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Next Ancient World, The Perfect Paperback – August 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971031002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971031005
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...completely astonishing. Fast, fiery, cut-to-the-quick, street-smart and woman-wise, as sophisticated as you can be..." -- Lawrence Joseph

"...deconstructed soap-opera, a one-hundred-ring verbal circus, a gang of brazen, ingenious poems." -- Billy Collins

"Sharp and ripe, smart-alecky and wise, Hecht's poems...reveal a world far more witty than we thought..." --Janet Holmes (competition judge's summary)

About the Author

Jennifer Michael Hecht earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University and is a Professor of History at Nassau Community College. Her works include the award-winning poetry book The Next Ancient World (2001), published by Tupelo Press, Funny (University of Wisconsin Press,2005) winner of the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize, and the nonfiction books The End of the Soul (2005), Doubt: A History (2003), and The Happiness Myth(2008).

More About the Author

Jennifer Michael Hecht lives in Brooklyn, blocks from where her great-grandmother Jenny Balinsky lived. Hecht has written four books of history and philosophy and three books of poetry. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in the History of Science and European Cultural History and has taken that in many directions.

I like to think about human meaning, especially the kind that exists outside the individual, in the culture and the community. The feeling of meaning is sufficient to the definition of meaning, just as the feeling of love is sufficient to the definition of love. (Of course we sometimes don't feel love, but that doesn't make us say love doesn't exist.) I believe Stay's approach to the question of suicide allows us to see ourselves as more profoundly connected to each other, and able to relax our need to each generate the entire meaning of life on our own.

For me, poetry is the best way to get to truth underneath what we think we know. My nonfiction also requests a flip in perspective. I love to hear from people! Contact me on my website: http://www.jennifermichaelhecht.com/

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By DGoldstein on September 30, 2001
Format: Perfect Paperback
After having nearly given up on poetry, the intriguing, personal and sometimes nearly Delphic poetry of The Next Ancient World is an invigorating relief. Ms. Hecht has a frighteningly perceptive view not only of the Ancient world but how it fits in with our modern fears and hopes. From the almost Blake like exploration of "The Innocent" to a frightening awareness of history's terror in "Waiting to Happen" (moreso since the disaster of September 11, 01.), there is a sense that intellectualism still has an almost visceral pulse to it. This is reinforced with poems like "Tiger's Story" (an interesting perspective on life and change), and "Trotsky's Hand", a whimsical exploration of the strange persistence of images that haunts any person born in the modern age.
The poet states her intent as creating a book of advice to the next ancient world, and many of her poems demand some response, such as "Please Answer All Three of the Following Essay Questions", or "Convince Him", poems that seem to help the reader create their own story beyond the bounds of a simple book. This becomes a magic that even the cynical and jaded reader can still accept, couched in sophisticated lyric and sharp wit.
If you are willing to be inspire by the creations of a precise and yet tender mind, you may gain something from this work. Poems that make you think, laugh, sigh, and sometimes shiver, all packed into a slim volume: What a value!!!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By patricia ferrell on November 6, 2001
Format: Perfect Paperback
"In the end you are weary of this ancient world..." We don't know whether JM Hecht had the first line of Apollonaire's poem "Zone" in mind when she titled her impressive new collection "The Next Ancient World". Whether intended or not, Hecht's book takes off where the world-weary Frenchman left us: like a shot in the arm, the fresh, invigorating vernacular Hecht confidently lays down, points out the sights, scenes, and sounds we will want the next ancient world to remember us by. The observations are never sentimental, and the diction is razor-sharp. There is much sophisticated humor to be found in the poems. In a way, the humor and deep-seated affection and optimism Hecht obviously responds to the world with, binds this book together with a theme and statement as much as weariness, loss, and despair glued together Apollinaire's own survey of his time. Hecht's poems cover vast geographies of thought and feeling; the leaps are acrobatic and dazzling, but always grounded in a recognition that lands us solidly on our feet (with a thud in the heart). Hecht has an almost scientific attention to the minutiae and nuance of human interaction. The lines are direct and honest, never missing their mark. Some of the quieter poems are absolutely unmatched, in my opinion. The poem "September", in particular, is one of the most perfectly realized pieces I have ever read. If you are tired of one-note poets who have no sense of poetry as being anything other than prose with indiscriminate line breaks, Hecht is a solid and musical crasftsman who will reward your most rarefied tastes. She brings a child's curiosity and sense of wonderment into these very intelligent, adult, and always, instructive poems. I can't wait to see what's next!
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2002
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book which I highly recommend. Hecht's work is hip but not cynical, emotional but not saccharine, intelligent but not didactic. I have shared this book with a number of people, and everyone has enjoyed it, which is not usually the case with new poetry. I think you'll be very happy you bought The Next Ancient World.
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