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Drift

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About This Book
"The world is touched and stands forth," writes Mary Kinzie in this book of seductive poetic experiment. In lines by turns fragmented and reflective, she shatters and reassembles such curiosities as an engraving by Albrecht Durer and the portrait of a notorious suicide whose children develop a secret telepathy. In one of her many powerful longer pieces, she collects glittering shards from myriad versions of the Cinderella story:

Was the young girl running
out of it because
--recall the blood
within the shoe?--
it hurt her?

Kinzie's verse moves mysteriously between folk-lore and urban devastation, between white magic and the concoction of mood drugs in the modern laboratory. In each poem, she draws our attention to the chinks of light in the dark narratives that surround us, in a language animated by her sympathy and deep moral intelligence.


From the Hardcover edition.
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"The world is touched and stands forth," writes Mary Kinzie in this book of seductive poetic experiment. In lines by turns fragmented and reflective, she shatters and reassembles such curiosities as an engraving by Albrecht Durer and the portrait of a notorious suicide whose children develop a secret telepathy. In one of her many powerful longer pieces, she collects glittering shards from myriad versions of the Cinderella story:

Was the young girl running
out of it because
--recall the blood
within the shoe?--
it hurt her?

Kinzie's verse moves mysteriously between folk-lore and urban devastation, between white magic and the concoction of mood drugs in the modern laboratory. In each poem, she draws our attention to the chinks of light in the dark narratives that surround us, in a language animated by her sympathy and deep moral intelligence.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (96 pages)
Published: February 22, 2005
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780375709906
Other books byMary Kinzie
  • The Sea, The Sea

    The Sea, The Sea
    Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors-some real, some spectral-that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

    The Cure of Poetry in an Age of Prose

    The Cure of Poetry in an Age of Prose
    Moral Essays on the Poet's Calling
    The role of the poet, Mary Kinzie writes, is to engage the most profound subjects with the utmost in expressive clarity. The role of the critic is to follow the poet, word for word, into the arena where the creative struggle occurs. How this mutual purpose is served, ideally and practically, is the subject of this bracingly polemical collection of essays. A distinguished poet and critic, Kinzie assesses poetry's situation during the past twenty-five years. Ours, she contends, is literally a prosaic age, not only in the popularity of prose genres but in the resultant compromises with truth and elegance in literature. In essays on "the rhapsodic fallacy," confessionalism, and the romance of perceptual response, Kinzie diagnoses some of the trends that diminish the poet's flexibility. Conversely, she also considers individual poets—Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Howard Nemerov, Seamus Heaney, and John Ashbery—who have found ingenious ways of averting the risks of prosaism and preserving the special character of poetry. Focusing on poet Louise Bogan and novelist J. M. Coetzee, Kinzie identifies a crucial and curative overlap between the practices of great prose-writing and great poetry. In conclusion, she suggests a new approach for teaching writers of poetryandfiction. Forcefully argued, these essays will be widely read and debated among critics and poets alike.

    A Poet's Prose

    A Poet's Prose
    Selected Writings of Louise Bogan
    Although Best Known as a master of the formal lyric poem, Louise Bogan (1897-1970) also published fiction and what would now be called lyrical essays. A Poet's Prose: Selected Writings of Louise Bogan showcases her devotion to compression, eloquence, and sharp truths. Louise Bogan was poetry reviewer for the New Yorker for thirty-eight years, and her criticism was remarkable for its range and effect. Bogan was responsible for the revival of interest in Henry James and was one of the first American critics to notice and review W. H. Auden. She remained intellectually and emotionally responsive to writers as different from one another as Caitlin Thomas, Dorothy Richardson, W. B. Yeats, Andre Gide, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Bogan's short stories appeared regularly in magazines during the 1980s, penetrating the social habits of the city as well as the loneliness there. The autobiographical element in her fiction and journals, never entirely confessional, spurred some of her finest writing. The distinguished poet and critic Mary Kinzie provides in A Poet's Prose a selection of Bogan's best criticism, prose meditations, letters, journal entries, autobiographical essays, and published and unpublished fiction. Louise Bogan won the Bollingen Prize in 1954 for her collected poems. She is the subject of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by Elizabeth Frank, Louise Bogan: A Portrait.

    California Sorrow

    California Sorrow
    In this exceptional new collection, acclaimed poet Mary Kinzie opens her attention to the landscapes of the earth. Her poems of richly varied line lengths develop phrases at the syncopated pace of the observing mind: “Slag and synthesis and traveling fire / so many ways the groundwaves of distortion / pulse / through bedrock traffic and the carbon chain” she writes in the opening poem, “The Water-brooks.” Here, and throughout, her reflection on the natural world embraces the damages of time to which we can bear only partial witness but to which the human memory is bound. In the collection’s title poem, Kinzie goes on to explore her own romantic griefs alongside the adventures of T. S. Eliot, “inadvertently working on a suntan” as he tours the desert in the roadster of his American girlfriend, whose heart he will break. Kinzie’s conviction that sorrow, too, is a form of passion allows her to lift poems from shattered thoughts and long-ago losses, at times blending prose and verse in a combustible mixture. Determined not to prettify but still expressing fresh wonder at the beauty we stumble across in spite of our shortcomings, Kinzie delivers her bravest work yet in these new poems. O God invisible as air My tears have been my meat sweet because no noxious thing runs with themonly fragrant naïveté of the reflective midday when bank herb and wood flower and water from the pool can best be gathered also the knowledge that these gifts are tenuous and that the mouth and the harp might soon be strange to play From the Hardcover edition.

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