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Apocalyptic Swing Poems Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Persea Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892553537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892553532
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Muscular and musical, this second collection from Calvocoressi (The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart) combines boxing, Elvis, church burnings, sex and horses to produce a book that is pure Americana. Exploring the parameters of masculinity, Calvocoressi plays with the gender of the narrative voice from poem to poem, Have you/ ever gotten hit or thrown against a wall?/ There's a sweetness to it, at that moment when/ your God would forgive you anything. The result is a not unpleasant ambiguity. Unafraid of interacting poetically with severe subject matter, in Fence she describes the murder of Matthew Shepard in the voice of a disgusted everyman. They took that boy and tied him to a fence/ and beat him till he didn't know his mother's/ name. Boxing is the overlying theme of the collection; in Fugue Calvocoressi turns Rilke's Archaic Torso toward Duk-Koo Kim, the South Korean lightweight who died after a fight with Ray Boom Boom Mancini: For here there is no television/ that does not see you. Calvocoressi's poetic intensity makes energetic identity politics into verse: Take my hand,/ take my whole life too. I've slicked/ my hair back, I've made myself/ a boy for you. This is a compelling sophomore effort from a very promising poet. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Muscular and musical . . . combines boxing, Elvis, church burnings, sex and horses to produce a book that is pure Americana.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Josie Bliss on September 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
poems about boxing, music, violence, sexuality, longing, love, race, Los Angeles, and the small towns of America. a heartbreaking - and ultimately redemptive - look at American culture in its danger and beauty. it reads almost like a short story collection; each poem is complex yet utterly readable, finely polished but wholly alive. i could almost feel the book breathing in my hands. if you love poetry, or if you have ever been curious about poetry but haven't found a way in, i couldnt recommend this book more highly. i'm grateful to Gabrielle Calvocoressi for bringing these poems into the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Individuality, for the country, rebellion and tradition, America is a country of contradiction. "Apocalyptic Swing Poems" is a collection of poetry from Gabrielle Calvocoressi, discussing this nature with much thought and variance, proving a fine take on society and its values. "Apocalypse Swing Poems" is a thoughtful and entertaining take, highly recommended. "Dear Elvis, How She Did It and When and What Music": Who knows? Not me, sitting in the dark classroom./Lincoln was president. He was president onscreen./That's all that mattered to me, a light in dark/rooms, a voice filling the night as I lay awake/and rats scratched in the walls. This was before/I learned to move my hips. When I just lay there/and thought I was dreaming. When the room spun/like roller-rink lights and I prayed you would come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like poetry, you'll love Gabrielle Calvocoressi's new collection, "Apocalyptic Swing." If you're not a poetry lover, read these gems and you'll become one.
This small volume - 69 pages - is divided into three parts: 21 short poems; a longer - 15 pages - story about the travails of a boxer, "Training Camp: Deer Lake, PA"; and ends with eight powerful poems with more boxing themes, brutality, sadness, spirit and survival.
Other words that come to mind in describing Ms. Calvocoriessi's poems are insightful, intriguing, disturbing, even a hint of salaciousness; all overlaid with a spirit of optimism.
Charles Fowler
Concord, MA
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PersimmonVillage on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Calvocoressi's writing joins that pantheon of writers such as Levine, Gluck, and others who cut clean through pretension to reveal pictures of our world as we sometimes wish not to see it. And this is the beauty of her poems. They sway, and indeed swing, and stop the reader cold, and to the many voices that reside in her lines, Calvocoressi contributes her own sweet, mournful timbre. There isn't much that the reader won't feel after reading the last line of her book: "We are almost champions now." Amen to that. Calvocoressi champions the boxer, the beaten, the beloved, and the broken with frightening intensity and clear-minded truth. In nearly flawless form and phrase, she champions the map of our 20th/21st century America with a veneration that humbles us all. This is jazz, blood, bones, and grit, all somehow bearing a joyous refrain. Her work contains clippings straight from hospital wards, asylums, parents and priests -- such saviors, from Sister Perpetua to Mother to the man who "could have passed me by and saved yourself" may not, in the end, rescue anyone. One leaves feeling that in some essential way, Calvocoressi's poems about the fight to save the self have in fact saved us.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rangi McNeil on September 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Calvocoressi's voice is rooted firmly in America. These thirty precise poems remind us of the body's holiness & its necessity. They speak of love: sometimes desperate, sometimes bloody - always hard-won & worth its cost.

Apocalyptic Swing is a mesmerizing & necessary respite from the four walls of our daily lives. Reading it will inspire you to do everything you do (write, sing, love, breathe), better.
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