Wise Poison: Poems

Overview

"I love these intense, brilliantly crafted poems. Wise Poison is perfectly pitched and uniquely American, a beautiful, angry, heartbreaking, celebratory, and powerful book."—Thomas Lux

In Wise Poison David Rivard gives us a mind hard at work on the most vital questions: Who am I? What do I love? What can be trusted? At issue in these passionate arguments with the self are the "curious forces" that surround us in every part of our lives. In an airport lounge in the Yucatán, in ...

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Overview

"I love these intense, brilliantly crafted poems. Wise Poison is perfectly pitched and uniquely American, a beautiful, angry, heartbreaking, celebratory, and powerful book."—Thomas Lux

In Wise Poison David Rivard gives us a mind hard at work on the most vital questions: Who am I? What do I love? What can be trusted? At issue in these passionate arguments with the self are the "curious forces" that surround us in every part of our lives. In an airport lounge in the Yucatán, in the song of a street musician, or simply in the pulsing of skin along the neck, Rivard finds connections and doubt, and reason for both comfort and rage.

"The poems in David Rivard's compelling and delicious new book do not smother you with grandiosity nor come creeping towards you bowed down in self-effacement. These are poems of a human scale; they are complicated, muscled with irony, and their wonderful voice is startling in its power to move, interest, delight."—Lynn Emanuel

David Rivard's first book, Torque, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and was published in the Pitt Poetry Series. Wise Poison is the recipient of the 1996 James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Tufts University and in the M.F.A. Writing Progarm at Vermont College.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I love these intense, brilliantly crafted poems. Wise Poison is perfectly pitched and uniquely American, a beautiful, angry, heartbreaking, celebratory, and powerful book."—Thomas Lux

"The poems in David Rivard's compelling and delicious new book do not smother you with grandiosity nor come creeping towards you bowed down in self-effacement. These are poems of a human scale; they are complicated, muscled with irony, and their wonderful voice is startling in its power to move, interest, delight."—Lynn Emanuel

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his first collection, Torque, David Rivard proved that he had a storyteller's ear and an eye for gritty detail. In Wise Poison, winner of the 1996 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, Rivard relies less on setting or personae, more on his own delicate wit and sheer poetic nerve (in consecutive poems, he steals titles from Baudelaire and the country-western great Merle Travis). The gamble pays off. With this collection, Rivard has come into a truly American voice, at once eccentric and universal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555972479
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Pages: 74
  • Lexile: 1310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

David Rivard's previous book, Torque, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Among his many awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council; a Pushcard Prize, and the Celia B. Wagner award from the Poetry Society of America. He teaches at Tufts University and in the M.F.A. in Writing Program at Vermont College.

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Table of Contents

Camus
Emergency Exit 3
Welcome, Fear 5
Self-Portrait 7
I Am a Pilgrim & a Stranger 9
Any Where Out of the World 11
What Kind of Times? 13
Curious Forces 14
The Debt 16
Summons 18
Against Gravity 19
Hush & Taunt 25
Shy 27
Document Processing 29
The Pastoral Zone 32
Version Tucson 34
It Could Be 36
Baby Vallejo 38
Mercy, Mercy 40
Change My Evil Ways 41
Little Wing 42
Big Mood Swing 44
God the Broken Lock 49
Earth to Tell of the Beasts 51
Against Recovery 53
C'e Un'altra Possibilita 55
Thin Bone & Striped Feathers 57
Pilgrim Lake/John Logan 59
Jihad 61
Fado 63
And Continuing 65
Later History 67
Notes 69
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