Rae Armantrout has always organized her collections of poetry as though they were works in themselves. Versed brings two of these sequences together, offering readers an expanded view of the arc of her writing.
The poems in the first section, Versed, play with vice and versa, the perversity of human consciousness. They flirt with error and delusion, skating on a thin ice that inevitably cracks: "Metaphor forms / a crust / beneath which / the crevasse of each experience." Dark Matter, the second section, alludes to more than the unseen substance thought to make up the majority of mass in the universe. The invisible and unknowable are confronted directly as Armantrout's experience with cancer marks these poems with a new austerity, shot through with her signature wit and stark unsentimental thinking. Together, the poems of Versed part us from our assumptions about reality, revealing the gaps and fissures in our emotional and linguistic constructs, showing us ourselves where we are most exposed.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"The poet poses metaphysical questions with open endings: jarring moments in which the stakes are suddenly, impossibly high." - Publishers Weekly
"Poetry that conveys the invention, the wit and the force of a mind that contests all assumptions." New York Times"
"Armantrout's poetry has always been turned to the present moment. Its formal lineage is from William Carlos Williams and the Objectivists, with their enjambments of modern experience. ... Poetically, Armantrout has always aimed at knowing life by isolating it from narrative. Written under a diagnosis of cancer ("'I just called / to fill you in'"), Versed is a major and moving addition to a life's work in many-angled reflection." - Jeremy Noel-Tod, Times Literary Supplement
"Rae Armantrout is the most philosophical sort of poet, continually seeking in her collections to summon and surmise the contemporary character of subjective experience and, further, to test the limits of knowledge. ... Armantrout's writing in her latest volume, Versed, will thus be familiar to her longtime readers for its way of holding meaning (and identification) in uneasy suspension. Short lines in brief poems are polyvalent in both voicing and implication, inviting multiple readings. ...yet pleasure arises in contemplating both the options and the paradox." - Tom Griffin, Bookforum
The information about Versed shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions
From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary
The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.