Exulting in the speech of his native Alabama, Rodney Jones's new poems combine satire and ode, formal lament and ribald joke. James Dickey praised this poet's early work as "one of our most poignant and inescapable renditions of the agony at the historical razor's edge." Now, in his sixth book, Jones extends his emotional and stylistic range. He writes of football and feminism, of DDT and family, of crows and sex, of ink and raccoons and perpetual-motion machines. In many of these poems the southern drawl lives forever, riding on the tide of regional language, poking fun yet delighting in it.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.62(d)|
About the Author
RODNEY JONES is the author of eleven books of poems. His many honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Harper Lee Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Award, and he has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches in the low-residency MFA creative writing program at Warren Wilson College and lives in New Orleans and Southern Illinois.
Read an Excerpt
Sometimes in one summer, one would hear, In one family, four or five distinct accents: Low-country mushmouth; mountain twang
The almost r-less river talk of merchant planters Droned out and of a lazy kinship to the sleek Ambidextrous blackspeak of their former slaves
And the hated northun brogue, smuggled Back from Dee-troit to parlay credit on a half Pound of bologna and a box of Velveeta cheese.
Copyright © 1999 by Rodney Jones
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have been reading Rodney Jones since The Unborn was published in 1985 -- and there are damn few American poets that can write with the power of his humor, grace, and intelligence. I turn to his collections again and again for the freshness and unique quality of his observations -- for what I learn, for what they teach me, and for their sheer entertainment. In An Elegey for The Southern Drawl, Rodney (in my opinion) takes his lyricism to another level, and I find myself sometimes laughing out loud and in wonder at the combination of both insight and gentle, southern humor as expressed, for example, at the end of 'Piece of the Way:' '...For always inside the smallness,/There is a smaller smallness,/And always beyond the farness,/A farther farness.' 'Oh,' he/Would say--pleased with himself/For having heard that very thing/And our old truck flying uphill/Past the arboretum-'infinity,'/And hush then, and have no more/To ask that day of any father's/Cosmology, for there are limits.' This is indeed a wonderful book by one of America's best poets -- to be read as one must read Hirsch, CK Williams, Kinnell, Kunitz, Oliver, Ashberry and the other great carriers of the torch that continue to refresh and enliven poetry. A must read.