Who Said

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Overview

"Jennifer Michael Hecht writes delightfully tricky poems that wildly bend the sense of our language."—Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate

"Hecht's rhymes are irregular, gymnastic, pointed, and fun; she's found what so many would-be populists seek, an idiom entirely conversational yet able to sustain unexpected ideas."—The Believer

Who Said is a meditation on life's profound questions told through playful engagement with iconic poems and lyrics. Jennifer Michael Hecht's book ...

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Overview

"Jennifer Michael Hecht writes delightfully tricky poems that wildly bend the sense of our language."—Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate

"Hecht's rhymes are irregular, gymnastic, pointed, and fun; she's found what so many would-be populists seek, an idiom entirely conversational yet able to sustain unexpected ideas."—The Believer

Who Said is a meditation on life's profound questions told through playful engagement with iconic poems and lyrics. Jennifer Michael Hecht's book is a magic echo chamber wherein great poems come back to us, altered to fit the concerns of our moment. This wildly interpretive treatment of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and the rock band Nirvana is original, occasionally hilarious, and always moving.

From "Not Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening":

"Promises to keep," was a lie, he had nothing. Throughthe woods. Over the river and into the pain. It is an addict'stalk of quitting as she's smacking at a vein. He was alwaysgoing into the woods. It was he who wrote, "The only way

around is through." You'd think a shrink, but no, a poet. He saw the woods and knew. The forest is the one that holdspromises. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, they fillwith a quiet snow. Miles are traveled as we sleep. He steers

his horse off the road. Among the trees now, the blizzardis a dusting. Holes in the canopy make columns of snowstorm, lit from above. His little horse thinks it is queer. They godeeper, sky gets darker. It's the darkest night of the year . . .

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of several nonfiction titles, most recently The Happiness Myth (HarperOne). She teaches at The New School and lives in the BoCoCa neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
If there is a fourth wall in reading, Hecht has broken it: “Good people of Yeshiva University/ and the Jewish Center Museum// You ask me for a poem in conversation/ with an art installation// on the theme of Genesis” she writes in a few lines from the concluding long poem of her third book, in which Blake, Frost, Keats, and Poe are just a few of the poets Hecht riffs on throughout, turning inside out their poetics and rhetoric. ”Half in love with easeful Lenny Bruce/ is still alive. From the depth of some/ divine despair, it is 1965. It is 1975./ You were still Prince Hal and I was still.” Split into nine short sections, where the often formal poems refer to each other, this book embodies, in turn, defiance and curiosity: “My people were existential thugs./ At circus, monkeys in derbies rode us./ Muttering, Life, in a full-bodied shrug,/ at circus we swept up the sawdust.” As in “A Marriage of Love and Independence,” which mashes the Declaration of Independence with Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29,” Hecht marries precision with experiment. As she says in this ventriloquizing collection, “Precision is one answer to anything.” (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556594496
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 792,623
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Michael Hecht: Jennifer Michael Hecht earned a BA from Adelphi University and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Columbia University. Her debut volume of poetry, The Next Ancient World, won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. She teaches at The New School and lives in Brooklyn.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Poems I already know, with new content. Fun, strange, and insigh

    Poems I already know, with new content. Fun, strange, and insightful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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