Cover image for Women of America : poems
Title:
Women of America : poems
Author:
Smith, Charlie, 1947-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
95 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Eastern forests -- There's trouble everywhere -- What this stands for -- Women of America -- Monkeys in white satin -- On not buying a cellphone -- Recall -- In July -- Shame -- My wild nights -- After Haydn -- Compared to what -- In Bahia Honda -- Modern art -- "Dem bones" -- I mean everything I say -- Late days -- Pursued by love's demons -- Solitude -- Old business -- Landscapes -- Talking to whom -- Each night I enter a terrible silence -- Refuge -- Call girls -- The night won't stop it -- Creation rites -- Someone still capable of change -- A selection process -- Excursion -- Portents -- The light shining now -- Still the moment intends to replace us -- Religious art -- Arrangements -- Magnificat -- Indications -- Ceremonies -- Passing through -- Sprung -- Material essential to the production -- True art -- Towns along the river -- Dusk at Homer's -- Day 7/24 -- Common knowledge -- Rain West of Marfa -- New Jersey transit -- The moment preceding -- Little paradise -- Old nobodies traveling alone -- The wilderness -- Dusk, like the Messiah.
ISBN:
9780393058154
Format :
Book

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PS3569.M5163 W66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

"Seldom have loss, anger, and self-loathing been so cutting or vividly portrayed." "Library Journal"


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Having run through the exigencies and vicissitudes of Heroin, Smith in this sixth collection turns his bittersweet voice toward love, depicted here as similar to but less dependable than a drug fix, or a meal: "We are tired of arguing about who is most hurt. Better toddle off for a little Chinese." Early in the volume, Smith calls love "dark innuendo"; romance here is painful, beautiful and bodes doom. The poems suggest, murmur and sigh, but they do not wail: "wind/ conveying some new way of life-or nothing important-/ across town, it touches you." The poet of these nearly 50 short lyric narratives is preoccupied by his sense that life is meaningless and love is constructed, to the point where lost loves loom large as the title's mock catch-all. The problem is, since sweet resignation and detachment mark the book most deeply, it is unclear when Smith is being facetious: "among the bean fields of California/ I thought of women and/ preserved this huge interior life for them." As it's presented in this collection, the interior life is intentionally not huge-and not about to win over a potential mate. Despite some inchoate stirrings toward furtherance ("Hard to forget what once we had/ but I'd rather,// rather move on"), the book's pervasive, skillfully slack hopelessness finally collapses into a "nervous, complex/ distancing." (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In his sixth collection, novelist and poet Smith (Before and After; Heroin and Other Poems) moves away from a focus on his family and into a world of lost loves and shattered connections (with a few pieces about his parents near the end, which are among the weakest in the book). His primary focus here is the world of his own making, "the dark innuendo everyone calls a love life." Even those most lyrical moments are fleeting; "A quiet joy appears amid loneliness, doesn't/ replace it," he warns. Seldom have loss, anger, and self-loathing been so cutting or vividly portrayed. At the same time, he manages to avoid every possible pitfall of confessional poetry, giving almost no particulars of his own life and instead hitting upon those universal images for which each reader must fill in the blanks. These poems are dense, many requiring several readings, but they're rewarding. What he refers to as the "Horror at the heart/ of beauty" may well come back to haunt us all. Highly recommended.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.