Break the Glass: Book summary and reviews of Break the Glass by Jean Valentine

Break the Glass

by Jean Valentine

Break the Glass by Jean Valentine X
Break the Glass by Jean Valentine
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010
    96 pages
    Genre: Poetry

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Book Summary

In her eleventh collection, National Book Award–winning poet Jean Valentine characteristically weds a moral imperative to imaginative and linguistic leaps and bounds. Whether writing elegies, meditations on aging, or an extended homage to ancient remains, Valentine searches out ideas and explores the unexplainable. As Adrienne Rich has said of Valentine's work, "This is a poetry of the highest order, because it lets us into spaces and meanings we couldn't approach in any other way."

From "If a Person Visits Someone in a Dream, in Some Cultures the Dreamer Thanks Them":

At a hotel in another star. The rooms were cold and
damp, we were both at the desk at midnight asking if
they had any heaters. They had one heater. You are
ill, please you take it. Thank you for visiting my dream.


Can you breathe all right?
Break the glass shout
break the glass force the room
break the thread Open
the music behind the glass . . .

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Each poem shares Valentine's trademark concision and pared-down punch. Some of her severe observations can stop your breath." - Publishers Weekly

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Jean Valentine is the state poet of New York. She has earned many honors, including the National Book Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the Shelley Memorial Prize. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

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