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Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems Paperback – Unabridged, March 12, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first five volumes covered in Weigels Archeology (1976s Executioner to 1988s Song of Napalm) dwell on Weigls firsthand experiences of Americas southeast Asian war, returning obsessively to combat terror, witnessed atrocities and cravings for underaged prostitutes. However laudable his brutal honesty, lines like I was barely in country soon become tiresome. Weigls best poems come from his three 1990s volumes (particularly from After the Others, represented in Archeology with selections marked as New Poems) where he begins to distill his themes of disgust and horror within non-Vietnam contexts. Weigls most grimly powerful poems, all found in Archeology, are The Impossible, an account of being forced, as a seven-year-old boy, to perform oral sex on a strange man, and The Nothing Redemption, a disgusting vision of a young man whose hole/ was plastered closed with his own excrement in an attempt to disqualify himself from military service. Snowy Egret (from 1985) and Carp (a more pressurized rhyme sonnet from 1996s Sweet Lorain) are convincing documents of regret for mindless boyhood destruction of animal life. The complex and unsettling Pineapple (appearing in both volumes) is a recollection of a womans seductive behavior in a supermarket fruit aisle; tinged with lust and violence, it somehow reaches its dark climax in the narrators refusal to respond to the womans advances. That poem and other notables in After the Others (such as the squalid The Singing and the Dancing and the desperate Anniversary of Myself) make that book the most consistently rewarding effort from this still evolving poet.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

1955
After The Others
Amnesia
And We Came Home
Anna Grasa
Anniversary Of Myself
Apparition Of The Exile
At The Confluence Of Memory And Desire In Lorain, Ohio
Bear Meadow
The Biography Of Fatty's Bar And Grille
The Black Hose
Blues At The Equinox
Breakdown
Burning Shit At An Khe
Cardinal
Care
Carp
The Choosing Of Mozart's Fantasie Over Suicide
The Confusion Of Planes We Must Wander In Sleep
Conversation Of Our Blood
Convoy
The Deer Hunter
Dialectical Materialism
Dogs
Elegy
Elegy For A.
Elegy For Her Whose Name You Don't Know
Elegy For Peter
Fever Dream In Hanoi
The Forms Of Eleventh Avenue
The Future
Girl At The Chu Lai Laundry
The Hand That Takes
The Happiness Of Others
The Happy Land
The Harp
Her Life Runs Like A Red Silk Flag
Him, On The Bicycle
Hymn Of My Republic
I Have Had My Time Rising And Singing
The Impossible
In The Autumn Village
In The House Of Immigrants
The Inexplicable Abandonment Of Habit In Eclipse
Killing Chickens
The Kiss
The Last Lie
The Life Before Fear
The Loop
Lz Nowhere
The Man Who Made Me Love Him
May
Meditation At Hue
Meditation At Melville Ave.
Mercy
Mines
Monkey
My Early Training
Noise
The Nothing Redemption
On The Ambiguity Of Injury And Pain
On The Anniversary Of Her Grace
On The Dictatorship Of The Proletariat
On This Spot
The One
Our 17th Street Years
Our Independence Day
Our Lies And Their Beauty
Our Middle Years
Painting On A T'ang Dyanasty Water Vessel
Pigeons
Pineapple
Praise Wound Dirt Skin Sky
Red Squirrel
Regret For The Mourning Doves Who Failed To Mate
River Journal
A Romance
Sailing To Bien Hoa
Shelter
Short
The Singing And The Dancing
Sitting With The Buddhist Monks, Hue, 1967
The Sky In Daduza Township
Small Song For Andrew
Snowy Egret
The Soldier's Brief Epistle
Some Thoughts On The Ambassador: Bong Son, 1967
Song For The Lost Private
Song Of Napalm
The Streets
Surrounding Blues On The Way Down
Temple Near Quang Tri, Not On The Map
Temptation
That Finished Feeling
They Name Heaven
This Man
Three Fish
Three Meditations At Nguyen Du
The Way Of Tet
What I Saw And Did In The Alley
What Saves Us
Why I'm Not Afraid
Why Nothing Changes For Miss Ngo Thi Thanh
Words Like Cold Whiskey Between Us And Pain
The Years Without Understanding'
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1st edition (March 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802136079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802136077
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "greenkara" on April 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Bruce Weigl writes on the line between life and death. This is beautiful, intense writing. Much of it deals with the Vietnam War, which serves as an avenue into his thinking about how to handle the experience of having been in the war and seen and done so many unforgiveable and unforgettable things. A beautiful collection.
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By Ann B. Keller on May 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Weigl, who grew up in Lorain County, Ohio, provides a graphic testament to the horrors of war. It is difficult enough to capture the nightmarish images of Vietnam on a few pages, much less compress them into verse. Every word must be chosen with care. It can be as searing as a blast of napalm or as deadly as a trip wire held in an old man's teeth.

This book of poetry captures the Vietnam era in great detail, but it also hints at the triumph of the returning soldier. Blending back into normal life was difficult for these returning GIs. For some, the struggle proved insurmountable. For others, the task took decades. Within these pages, we catch a glimpse of a man caught in this time of conflict and change. Sobering and memorable read.
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You really get a feel for what this man went through in Vietnam. He writes so well and clear, straight too the point! A really disturbing poem I'll never forget describes how a fellow GI took pleasure in hitting the little kids begging for food in the head with a can of food like a baseball player throwing a fast ball. How this GI drilled her in the face with the can and how she waved with one hand and wiped the blood off her face with the other as the rest of the children mobbed her. Chilling.... and quite vivid these poems cut right too the bone. No filler or fancy dancey word play. However, he does have a very front sense of poetic flow to his work. I highly recommend!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Holiday on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The collection is a good read despite it being a bit too personal and shocking at times. But, because I just finished writing a personal memoir on my years in foster care, I did not mind the honesty too much. Weigl even managed to have a very personal piece in this collection which touched (no pun intended) on a very similar incident that happened in my own young life and I wrote about in my book. Veterans should find the poems helpful in dealing with the hurt of war (s), while others can find strength in Weigl's honesty and survival.
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