What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems

What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems

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by Kim Addonizio
     
 

A new collection of poetry from the author of Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award.

From lilting lines about a love that "dizzies up the brain's back room" to haunting fragments betokening death and decline in a suffering world, Kim Addonizio articulates the ways in which our connections -- to the world, to the self, to others -- endure and help make us

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Overview

A new collection of poetry from the author of Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award.

From lilting lines about a love that "dizzies up the brain's back room" to haunting fragments betokening death and decline in a suffering world, Kim Addonizio articulates the ways in which our connections -- to the world, to the self, to others -- endure and help make us whole. With irreverent honesty, in the intimate lyric tradition, Addonizio exposes raw emotions that are often only visible when truly confronting ourselves, emotions we don't want to admit -- jealousy, self-pity, fear. Urban imagery and seemingly informal vernacular give these poems a thoroughly modern feel, while the use of classical forms reminds the reader of the continuous human urge to find order in the disarray of our hearts and minds.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Unashamedly populist, and often charming, Addonizio's fourth book of verse explores the pleasures of sex, the pains of mourning, the efforts of raising a daughter and the difficulties of minor celebrity, setting all her musings and recollections in a style two parts confessional, one part stand-up comedy, and one part talking blues. Addonizio (Tell Me) makes reference both to famous bluesmen (Robert Johnson) and to their repetition-based forms. The first two parts of this five-part collection repeat single subjects as well: first the erotic life (a "31-year-old lover" "stands naked in my bedroom and nothing/ has harmed him yet"), and then the dead ("no real grief left/ for the man who was my father"). Exploring "the way of the world-/ the sorrowful versus the happy," the rest of Addonizio's book takes up lighter, more varied subjects, often with a defter hand: "This Poem Wants to Be a Rock and Roll Song So Bad" self-mockingly "captures the essence of today's youth," while "This Poem Is in Recovery" promises "I'm not going to get drunk and take off my clothes/ to sign my book for you." One poem adapts a form from Billy Collins, another responds (by name) to Sharon Olds: others recall the candid representations of (for example) Molly Peacock. Addonizio's in-your-face persona and her avoidance of technical difficulty should help her attract the wide audience she explicitly invites. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
One could say that Addonizio (whose Tell Me was a National Book Award nominee) celebrates love as "a side trip./ It wasn't love for eternity, or any such crap," whereas Anne Sexton celebrated love as a grand passion. Otherwise, their work contains many similarities. Addonizio's most recent collection looks at love in all its guises, especially those concerned with a disappointing love affair, as did Sexton's 1969 book, Love Poems. Mourning the loss of love as well as the loss of sexual attractiveness that comes with aging, both collections use slang, eroticisms, and the details of contemporary urban life as a source of imagery and a way into the mostly free-verse poems. Both poets also share a tone that is simultaneously angry, sad, and brittle, although Addonizio is neither as sharp-edged nor as passionate as Sexton. Sexton cared about everything, perhaps too much, and her life and poems tended to boil over-tragically. These poems, however, are lukewarm and "cool" at their best. Suitable for larger public libraries.-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., Maryland Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393057263
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
12/19/2003
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

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