Cover image for Keeping my name
Keeping my name
Tufariello, Catherine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lubbock : Texas Tech University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 79 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3620.U36 K44 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist * Booklist Editors' Choice 2004"In immaculate, subtly musical meter and rhyme, Tufariello conjures scenes of the city, modern history, marriage and family, love in the Italian Renaissance, and the women of the Bible that fully engage the mind and the heart."--Booklist"For formalists, this author comes as a gift, a poet fully in charge of her forms, subtle and controlled. She embraces the villanele, Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets, the measured quatrain, rhymed couplets. . .what excites the reader is watching Tufariello use the limits of these traditions to stretch her creativity."--Camille-Yvette Welsch, ForeWord Magazine"Tufariello ranges widely in form and subject, all with such aplomb that no less an expert than Richard Wilbur praises her 'plain, supple eloquence' and 'easy command of rhyme, measure, and form.' . . . Resourcefulness and restraint are rare qualities in contemporary poetry. By the former, I mean the ability to find new ways to approach topics that others have done, new ways to put traditional forms through their paces. As for the latter quality, Tufariello's poems provide such eloquent examples that I feel no need to explain further."--R. S. Gwynn, The Hudson Review"The poet addresses lovers lost and gained, children not yet born, and friends who have left her too early. . . . Several poems in this collection [take] the breath away. . . . It is unusual for a modern poet to use rhyme so deftly and dangerously. These poems have an addictive rhythm."--Hartford CourantKeeping My Name bears the stamp of an assured poet whose work has long appeared in major journals and anthologies. Though Tufariello is known in New Formalist circles as one of the most accomplished younger poets working in meter and rhyme, her poems will appeal broadly to readers of contemporary poetry. With a distinctive blend of craft and deep feeling, clarity and subtle thought, Tufariello gives new resonance to the historical and mythic past by drawing larger significance and universal themes from contemporary life.Keeping My Name reflects a particular interest in and compassion for the lives of women, past and present. Its five sections offer a variety of repasts. One brings women of the Old and New Testaments to life with freshness and immediacy. Another traces the dissolution of a marria≥ a third, the experience--rarely represented in poetry--of infertility and its high-tech treatment. Many poems are personal, but none merely confessional. At center, counterpoising the contemporary poems of love and grief, is a series of translations from Petrarch and other classic Italian love poets.Tufariello's poems address loss and longing, yet discover joy in everyday things--a walrus being fed at an aquarium, a small girl dancing at a wedding, a basketball game on a city playground. Her warmth, tempered by wit, is void of sentimentality. Readers who appreciate well-made, accessible, and memorable poems will find much to savor here.Catherine Tufariello's enchanting and warmly crafted poems celebrate, to use her phrase, "small ordinary decencies." More important, they show how such decencies nourish the faith that we are, individually and collectively, capable of progress, fulfillment, and redemption. Mixing personal reflection, Biblical myth, and history, this book is a remarkable debut by one of our very finest younger poets.--Timothy SteeleFrom "The Walrus at Coney Island":All watchers gasp together as he dives,The clumsy fore fins clever now as knives,The dark head bobbing in the dazzling sprayOf sun-shot water, like a child's at play.So this is what he is, has always been--A gleaming, sleekly muscled submarine,Lithe as a dancer, roguish as a boy,Corkscrewing downward with what looks like joy.

Author Notes

Catherine Tufariello has taught literature and writing at Cornell, the College of Charleston, and the University of Miami.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Children play furiously in the asphalt pen of the schoolyard, and after the bell calls them in, a handyman ascends to the gym roof, gathers up the balls that got away . . and punts them, in bright arcs, back into play. Sixty years ago in Germany, two student Resistance leaders sail leaflets into a university building's stairwell; porter Schmid catches the dark-haired young man's shoulder in a rough / Policeman's grip . . and the girl stayed by his side. A very little girl, alone for a minute in a big room during a wedding party, dances. Tufariello conjures such common-enough scenes so vividly that one's mind and heart are fully engaged, and not by means of the virtual prose most new poets still essay, but in meter and rhyme so skillfully employed that they swing a poem's sense as well as its impetus. This is genuinely, though not deliberately, musical verse. From the more public scenes of the poems in the first part of her first collection, Tufariello turns to interfamilial and marital themes in the second, to bittersweet love in translations of early Renaissance Italian poems in the third, to biblical stories of childbearing and women's friendship in the fourth, and in the last, to the story of her later-than-usual pregnancy and the triumphant birth of her daughter. --Ray Olson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Series editor's introductionp. xi
I. Free Time
Free Timep. 3
February 18, 1943p. 4
Elegy for Alicep. 6
Dana Dancingp. 8
The Walrus at Coney Islandp. 9
Epitaph for a Strayp. 10
Crossed Wiresp. 11
II. Seasons of the Moon
Chemist's Daughterp. 15
Moving Dayp. 16
Two Treesp. 17
Snow Angelp. 19
Insomniap. 21
Seasons of the Moonp. 22
The Mirrorp. 23
Ghost Childrenp. 24
The Worst of Itp. 25
Pentimentop. 26
Plot Summaryp. 27
Keeping My Namep. 28
III. "Go, Grieving Rhymes ..."
Cavalcanti's Belta di donna e di saccente corep. 33
Guinizelli's Al cor gentil ripara sempre Amorep. 34
From Petrarch's Canzoniere
S' amor non e, che dunque e quel ch' io sento?p. 36
Se la mia vita da l'aspro tormentop. 37
I di miei piu leggier che nesun cervop. 38
Or ai fatto l'estremo di tua possap. 39
Ite, rime dolenti, al duro sassop. 40
IV. Annunciations
Lorenzo Lotto's Annunciationp. 43
A Proposal in the Cleveland Museum, Winter 2000p. 44
No Angelp. 46
Rebekah Ip. 52
Rebekah IIp. 53
Mary Magdalenep. 54
The Feast of Tabernaclesp. 55
V. The Waiting Room
Zero at the Bonep. 59
The Waiting Roomp. 61
Ultrasoundp. 62
Fruitlessp. 63
Useful Advicep. 64
In Glassp. 66
After Allp. 67
Florida's Flowersp. 68
First Contactp. 71
The Dream of Extra Roomp. 72
Twenty Weeksp. 73
This Childp. 76
Useful Advice, the Sequelp. 77
Liana's Songp. 78
First Sightp. 79