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At Lake Scugog: Poems Paperback – April 3, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (April 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691149437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691149431
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 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: #1,640,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This sophomore effort mostly continues in the first book's nervous, witty, self-conscious, and at time self-despising modes. . . . Pantoun, epigram, terza rima, puns, and invented forms with new rhyming requirements make much of the volume a pleasure in terms of technique. . . . Altogether different and hard to forget are poems on which Jollimore concludes: stern, vulnerable, lyrical reactions to environmental peril."--Publishers Weekly

"In this second outing by 2006's National Book Critics Circle Award winner (for Tom Thomson in Purgatory), the poet considers age-old but vexing philosophical dualities: appearance vs. reality, mind vs. body, belief vs. knowledge. Given his day job as a philosophy professor, these aren't surprising subjects; what surprises is the deftness with which he handles them, conjuring great American songbook lyricists ('Don't be misled:/ that sea-song you hear/ when the shell's at your ear?/ It's all in your head') more readily than Descartes or Heidegger. . . . Seriously playful ('no screw-up goes unscrew-/ tinized') or playfully serious ('no man's an iPod'), Jollimore adds buoyancy to weighty human dilemmas without trivializing or distancing them. An engaging collection."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Troy Jollimore, a philosophy prof at Chico State, won a National Book Critics Circle prize with his first poetry collection; his second, At Lake Scugog, is easily that good. In lush language draped over familiar forms, Jollimore explores the nature of the self, but don't let that frighten you off. He's got a great sense of humor and an equal fondness for a pun and a laugh, as in Tom Thomson in Tune": "no man's an iPod." Take that, John Donne!"--Kel Munger, Sacramento News & Review

"Fans of Tom Thompson in Purgatory as well as new readers will delight in a fresh batch of Tom Thompson sonnets, as well as a trove of new work whose ingenious play with form and notions of selfhood is not to be missed. . . . It can't be overstated--he isn't overrated."--Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, ForeWord Reviews

"[W]hat makes the book exceptional is the way it embodies a style of language and thought only a philosopher could deploy so effortlessly."--John Koethe, Philosophers' Magazine

About the Author

Troy Jollimore's first book of poetry, "Tom Thomson in Purgatory", won the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have appeared in the "New Yorker", "McSweeney's", and "The Believer", among other publications. He teaches philosophy at California State University, Chico.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Isadora Zaritsky on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
You throw a switch: the room is flooded with light. So writes Troy Jollimore in the early stanzas of the poem closing his second collection "At Lake Scugog," published in Spring 2011 by Princeton University Press. And indeed, that is what these poems do for the reader; flood the room, and indeed, all the rooms, all the little compartments of the reader's hearts, with light. As contemporary poets know, it is difficult to come by the enviable "new voice," the sort of writing that has us wringing our hands with envy, vacillating between despair and the great hope that we can find a new portal to our work. After all, each of us is wading in the same sea of language, trying to make sense of the themes that both drown us and exalt us. Yet Jollimore does, in fact, transcend. His writing is not only fond of dichotomies, it inhabits them in poem after poem; "Two Hearts," one of the most obvious examples, explores the heart as pale and ghostly at the same time as it is fatty and fidelis ad mortem with love. Some of the work is quite philosophical in nature; "Imperceptibly," for example, deepens the sense of solitude and loneliness wholly present in the title poem, yet the poems are accessible to readers who are not poets and who may not keep Sartre by the bedside but are nonetheless seduced by the contemplative possibility of poetry. Readers will find morsels of humor throughout the book; "Regret" compels us with both honesty and the kind of embarrassment that spreads its pink cheek from the page to our faces as we recall incidents of the similar in our own lives. A small crop of new Tom Thomson poems emerge in this collection for those of us who'd grown fond of his self-consciousness wrapped in self-consciousness in Jollimore's first book, "Tom Thomson in Purgatory.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fixed Stars Govern a Life on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have started to write a review for this book at least five times over the two years that it has been out. Here is the trouble: Ideally, a book review opens cleverly, it hones in on a theme, and then builds a case for its thesis. In effect, a review has a built-in sort of pretension and falseness. It is as much about the ego of the reviewer as the quality of the book. There are some reviews I have even enjoyed more than the books for which they were written.

No, scratch that. Let me start again. *Here* is my trouble: the words I am finding just aren't good enough. Ever. What can compliment/complement a book like this? So, I guess it is back to ego.

The first time I read "At Lake Scugog" I cried. In the good kind of way. The best way. The way when you know a poet has said something for which you thought there were no words. The way you have suddenly lived this other life; through his verse, Jollimore layers and juxtaposes his own world onto yours in a way that you don't know where the boundaries are any more. For all its cleverness, which is plenty, there is no ego in "At Lake Scugog," only a find-wounds-you-didn't-know-you-had sort of sincerity. You can't pretend when poetry gets this real. You can't spin out a heady, impressive paragraph of punch and intellectual references to simultaneously impress your readers and serve the text in any way.

I found Troy Jollimore first through his Tom Thomson book, and was lucky enough to meet him when he served as the critic for the St. Louis Poetry Center years back. Then and now, Jollimore demonstrates this inside-out gift of his: his poems are different from just seeing things from a new perspective. They are revealing the guts, the inner workings, be they physical, emotional, or some intangible wanting.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cleo Griffith on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the delightful experience of hearing Troy Jollimore at a reading at the Barkin' Dog in Modesto, CA and he was wonderful. His poetry is unique. Some of it is (or seems) very straight-forward, some is mind-bending. I am a huge fan of Mr. Jollimore.
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