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Science Of Desire [Paperback]

Science Of Desire [Paperback]

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Item description for Science Of Desire by Erin Murphy...

Science Of Desire by Erin Murphy

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Item Specifications...

Pages   92
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2004
Publisher   Wordtech Communications
ISBN  1932339515  
ISBN13  9781932339512  

Availability  0 units.

More About Erin Murphy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Erin Murphy is the author of Dislocation and Other Theories (Word Press, 2008) and Science of Desire (Word Press, 2004). Her awards include the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award. She has received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her individual poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day edited by Billy Collins (Random House). She is Assistant Professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College, where she teaches English and creative writing.

Erin Murphy was born in 1968.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Science Of Desire?

Erin Murphy Nails It  Oct 19, 2005
What is a poet, anyway? It's someone who uses all the tools of language to observe and explain what we all wish and long for. In her first book of poetry, Erin Murphy nails it with the title, Science of Desire, two seeming opposing views of the world. Science, on the one hand, which has come to mean a systemization of knowledge divorced from philosophy. And, Desire, on the other, which is all about feeling and want.

But in the poet's world, through the careful play between words and images and people, everything is turned upside-down and great questions are answered.

In "Descartes Lover," the father of modern philosophy is left to wonder whether he would "think therefore I'm a yam, or a ham, or a jar of jam" if his dead child had lived. Perhaps Descartes could have "seen that perfection can come from things imperfect."

"Studies," a poem about Alzheimer's, shows how words lose their meaning when the victims of the disease lose their memory, "This you, I mean, then you, I mean...I don't remember what I mean." Or do words lose their meaning? Even though the "victims' pasts are erased entirely...You remember the way he screamed in a whiskey rage over your broken bike, then replaced it the next day, no apologies."

Or in "Satellite," where a child watches her father and the satellite that he constructed through the same lens, "quivering between fullness and the outline of a solitary zero." The eyes of her father that "blink slowly, never closing all the way but never really opening" are the movements of the satellite that "sift in and out of clouds the way a dolphin parts the waves."

And so in this very intelligent collection of poetry, Erin Murphy uses her craft, as only a great artist can do, to dig beneath the surface and elevate the mundane to a whole new metaphysical level where the unity of opposites can reign supreme. Bravo.
"Confident, surprising, and smart"  Oct 11, 2005
THE GEORGIA REVIEW was right on target when it said that Murphy's poems are "confident, surprising, and smart...entertaining [and] thought-provoking" and that she "elevates the anecdotal to an artform." A less sophisticated reader may miss the subtle epistemological questions and issues presented by these poems. The subject matter varies widely, from Descartes to "Studies," a poem that deals with the clinical and emotional effects of Alzheimer's disease. The title poem is a tour de force. Here's a teaser (in more ways than one!):

"There's a fine
line between causal
and casual.
Her spaghetti strap
hesistates on her
shoulder like
an unanswered
question. He is
thinking 'lingerie'
is the perfect
word: 'linger'
all dolled up
in French perfume.
Linger with
an attitude.
'Linger' like the
finger that will
help her silk camisole
make up its mind..."

(from "Science of Desire," p. 51)
25% there  Sep 27, 2005
Regional americana, a nemesis to Plath (rainbows, flowers, cuddly little children and all), along with a few gems like "Confession," "Itinerary," and "Offering." These poems and a few others are pure and untouchable-memorable enough for multiple reads. But Murphy kills me in between these poems. It feels as if she cannot relieves herself of herself, like she IS writing for an audience. Look, I came to her because she was so beautifully accommodating but as a volume I see very little growth amongst these poems collectively to work beyond that objective-of an accessible narrative with mild metaphors (if any) speckled about. It is not the depth of her experience, either, so don't get it twisted. Suburban chicks can rock too, I'm a believer! Murph is about 25% there. No, I have no idea who this woman is by the way. Someone like Wang Ping is all the way there to me, if you wanna compare.

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