This collection is a love letter to language with poems that are drunk and filled with references to the hyperkinetic world of the twenty-first century. Yet Zeus and Hera tangle with Leda on the interstate; Ava Gardner becomes a Hindu princess; and Shiva, the Destroyer, reigns over all. English is the primary god here, with its huge vocabulary and omnivorous gluttony for new words, yet the mystery of the alphabet is behind everything, a funky puppet masterwho can make a new world out of nothing.
About the Author
Barbara Hamby is writer-in-residence at Florida State University. She is the author of two chapbooks and three previous poetry collections: The Alphabet of Desire; Delirium; and Babel, winner of the 2003 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including the Paris Review, the Iowa Review, the Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry 2000.
Table of ContentsPart I Ode to Anglo Saxon, Film Noir, and the Hundred Thousand Anxieties that Plague Me like Demons in a Medieval Christian Allegory Who Do Mambo Working at Pam-Pam’s Ode on Laundry, Lester Young, and Your Last Letter 9 Sonnets from the Psalms A Birdman to You, Baby Ode to Airheads, Hairdos, Trains to and from Paris Mambo Cadillac O’ahu Mambo Part II - Lingo Sonnets Aloha, Dad, Au Revoir, Goodbye Betty Boop’s Bebop Caliban Passes His Driving Test on the Ninth Try Desdemona Resuscitated by Sir John Falstaff, EMT Elizabeth Cady Stanton Writes the Dictionary Friday Slams Crusoe Ganymede’s Dream of Rosalind Hope Revived: The Road to Baghdad I Find an Entrance to Hell Jane Austen Rewrites Hamlet with Interruptions by Russian Poets Karen, David, and I Stop across the Street from the Pitti Palace Lysistrata Lectures the Gods Mr. Nollie Hinton Talks to Me while I Test-Drive His 1955 Studebaker Nietzsche Explains the Übermensch to Lois Lane Olive Oyl Thinks about Quantum Theory Punk Puck or Robin Goodfellow with Fender Stratocaster Queen Mab Blues or Quick, Run for Cover, She’s Reading Horace Again Raskolnikov Rates the Plays So Says Cleopatra, Reincarnated as a Hippie Chick, circa 1967 Titus Woos Titania Ulysses Talks with Freud about the Underworld Venus and Dogsbody, a Match Made in New Jersey Whatever orAs You Like It, Part Two Xerox My Heart, Three-Headed Dog Yorick’s Soliloquy Zeus, It’s Your Leda, Sweetie Pie Part III All-Night Lingo Tango Ode on Dictionaries Ode to Odor, Ardor, and the Queen’s Chickabobboo Ode to Diagramming Sentences in Eighth-Grade English Class with Moonlight, Drugs, and Stars Ode on My 45s, Insomnia, and My Poststructuralist Superego Ode to Fear Ode on Cake, Catcalls, Eggs with a Minor Scary Reference to the End of the World Ode to Little Boys Ode to White Peaches, Pennies, Planets, and Bijou, the Dog Ode on the Letter M Notes Acknowledgments
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