What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems

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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 that our connections—to the world, to self, and to others—endure and help make us whole.


About the Author:
: Kim Addonizio lives in ...

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What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems

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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 that our connections—to the world, to self, and to others—endure and help make us whole.


About the Author:
: Kim Addonizio lives in Oakland, California.

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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
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

First Kiss 19
Stolen Moments 20
Blues for Dante Alighieri 21
What Was 22
So What 24
31-Year-Old Lover 25
Muse 27
You Don't Know What Love Is 29
Blues for Roberto 30
Ever After: A Paradelle 31
Sonnenizio on a Line from Drayton 33
Ex-boyfriends 34
Dance 36
Death Poem 41
Scary Movies 42
Dead Girls 45
Echo and Narcissus 47
Eating Together 49
Cat Poem 50
Noir 52
February 14 55
And Then I Woke Up 57
In Dreams 59
The Work 61
Fever Blues 63
Washing 65
It 69
Knowledge 71
California Street 72
The Way of the World 73
Dear Sir or Madam 75
One Nation Under God 77
Chicken 80
Missing Boy Blues 82
Human Nature 83
Lush Life 87
Bad Girl 89
'Round Midnight 91
South of the Border 93
Body and Soul 95
Blues for Robert Johnson 97
This Poem Wants to Be a Rock and Roll Song So Bad 98
Bugdom 100
This Poem Is In Recovery 103
Dear Reader 109
On Knocking Over My Glass While Reading Sharon Olds 111
Fuck 113
Augury 116
Proverbial 118
Ceiling 119
Conversation 121
Romance 123
Miniatures 125
Kisses 127
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2012

    This book inspired me so much. I agree with the other reviewer:

    This book inspired me so much. I agree with the other reviewer: this book induces the creativity to write. Addinizio became my favorite poet when I read this book. Because of her, I was able to discover that contemporary poetic voices can be relevant to how I feel. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    Makes you want to write

    Reading these poems was like reading about every relationship I'd ever been in. Addonizio, one of my favorite poets no contest, has such an edge to her, she writes things you never want to say out loud, which is probably why I adore her like I do. Read this short book and I promise you'll be hooked.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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