Small Hours

Small Hours

by Ilyse Kusnetz

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By turns poignant and hopeful, raging and joyful, "Small Hours" interweaves the personal and the political, connecting family history to moments within a larger historical arc of injustice and oppression. The poems in this collection bear witness to those whose stories have fallen into the fractures of history and been lost, their “mouths opening / below earth, their bodies / burning like forbidden books,” about whom “we know almost nothing.” These poems ask us to recall the tyrants of the past as similar abuses of power repeat themselves in the present. Forgiveness and understanding vie with the memory of events that can never be redressed, only remembered, and sometimes redeemed.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149908868
Publisher: Truman State University Press
Publication date: 12/19/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 96
File size: 730 KB

About the Author

Poet and journalist Ilyse Kusnetz earned her MA in creative writing from Syracuse University and her PhD in contemporary feminist and post-colonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry has appeared in "Crab Orchard Review", "The Cincinnati Review", "Crazyhorse", "Stone Canoe", "Rattle", and other journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, "The Gravity of Falling", was published in 2006. She teaches at Valencia College and is married to the poet Brian Turner.

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Small Hours 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SiobhanMFallon More than 1 year ago
Ilyse Kusnetz’s Small Hours is riveting. The collection is full of little known (and often bizarre) episodes in history, each told in gut-wrenching, perfectly crafted poems, each a jewel. My head is filled with images of match girls leaning over chemical vats, dipping the splinters of wood, then licking the sulfur to make the tips stiff, or the bones of Rontgen's wife's hand caught in X-ray (“…the first X-ray ever created was proof of his love:/ Portrait of a hand with wedding ring, diamond and band/ like Saturn perched on her finger, each joint a moon”), or the painting of Jan Provoost’s Annunciation with its ungainly dove (“What can I say? You wanted/ doves in their alluvial grace,/ a fanfare of trumpets? Let’s face it./ Sometimes it’s the chicken / who brings us the news—every flawed,/ graceless thing we must/ take into ourselves and transform.”) Kusnetz tackles everything from dementia, concentration camps, sadistic Roman emperors, the theft of Galileo's finger. Her searing poetry shows that even the darkest times have moments of incredible light. A must read.