Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
A Night Without Armor Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 3, 1999
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
But--shockingly!--Jewel's book of poetry is solid by celeb-poet standards, and a fair bit of it is actually sort of readable in its own right. Maybe it's not a bad idea to raise your kids on an 80-acre Alaskan farm with plenty of chores and no TV, as Mr. Kilcher did. Unlike most young people, let alone overnight stars, Jewel has led a life of some intrinsic interest. While they're often prosaically straightforward, her poems about rescuing a newborn calf in the midnight snow, listening to wolves howl in a canyon storm, and racing naked out of a sauna of a winter evening bring us more useful experience than kid poets usually have to share. Some of Jewel's homesteading verse is no worse than some of Gary Snyder's late nature poems; though she'll never write nature poems remotely as good as his early work Riprap, neither will he, probably. Preachiness is the enemy of both poets' deep religious impulses.
Jewel's poems about dumping a lover or thrilling to parking-lot sex "between the moon and a Chevrolet" are perceptive, at points even evocative. Her ode to her own breasts as a nest for her beloved is no good, but it's an honest failure. Her dress at the Oscars was more embarrassing.
The music critics contend that Jewel's music is influenced by Joni Mitchell, though Jewel claims she didn't listen to her until lately. In comparing Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics with Jewel's book, we find that both use the image of the cactus for a heart that resists a restricting embrace, but that Mitchell is cleverer with language. When Joni's lover is away, "Me and them lonesome blues collide / The bed's too big, / The frying pan's too wide." Meanwhile, Jewel baldly observes, "I miss you miserably, dear / and I can't quite manage / to face this unbearably / large bed / alone."
On the other hand, Jewel does conclude with a nice image for toughing it out with a sentimental gesture--she shaves her armpits with his razor and cheap hotel soap. Ow! We feel her pain. Also, Jewel's "Underage" holds its own against Mitchell's "Raised on Robbery," while demonstrating the influence that probably outweighed Mitchell in Jewel's artistic development: her dad, with whom she played gigs as a child in Alaska.
I hung out once in the bathroom of Trade Winds Harley bar in Anchorage
With several biker chicks for company until the cops had left.
They had pale skin and thick black eye makeup
And they asked me to sing at their weddings.
I said I'd ask my dad.
We all sat on the counter and waited for the pigs to leave.
Some guy OD'd and was outside foaming at the mouth.
I remember looking in the mirror
And seeing this white face,
My shirt all buttoned up.
The women were nice to me
And looked like dark angels
Beside me. I liked them,
And together we waited
Patiently for the cops to leave
So I could go back out
And join my dad up
The great peril for Jewel, as for most poets when very young, is artless sincerity. Her poem about her dad's Vietnam War trauma is dead sentiment, but she does far better in "Grimshaw," about a Vietvet who came to watch the Kilchers play, perpetually requesting "Ain't Goin' to Study War No More" and drinking four quarts of beer a night until the day he shot his face off. Which made little Jewel vow to deal with her own emotions sooner rather than too late.
Careless editing permitted Jewel to misspell the names of Tom Waits and Charles Bukowski and the word "peek." Most young fans won't notice, and the very poems about love troubles that older readers will find gratingly obvious will strike them as headline news to be taken to heart. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I will not join the chorus of poets in protest here. Saying "this isn't poetry!" over and over again won't make it true. Getting all bent out of shape over how Jewel is making poetry available to (gasp) the masses is ridiculous. I feel like I'm watching the punk scene happen all over again -- every time someone had a success, the fans screamed "sell out!" My, how we love to topple those on top.
My loyalty is not to the poets, but to poetry. My loyalty is not to some exclusionary club of latte-sucking introverts, full of pretense, but to language itself. And that is why I must break ranks and say this book is just what the world of poetry needed. Poetry may be "language molded into magnificent text" and many other things, such as meter and rhyme -- but the single most important trait of poetry is that it is relevant. It affects you in a way that is deep and impactful. And Jewel's poetry does exactly that, with so many memorable poems and vivid images filling my head that I eager to read her book again.
When reviewers complain that Jewel ought to read some poets before she publishes her own work, they betray their own failure to read her work.Read more ›
The advent of free verse was like literary punk music: While a potentially liberating influence which could serve to wrest artistic expression from the elite, it also leveled the playing field to such an extent that almost anybody putting words into a "poetic" arrangement could now call his/her work "poetry".
I liked Jewel's early music a lot; I'd bought her record Pieces of You a whole year before "You Were Meant for Me" became a hit, before that song made a little neo-folk album (which had many tracks recorded live, acoustically) into a sales juggernaut. But even when I was listening to her songs, I never considered Jewel to be much of a lyricist. Her chief strengths were really melody, a simple guitar style, and her voice. Jewel's lyrics were almost always direct expressions of what she believes -- no hidden meanings, no craft, and almost never any surprising thoughts (after all, she was 20).
On her poetry, the problem burns right through. Stripped of the melodies at which she excelled, her writing is awfully sappy, worthy of high-school student scribbles. And it reads without much verbal (ie. poetic) flow. Have the layout artist put the verses and stanzas back together, and it sounds like undoctored prose. What use is the term "poetry" if it's just prose broken up? Sometimes Jewel does come up with interesting imagery, but if her artistic expression is all image and no verbal artistry, then she should be doing photography or film work, not poetry.
Young readers with little experience reading poetry may respond to the artlessness of it and embrace the direct sentiments of this writing. But to them I would suggest: Write your own poetry, get your friends to do the same, and read one another's works.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome book of poetry. Just be prepared for some very short poems. I found them thought provoking and interesting, also enlightening about Jewel's life. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Alex
Rarely do I find reading anything a waste of my time but I regret this purchase. Yes, Jewel had a couple of hit songs but a poet she is not. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lisa Warren
I purchased this book before I had an Amazon account, so this need to review this book is overdue.
I have read and purchased this book over and over again. Read more
I found this in a free pile near my job.
I got my money's worth.
Jewel Rocks!!! It was awesome listening to her poems about her life.Published 11 months ago by james e harris iii
I love her music and her poetry. She's brilliant in so many ways. This is an exceptional book.Published 13 months ago by dch822
Wow! Surprised to see so many 1 star reviews. I love this book. Have had it for many years and return to it often. I am a fan of accessible poetry. Read morePublished 19 months ago by booklover9
Jewel is an amazing writer, these poems are easy to read and relate to. She's had an amazing life, an honor to be able to read her poems.Published 21 months ago by M. Hamilton