venetian Idyll 96
Anticipating Grief 97
How to Simplify Fractions 98
The Rule of K 99
Mother Bleeds from the Mouth 101
Old God 102
Agrarian Myth 103
Great Circle Earthworks, Ohio 104
Destiny Manifest 105
Healing Wind 106
Bacchae 107
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