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The Book of What Remains

The Book of What Remains - Benjamin Alire Sáenz I read this cover to cover this morning. There is much to love in this book. The longer pieces have a wonderful momentum impossible to convey in an excerpt. I enjoyed the voice and sense of humor in these pieces and how the shorter meditations on living in the desert were interspersed throughout the collection. ". . . Alive is a place. Alive is the new word for home." "When a man takes out the wordshe has hidden in his heart for over fifty yearsand gives them to another-- that is called a miracle."After the Dying"Sometimes I think my tongue is a desert praying for rain."Meditation on Living in the Desert No. 17Longer pieces that stood out to me: Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Frantz FanonPrayer in the GardenAfter the DyingSin música no hay vida.

Threshold Songs (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

Threshold Songs - Peter Gizzi Hey shadow world when a thing comes backcomes back unseen but felt and no longer itselfwhat thenwhat silver world mirrors tarnished lenseswhat fortune what fateand the forms not themselves but only itself the skyby water and wind shakenI am born in silvered darkHypostasis & New Year

The Poet's Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of 26 American Poets

The Poet's Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of 26 American Poets - Stephen Kuusisto Rereading this and finding different bits that resonate. Still would like to see more of the notes that led to a particular poem or series of poems. Rita Dove's section illustrates this process well.

Smoke (American Poets Continuum: 62)

Smoke - Dorianne Laux His voice, toward the end, was a soft coal breakingopen in the little stove of his heart.. . . other deaths came on, as if by permission—beloved teacher, cousin, a lover slipped from my lifethe way a rope slithers from your gripLast Words. . . Somewherea Dumpster is ratcheted open by the clawsof a black machine. All down the blocksomething inside you opens and shuts.SmokeDoesn't this part give you the chills?We nod in agreement, then settle againinto our separate worlds. In mineI'm beholden to any boy brave enoughto be stunned, to sit still and hushedwhile the grievous tones wash through himlike dusk.Stairway to HeavenSuch abundance. We are gorged, engorging, and gorgeous.Life is Beautiful

What We Carry (American Poets Continuum)

What We Carry (American Poets Continuum) - Dorianne Laux Tender, unflinching attention.Two of my favorites from this collection are Aphasia and Enough Music. Aphasiafor Honeya After the stroke all she could saywas Venezuela, pointing to the pitcherwith its bright blue rim, her one wordcommand. And when she drank the clearwater in and gave the glass back,it was Venezuela again, gratitude,maybe, or the word now simplya sigh, like the sky in the window,the pillows a cloudy definitionpropped beneath her head. Pink rosesdying on the bedside table, each fallenpetal a scrap in the shape of a countryshe'd never been to, had never onceexpressed interest in, and nowit was everywhere, in the peachshe lifted, dripping, to her lips,the white tissue in the box, her broodingchildren when they came to visit,baptized with their new name after each kiss. And at nightshe whispered it, dark narcoticin her husbands ear as he bentto listen, her hands fumblingat her buttons, her breasts,holding them up to the lightlike a gift. Venezuela, she said.Enough MusicSometimes, when we're on a long drive,and we've talked enough and listenedto enough music and stopped twice,once to eat, once to see the view,we fall into this rhythm of silence.It swings back and forth between uslike a rope over a lake.Maybe it's what we don't saythat saves us.

Facts About the Moon: Poems

Facts About the Moon - Dorianne Laux If I typed all the poems and passages that resonated with me in this collection, I could find myself transcribing the entire book. Here is one excerpt: . . . I can heareach bird's separate song, the chirt and scree,the sip, sip, sip, the dwindle and the uplift yearning,the soup's on, soup's on, let up, let it goof each individual voice, and I know I am here,in this widening light, as we all are, with them,even the most damaged among us or lonelyor nearly dead, and that for each of us there issome small sound like an unseen bird ora red bike grinding along the gravel paththat could wake us, and take us home. Morning Song

Every Riven Thing: Poems

Every Riven Thing: Poems - Christian Wiman I loved the eyesore opulenceof his five partial cars, the wonder-cluttered porchwith its oilspill plumageFive Houses DownWhat grew there grew in tangledways, minor thrivings of thorntrees, shockedcacti, tumbleweeds maddeningpast in the cages of themselves, everywhere a sense ofsharpness and thwartedness, he the lasttwisted try of it all.HermitageMild merciful amnesiathrough which I've movedas through a blue atmosphereof almost and was,how is it now,like ruins unearthed by ruin,my childhood should rise?Lord is not a WordIn the waiting room, alive together, alone together,bright hives humming inside of us, in spite of us . . .Dark Charms

The Far Mosque

The Far Mosque - Kazim Ali Why not be an acolyte of the twisting ribbon of river?Said: In the RainThese moments against the years you cannot believe.This hover of music winging down from the mountainsyou cannot believe.But here in the trees, here above the river, here as the seasonstitches itself into fog then frost, you will.Here as you unfold, unsummon, uncry, you will. Unopened, you will. Unhappen, you will.These moments against the years you will. Unmoment you will. The Return of MusicBe gray here, be broken and strafed, fully roused and drawn here,like a compass needle, find yourself bound and unintelligibleThe River's Address all night: sounds/Violet's brief engines Gallery cloud me down with the river edged with willow The River CloudWhen a Scholar passes by a closed doorShe may not be listening to the music, but to the doorWhat lingers in the letter, loosening or foundSky-name - wood-wind - syllable - soundSource

Rose (New Poets of America)

Rose (New Poets of America) - Li-Young Lee One of my favorite poems from this collection is Nocturne.". . . Tonight, something bowsthat should not bend. Something stiffens that should slide. Something, loose and not right, rakes or forges itself all night."

Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68)

Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68) - Li-Young Lee One of my favorite poems from this collection is "Praise Them."The birds don't alter space.They reveal it . . . another favorite is "Pillow." There's nothing I can't find under there.Voices in the trees, the missing pagesof the sea.Everything but sleep.*Other excerpts I like:I draw a windowand a man sitting inside it.I draw a bird in flight above the lintel.That's my picture of thinking. "A Table in the Wilderness" Is it because the hour is late/the dove sounds new "Hurry Toward Beginning" It's a little like returning to the villagewhere you were born, the sad bewildermentof discrepancies betweenwhat you remember and what's there. "Discrepancies, Happy and Sad"The moon from any window is one partwhoever's looking. "The Moon from any Window"

My Name Is Gabito/Mi Llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez/La Vida De Gabriel Garcia Marquez (English, Multilingual and Spanish Edition)

My Name Is Gabito/Mi Llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez/La Vida De Gabriel Garcia Marquez (English, Multilingual and Spanish Edition) - Monica Brown It would be a better story with excerpts from Marquez's writing integrated into the text.

A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs - Lorrie Moore Favorite excerpts:"I have always felt as hidden as the hull in a berry, as secret and fetal as the curled fortune in a cookie, and such hiddenness was not without its advantages, its egotisms, its grief-fed grandiosities." "I was all the parts: I was the lover on the platform, I was the lover on the train. And I was also the train."

Stolen Air: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam

Stolen Air: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam - Osip Mandelstam, Christian Wiman This translation sings. Some of my favorite excerpts: "Frogs, all ooze and noise, bellvowelTheir bodies into a single aural oil." (Faith)"Better to live alluvial" (Steppes)"I might have learned to hearIn any random rotting logA tree release its rings year by slow year." (Steppes) "Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,All hover and hammer,Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.It is now. It is not." (Sorrowdrawl)

The Book of Men: Poems

The Book of Men - Dorianne Laux Mick Jagger: "he's a hybrid/ of stamina and slouch." Cher's "voice/ of gravel and clover." From Juneau, "the geography of the world outside my window/ was breaking and falling and changing shape. And I woke to it and looked at it and didn't speak."Roots - what a powerful poem. No excerpting from it; it needs to be read in its entirety.

Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (Caldecott Honor Book, BCCB Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award)

Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems - Joyce Sidman, Beckie Prange Beautifully illustrated. The inclusion of brief descriptive passages in contrast with the poems is very effective.

The Enemy

The Enemy: A Book About Peace - Davide Cali, Serge Bloch This would be more accessible for younger children if pared down and told exclusively in pictures. Too much "telling" gets tucked into the interior monologue of the soldier.