Cover image for Holiday
Title:
Holiday
Author:
Hahn, Susan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
xi, 65 pages ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780226312750

9780226312767

9780226261386

9780226261393
Format :
Book

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PS3558.A3238 H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Holiday is a book of poems chiseled into both public and private calendar markers, where the unfinished self seeks, desperately and defiantly, resolution through either completion or negation. The poems are filled with unflinching irony and an intelligence that celebrates and laments personal, mythic, biblical, and historical events.


Summary

Holiday is a book of poems chiseled into both public and private calendar markers, where the unfinished self seeks, desperately and defiantly, resolution through either completion or negation. The poems are filled with unflinching irony and an intelligence that celebrates and laments personal, mythic, biblical, and historical events.


Author Notes

Susan Hahn is the editor of TriQuarterly magazine and coeditor of TriQuarterly Books . She is the author of three books of poems: Harriet Rubin's Mother's Wooden Hand ; Incontinence , which won the Society of Midland Authors poetry award; and Confession , all published by the University of Chicago Press.


Susan Hahn is the editor of TriQuarterly magazine and coeditor of TriQuarterly Books . She is the author of three books of poems: Harriet Rubin's Mother's Wooden Hand ; Incontinence , which won the Society of Midland Authors poetry award; and Confession , all published by the University of Chicago Press.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Hahn writes close to the bone, preternaturally attuned to the body's terrible and wondrous alchemy, especially that of life-growing, self-consuming females. In her fourth collection of poems, her most electrifying and authoritative so far, she breathes fiery life into the most hackneyed of occasions, holidays, reclaiming them as holy days, days of blood and roses, birth and mourning, rage, judgment, and atonement. Hahn questions and subverts tradition, peeling back myth and custom to expose the true emotional timbre of Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. Her takes on Memorial Day, Father's Day, even Bastille Day are stealthy and brilliant in their interiorization and inversion of acts of destruction, rebellion, and conception. At the heart of this earthy yet incisively spiritual inquiry stands "Holiday," a long and masterfully specific turn-of-the-millennium poem in which Hahn embroiders personal heartache into a weave of war, death, and the ongoing struggle over Jerusalem, then returns to the source, Genesis, and its crowning of the frenzy of creation with, what else, a holiday. Hahn is a poet ascending. Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Using minimal punctuation and loosely musical lines, Hahn's work is comfortably Merwin-esque, with an instinct for last impressions that confidently keeps this deft lyric exploration of holy days days of writing, birthing, dying; days of pagan and Christian and political celebration afloat. The book's final poem, a seven-part "swan song" about birthdays, is one of the strongest in the collection. Inspired in part by the familiar "Monday's child" rhyme, the song-poem includes refrains that sew it together unobtrusively, yet firmly: In one section "a suffering cankers the tongue and the world/ a thousand years ago was pocked with lesions," while in another, "a lovely silence beds the tongue and the world/ a thousand years ago was more/ than a small ornament...." Yet the artificial diction, for all its accomplishment, doesn't quite come off. In an Ash Wednesday poem, "The Woman Who Became All Ash," the narrator reports that "She's dug// sores into her smooth thighs/ as she delves for salvation./ Awaits deliverance like the others/ in the upheaval of these hours." The nice off-rhyme in the final couplet isn't enough to ground such observations. In other lyrics here a fertile woman is likened to a flower, a writer and mother to a larva that appears to die in becoming a moth metaphors that aim to root this collection to ancient themes and rituals, but seem a little too far from our actual world to work. (Nov.) Forecast: Hahn is the editor of TriQuarterly magazine and co-editor of TriQuarterly Books (published through Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.) so she is well known within the poetry world. This is Hahn's fourth book, and fourth published within the last 10 years by the nearby Univ. of Chicago press; it should do well regionally. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

Hahn writes close to the bone, preternaturally attuned to the body's terrible and wondrous alchemy, especially that of life-growing, self-consuming females. In her fourth collection of poems, her most electrifying and authoritative so far, she breathes fiery life into the most hackneyed of occasions, holidays, reclaiming them as holy days, days of blood and roses, birth and mourning, rage, judgment, and atonement. Hahn questions and subverts tradition, peeling back myth and custom to expose the true emotional timbre of Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. Her takes on Memorial Day, Father's Day, even Bastille Day are stealthy and brilliant in their interiorization and inversion of acts of destruction, rebellion, and conception. At the heart of this earthy yet incisively spiritual inquiry stands "Holiday," a long and masterfully specific turn-of-the-millennium poem in which Hahn embroiders personal heartache into a weave of war, death, and the ongoing struggle over Jerusalem, then returns to the source, Genesis, and its crowning of the frenzy of creation with, what else, a holiday. Hahn is a poet ascending. Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Using minimal punctuation and loosely musical lines, Hahn's work is comfortably Merwin-esque, with an instinct for last impressions that confidently keeps this deft lyric exploration of holy days days of writing, birthing, dying; days of pagan and Christian and political celebration afloat. The book's final poem, a seven-part "swan song" about birthdays, is one of the strongest in the collection. Inspired in part by the familiar "Monday's child" rhyme, the song-poem includes refrains that sew it together unobtrusively, yet firmly: In one section "a suffering cankers the tongue and the world/ a thousand years ago was pocked with lesions," while in another, "a lovely silence beds the tongue and the world/ a thousand years ago was more/ than a small ornament...." Yet the artificial diction, for all its accomplishment, doesn't quite come off. In an Ash Wednesday poem, "The Woman Who Became All Ash," the narrator reports that "She's dug// sores into her smooth thighs/ as she delves for salvation./ Awaits deliverance like the others/ in the upheaval of these hours." The nice off-rhyme in the final couplet isn't enough to ground such observations. In other lyrics here a fertile woman is likened to a flower, a writer and mother to a larva that appears to die in becoming a moth metaphors that aim to root this collection to ancient themes and rituals, but seem a little too far from our actual world to work. (Nov.) Forecast: Hahn is the editor of TriQuarterly magazine and co-editor of TriQuarterly Books (published through Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.) so she is well known within the poetry world. This is Hahn's fourth book, and fourth published within the last 10 years by the nearby Univ. of Chicago press; it should do well regionally. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Table of Contents

Baggage The Woman Who Loved Halloween
The Woman Who Hated Thanks, Giving
The Woman Who Was Confused by Christmas
The Woman Who Hated New Year's Eve Her Purse, at the Winter Solstice
The Woman Who Hated Valentine's Day
The Woman Who Became All Ash
The Woman Who Couldn't Be Good or Right The Twisted Girl of Mid-April
The Woman Whose Mother Became "The" Moth Shame
The Woman Who Prayed to Separate Herself from Memory Evolution Anthem Jail Fever trip Holiday
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X Surcease Swan Song of the Sad Woman at the Birth of the Millennium
Baggage The Woman Who Loved Halloween
The Woman Who Hated Thanks, Giving
The Woman Who Was Confused by Christmas
The Woman Who Hated New Year's Eve Her Purse, at the Winter Solstice
The Woman Who Hated Valentine's Day
The Woman Who Became All Ash
The Woman Who Couldn't Be Good or Right The Twisted Girl of Mid-April
The Woman Whose Mother Became "The" Moth Shame
The Woman Who Prayed to Separate Herself from Memory Evolution Anthem Jail Fever trip Holiday
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X Surcease Swan Song of the Sad Woman at the Birth of the Millennium