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Days We Would Rather Know: Poems [Paperback]

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Item description for Days We Would Rather Know: Poems by Michael Blumenthal...

Michael Blumenthal's Days We Would Rather Know, originally published by Viking-Penguin and sold out in both its original printings, was one of the most admired, and most influential, books of American poetry of the l980s, and marked the auspicious continuation of one of the decade's most promising debuts. Of Michael Blumenthal's first book, Sympathetic Magic, Howard Nemerov said, "The last first book I remember as having this strangeness and distinction was called Harmonium." That comparison to the work of Wallace Stevens was, if anything, more apt in the case of this astonishing second collection, a collection that helped establish Mr. Blumenthal as a master of language in his own right. He worked his brand of magic with unforgettable imagery ("When your wife uttered your son like a large syllable into this world"), a lambent humor ("I wish Robert Rauschenberg would take back his bathtub and his floating goat"), and a playful eroticism ("My mouth puddles with bourbon and the taste of your thighs"). He revealed a sensibility that conflates the present with the past, irreverently aligning psychiatrists, baseball, and word processor courses alongside Odysseus, Rapunzel, and Rembrandt, and that lavishes on its subjects a vigorous and refreshing sensuality. While different in scope, subject, and style, these seventy poems all body forth a central theme: that--as reality is dissatisfying and satisfaction elusive--hope is in itself an antidote, and possibility is always invigorating. "Love is rarely as exciting as the wish for love," writes Blumenthal; Days We Would Rather Know suggests that we are as fulfilled, as animated, by our longing as by the resolution of those wishes.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   118
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2005
Publisher   Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press
ISBN  1929355246  
ISBN13  9781929355242  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Blumenthal

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Blumenthal is the author, most recently, of the memoir All My Mothers and Fathers (Harper Collins, 2002), and of Dusty Angel (BOA Editions, 1999), his sixth book of poems. His novel Weinstock Among the Dying, which won Hadassah Magazine's Harold U. Ribelow Prize for the best work of Jewish fiction in l994, and his collection of essays from Central Europe, When History Enters the House, was published in l998. He has lived at taught at universities in Hungary, Israel, Germany and France, mostly as a Fulbright Fellow. In 2004-2005, he holds the Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. He spends his summers in a small village near the shores of Lake Balaton in Hungary.

Michael Blumenthal currently resides in New York, in the state of Texas. Michael Blumenthal was born in 1948.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Love Poems
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 Days We Would Rather Know: Poems?

truth telling  Aug 27, 2006
Blumenthal has never gotten the press he deserves. Maybe the re-issuing of this volume and his first "Against Romance" will remedy things. He is no Wallace Stevens as some claim. He is a direct and forceful truth teller about the things that matter. On the rich and class:"I am sick of the rich,the way/they are always searching/for the crack in the diamond." He returns to familar territory of "Against Romance", talking about love and its discontents in "The Bitter Truth", ("that love is rarely as exciting as the wish for love.") He makes no apologies in "The happy poem" declaring a war of sorts on false piety and sadness for the sake of sadness, and gives us a boost in "What I Believe"('I believe that if you roll over at night/in an empty bed/the air consoles you." The longer middle poem ,"Fish F'ing" is a playful look at literal and contextaul truth.

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