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Veil: New and Selected Poems

Overview

Rae Armantrout, a core member of the Language writing movement, has long been known for the wit, emotion and punch of her social critique. Veil contains poems from five of Armantrout's previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems. Her work relies tenaciously on the intelligibility of language, her careful syntax bordering on plain speech and meticulously scored lines always questioning how linguistic subjects are formed. Armantrout is interested in questions of origin, and the psychology of ...
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2001 Hardcover Fair Ex-Library copy. Missing dust jacket. Has the usual library stamps, stickers or card pocket. May include the words "discard" or "withdrawn" stamped on some ... pages. Shows definite wear and perhaps considerable marking on inside. 100% money back guarantee. Ships quickly! Thanks for looking! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Rae Armantrout, a core member of the Language writing movement, has long been known for the wit, emotion and punch of her social critique. Veil contains poems from five of Armantrout's previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems. Her work relies tenaciously on the intelligibility of language, her careful syntax bordering on plain speech and meticulously scored lines always questioning how linguistic subjects are formed. Armantrout is interested in questions of origin, and the psychology of perception; she is interested in who is speaking and how we know what we know. Fans will welcome the chance to become reacquainted with her witty and lyric meditations on erotic and family issues, and new readers will be captivated by her poems' immediate availability and freshness.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The San Diego-based Armantrout is usually considered the most lyrically oriented of the language poets, eschewing the longer, process-oriented works of the San Francisco wing (now geographically scattered) of her fellow travelers. Her 1998 autobiographical work, True, demonstrated that she could write compelling, if not virtuosic, prose; Wesleyan's selection shows that as with William Carlos Williams, to whom Armantrout owes a debt in the curious torquing of her sentences it is not stylistic pyrotechnics, grandiose theoretical syntheses or encyclopedic references that drives these terrific poems, but an original and quirky turn of mind. Veil includes work from seven previous collections, including The Pretext (which Green Integer is finally issuing whole), and a section of 19 new poems clocking in at 32 pages. Those who haven't discovered the superb poems of Necromance and Made to Seem will find their unsettling vignettes utterly compelling, alert to the vaguest shades of postmodern subjecthood. The Pretext's best poems are resonant coincidings of short bursts of insight, not necessarily aimed at metaphysical revelry (as in, say, Louise Glick's work or in writers of the "ellipticist" tendency) but suggesting an ethical dimension to being: "How do I look?// meaning what/ could I pass for/ when every eye's/ a guard," she writes in "My Associates," and later, "Time's tic:/ to pitch forward/ then catch `itself'/ again.// `We're' bombing Iraq again.// If I turn on the news,/ someone will say, `We / mean business.'" The new poems (including "The Plan," which will be featured in Best American Poetry 2001) continue to avoid "wild/ posturing" for "leafy// prestidigitation" readers won't believetheir eyes. (Oct.) Forecast: Armantrout steadily gained recognition in the '90s as writers and critics of all stripes discovered her work; Veil is sure to be often assigned on campus, while the full-text Pretext will be more confined to fans. The publication of the two books together, especially given Wesleyan's high po-biz profile, should give Armantrout an extra push toward overdue award nominations. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Armantrout is usually considered the most lyrically oriented of the language poets . . . Wesleyan's selection shows that—as with William Carlos Williams, to whom Armantrout owes a debt in the curious torquing of her sentences – it is not stylistic pyrotechnics, grandiose theoretical syntheses or encyclopedic references that drive these terrific poems, but an original and quirky turn of mind." —Publishers Weekly

“This long-awaited collection proves that Armantrout is not a ‘language poet’ and is not confined by expectations of the American avant-garde, among which much of her work has appeared. In brief lines and unexpected weavings, Armantrout addresses history, love, nature, and the darkness of domesticity. This is one of the best books of poetry released in 2001."
—Bloomsbury Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819564498
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2001
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

RAE ARMANTROUT is a professor of writing in the literature department at the University of California at San Diego, and the author of eight books of poetry, including Up to Speed (2003) and Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001).
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


      EXTREMITIES


Going to the Desert
is the old term
"landscape of zeroes"
the glitter of edges
again catches the eye
to approach these swords!
lines across which
beings vanish / flare
the charmed verges of presence


GRACE


    1


a spring there
where his entry must be made
signals him on


    2


the sentence
               flies
isn't turned to salt
no stuttering


    3


    I am walking

    covey in sudden flight


GENERATION


    We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.
The years; the
undergrowth


TONE


    1


Hoping my face shows the pleasure I felt, I'm
smiling languidly. Acting. To put your mind
atrest—how odd! At first we loved because
we startled one another


    2


Not pleased to see the
rubber band, chapstick, tinfoil,
this pen, things
made for our use
But the bouquet you made
of doorknobs, long nails for
their stems sometimes
brings happiness


    3


Is it bourgeois to dwell on nuance? Or effeminate?
Or should we attend to it the way a careful animal
sniffs the wind?


    4


Say the tone of an afternoon
Kindly but sad
"The ark of the ache of it"
12 doorsteps per block


    5


In the suburbs butterflies
still spiral up the breeze
like a drawing of weightlessness.
To enter into this spirit!
But Mama's saying she's alright
"as far as breathing and all that"


    6


When you're late I turn slavish, listen hard for
your footstep. Sound that represents the end of
lack


VIEW


    Not the city lights. We want

    -the moon-

               The Moon
none of our own doing!

DRAFTS 1-38, TOLL


By Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Wesleyan University Press

Copyright © 2001 Rachel Blau DuPlessis. All rights reserved.
TAILER

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Extremities 3
Grace 4
Generation 5
Tone 6
View 8
Xenophobia 9
Anti-Short Story 12
Natural History 15
Fiction 18
Dusk 22
Double 25
Postcards 26
Single Most 27
Traveling Through The Yard 30
Admission 31
Through Walls 32
Fiction 35
Precedence 37
Home Federal 38
Engines 39
Necromance 49
Context 51
The Garden 52
Sense 53
The Book 55
Attention 56
Language of Love 58
Getting Warm 60
Disown 61
The Creation 67
Covers 69
My Problem 71
A Pulse 73
Native 75
Crossing 77
A Story 81
Visibility 82
The Daffodils 83
Confidential 84
Leaving 86
Birthmark: The Pretext 91
Writing 93
Articulation 94
Near Rhyme 96
Qualia 98
My Associates 99
Greeting 101
Sets 102
About 104
The Plot 106
Here 108
Over 110
Light 111
Statement 112
Falling: 1 115
Falling: 2 116
Theories 118
As We're Told 120
Systemic 121
Overhearing 123
The Way 125
Ongoing 126
Piecemeal 128
Rehearsal 130
Veil 131
Whole 134
Our Nature 136
Manufacturing 138
The Plan 140
Counter 142
Words 143
Inside Out 145
Purpose 147
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