Tag Archives: pitt poetry series

Best Bones by Sarah Rose Nordgren

best bonesSeries: Pitt Poetry Series

Paperback: 88 pages

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0822963175

ISBN-13: 978-0822963172

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Reviewed by g emil reutter

There is a strange feeling as you turn the pages of Best Bones by Sarah Rose Nordgren. Something is out of kilter, unorthodox may be the proper term but I do believe original best describes the poetry of Nordgren. She is a narrative poet dwelling equally in the shadows and light of life.
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In the haunting poem, Exhumation, Nordgren contrasts shadows and light throughout the poem. A gray face, greasy windows, railroad ditch, sun rise. “When the lights die you disappear”. In this terrifying poem, Nordgren’s controlled use of images is remarkable. Wrapped by I am the woman lying on her side, to the last, My Face is an aluminum dish.
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Exhumation
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I am the woman lying on her side across the van seat,
wearing a gray face, apparitional through greasy
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windows as you walk past the railroad ditch
early morning on a whim, wanting to watch the sun
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rise like you haven’t in years. My life is under yours: in-
consolable, bathed in drainage, a midden of cracked
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bottles, swollen tampons, rusted metal sheets cast
from the clamor. You flasher of future, your liver and lung
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are fleshier, pinker. When they excavate me they will find
my many napkin writings, twenty rooms I built
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from twine, dictionary of waste in which I define
your failure. Meanwhile: I’ll retire to my atrium, washing
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my perpetually warm body, liquid touching liquid
as it cools. The pipes are beginning to freeze. The all-night
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factory shuts down at five. When the lights die you
disappear into a wooden structure and wonder
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what you’ve done. Even if you’d brought your camera,
you couldn’t click me. My face is an aluminum dish.
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Best Bones is a collection of poetry that is an intimate collection of gently dramatic poems that will alarm and haunt you.

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You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Bones-Poetry-Sarah-Nordgren/dp/0822963175/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410785016&sr=1-1&keywords=best+bones+by+Sarah+Rose+Nordgren

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g-emil-reutter-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA)  https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

Sound of the Ax: Aphorisms and Poems by William Stafford

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Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (February 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0822962969
ISBN-13: 978-0822962960
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Review by: g emil reutter
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Editors, Vincent Wixon and Paul Merchant have once again explored the William Stafford Archives at Lewis & Clark College to bring us the Aphorisms of William Stafford from over fifty years of Stafford’s daily writing, four hundred aphorisms are published here from thousands Stafford wrote. Intermingled are twenty-six poems by Stafford.  Stafford passed away in 1993, yet here we are in 2014 once again reading the works of William Stafford.
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These cuts of language that often became poems by Stafford offer insight into the wit, humor, and strengths. These cuts are inspirational as Stafford’s finely sharpened ax has left behind.
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To call some people losers is to reveal your limits in
defining categories into which people can go.
 
It’s a tall order, finding your way. Maybe it’s winter
and you can’t just stand around waiting for help.
 
Poetry is the kind of thing you to see from the
corner of your eye. You can be too well prepared for
poetry. A conscientious interest in it is worse than
no interest at all. If you analyze it away, it’s gone. It
would be like boiling a watch to find out what makes
it tick .
 
A speech is sometin you say so as to distract
Attention from what you do not say.
 
A common sin: Insufficient care in avoiding the
approval of others.
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The bonus in this collection are the poems. Poems such as Consolations.
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 Consolations
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“The broken part heals even stronger than the rest,”
they say. But what takes awhile.
And, “Hurry up,” the whole world says.
They tap their feet. And it still hurts on rainy
afternoons when the same absent sun
gives no sign it will ever come back.
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“What difference in a hundred years?”
the barn where Agnes hanged her child
will fall by then, and the scrawled words
erase themselves on the floor where rats’ feet
run. Boards curl up. Whole new trees
drink what the rivers bring. Things die.
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“No good thing is easy.” They told us that,
while we dug our fingers into the stones
and looked beseechingly into their eyes.
They say hurt is good for you. It makes
what comes later a gift all the more
precious in your bleeding hands.
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Sound of the Ax is a precious collection of Aphorisms and Poems by William Stafford, a master of language we can all learn from.
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g emil reutter at Chop Suey Books-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA)