Earnest, Earnest?: Poems

Earnest, Earnest?: Poems

by Eleanor Boudreau

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Overview

In Earnest, Earnest?, the speaker, Eleanor, writes postcards to her on-again-off-again lover, Earnest. The fact that her lover’s name is Earnest and that their relationship is fraught, raises questions of sincerity and irony, and whether both can be present at the same time. While Earnest can be read literally as Eleanor’s lover, he is best understood as another side of the poet’s self. The ambiguity at play in Earnest, Earnest? is embodied in the form of the “Earnest Postcards” that structure the book—these postcards are experimental in their use of images and formal in their dialogue with the sonnet. Thus, Earnest, Earnest? is a question of tone, address, and form.
 
from "You Marry a Man"

You marry a man and you think his blood is red.
Turns out it’s not, it’s purple.
 
This doesn’t matter, is not why you married him,
but you did—you thought his blood was red.
 
And he has never read Shakespeare, knows nothing
of the quality of mercy, but he reminds you every
day that you are not Shakespeare.
 
You know you’re not Shakespeare, Eleanor, he says.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822987895
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 09/08/2020
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 80
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Eleanor Boudreau is a poet who has worked as a dry-cleaner and as a radio reporter. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Barrow Street, Waxwing, Willow Springs, FIELD, Copper Nickel, and other journals. Currently, she is finishing her PhD and teaching creative writing at Florida State University.

Read an Excerpt

from You Marry a Man
You marry a man and you think his blood is red.
Turns out it’s not, it’s purple.
 
This doesn’t matter, is not why you married him,
but you did—you thought his blood was red.
 
And he has never read Shakespeare, knows nothing
of the quality of mercy, but he reminds you every
day that you are not Shakespeare.
 
You know you’re not Shakespeare, Eleanor, he says.
 

Table of Contents

Contents The Heart Is Not a Synonym for the Chest [EARNEST POSTCARD] One Thousand Words on Regret The Plenum Historically, We Haven’t Taken Any Prisoners Scatter Plot [EARNEST POSTCARD] Bird’s-Eye View Calm Down What You Are Eating as Metaphor for What You Want Right Now Wedding Planning You Marry a Man Sonnet: Boston Proper The Ballad of Eleanor and Earnest If Tony Hoagland Was Right Pantoum for Earnest [EARNEST POSTCARD] On Being and Dry-Cleaning: A Series of Steps [EARNEST POSTCARD] In the Cartoon Version of Your Life, Birds Sing in English Notes Acknowledgments

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