The Exchange: Poems

The Exchange: Poems

by Sophie Cabot Black


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"Black's voice is startling, jagged and implacable, and [her poetry] is steep, precipitous and dazzling." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

* A finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry *

I took care of myself. I took care

Of myself, thinking much too often

I took care of someone else.

Everything feels like payment.

—from "Pay Attention"

In The Exchange, Sophie Cabot Black explores the surprising interplay between mortality and money, between the next world and this one, between the language of disease and the language of finance. Following a beloved friend through a long illness and eventual loss, these poems confront in stark emotion the aftermath, even as the outside world—the world of debts paid and collected, of power and dominion—intrudes. What is gained and what is sacrificed, and how can those profits and losses be measured when the currency involved is love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555976415
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Sophie Cabot Black is the author of two previous poetry collections: The Descent, winner of the Connecticut Book Award, and The Misunderstanding of Nature, winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. She lives in New York City and in New England.

Table of Contents

Afterlife 3


Already Broken 7

Diagnosis 8

Biopsy 9

Chemotherapy 10

Settling 11

The Son 12

Somewhere in New Jersey is the Center 13

High Finance 14

What You Haw to Tell 15

Again the Hospital 16

When it Comes 17

Gate 18

Sheetrock 20

Real Estate 21

Private Equity 22

To Market 23

Love Poem 24

Where We Are Being What We Made 25

Summit 26

Seeking Alpha 27

Closer 28


Bird at a Window 31

Atheism 32

Analysis 33

Eat What You Kill 34

Enough 35

The Suit 36

Given Pornography 37

Online Again 39

Turning Away 40

Preservation of Capital 41

That Which Gathers Us in 42

Spread 43

What You Wait For 44

Finally He Speaks About Dying 46

When I Call You 47

Lucy Made a Mask in Rehab 48

Dark Harbor 49

Moving in the Almost 50

The One Turn that Makes the New World 51

Dominion Over the Larger Animal 52

Looking for Bataille 53

Statue of Victory Halfway Up the Stair 54

As Disciple 55

From Stone 56

Accident 57

Leverage 58

Getting to the End 59

Man Overboard 60

It Never Goes Away 61

You Said it Was Not 62

Bird Left Behind 63

Palms Facing Out and Away from the Body 64

I Have Talked Too Much 66

Our House 67

Pay Attention 68

Unbound 71

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The Exchange: Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Leisha-douglas More than 1 year ago
It is no surprise that Sophie Cabot Black's third collection is as wonderfully crafted as the first two books. She is a master of the acute in both the elegiac and lyrical poetry which comprise the bulk of the work in this collection. For readers who like to savor language and imagery , this is a gourmet feast.