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The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You Paperback – June 1, 2000

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The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You + The Singing Knives + The Light the Dead See
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Lost Roads Publishers; 2 Reprint edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918786509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918786500
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank Stanford (August 1, 1948 - June 3, 1978) was a prolific American poet. He is most known for his epic THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE THE MOON SAYS I LOVE YOU, a labyrinthine, highly lexical book absent stanzas and punctuation. In addition, Stanford published six shorter books of poetry throughout his 20s, and three posthumous collections of his writings (as well as a book of selected poems) have also been published. Just shy of his 30th birthday, Stanford died on June 3, 1978, in his home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the victim of three self-inflicted pistol wounds to the heart. In the three decades since, he has become somewhat of a cult figure in American letters.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Justin Evans on March 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been waiting to get this book for over 10 years, and it is well worth the wait I endured!
I first read Frank Stanford and an exerpt from The Battlefield when I purchased the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award Anthology. I was immediately captured by the immense narrative form that I found. I later bought The Light the Dead See and was amazed yet again. Upon finally getting my hands on this book I can say without a doubt that I am in love with the words of Frank Stanford.
The new edition is not 542 pages long, but this is a result of the enlarged book format that the publishers chose. However, the poem is a single, 15,000+ line stanza of poetry that can seem most daunting any way you look at it. What got me going is my anticipation. I just dove into the book and didn't look back.
Within the narrative, you find Francis, who is an amazing guide through a rural, Southern landscape, filled with adventure and figurative language that at times cause me to catch my breath. Francis narrates from both an observational and personal point of view, and it is up to the reader to catch up with him. At times he is telling you what happened to him, what he heard about someone else, what he was/is dreaming, and what he plans on doing.
The text is full of allusions and references to other epic stories. Francis and the events and people who surround him culminate with these allusions into an Epic for the modern reader. At times the writing looks too unorganized to be an epic, but this is not the case. I am convinced that Stanford knew what he was doing every single line and word of the way. This truly is poetry with every line a composition in itself.
At every turn of the page there is a new secret, a new wonderful discovery to be found. I urge you to read this book and help to re-discover a lost American poet. I was so impressed, I bought a second copy as a gift and would not hesitate to do so again for the right person.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J from NY VINE VOICE on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Frank Stanford's "Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You" is one of the strangest texts I have ever read--whether in the realm of poetry, prose, news, research, theology, or just about anything.

Populated by the most bizarre and incongruous figures I have ever encountered in one same body of text (Muhammad Ali, Thomas Merton, Elvis Presley), it is clearly meant to be a verbal sculpture of a kind: one to be excavated from the ugliest and most fly ridden region of the South.

When most poets sympathize deeply with another culture or race it can seem affected and strained, even corny (I won't name anyone, but there are thousands). Stanford's constant use of Southern African American language is completely convincing and the "hero" Francis has obviously lived around them so long that it is simply his culture.

Stanford's raison d'etre here (I think) is to shove our faces in the lives of the downtrodden, criminal, and those rejected by society. From castrating carnival midgets to one legged black felons spit upon by "Johnny Law", the cascade of surreality and the dank smell of mud is enough to throw any reader off the course of certitude. This is like William Faulkner having a really bad day and enjoying the hell out of it.

Resurrecting the monster of Southern machismo, racism, and madness is not the whole thing. Death is. Death follows Francis Gildart (Stanford's real name) everywhere, and nearly all the antiheroes in the book die.
Francis comes so close so many times one wonders if he's interested
in it.

Stanford did the world of poetry a disservice by ending his own life. This brilliant work reflects clearly that Stanford had an ongoing dialogue with Thanatos and it fuelled a lot of his poetry. A must.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
mississippi/arkansas poet. don't blame him for that. rare rare book. and about two inches thick. no real periods or commas or pauses.pure shrieking breath text. perhaps a suicide note in a life-affirming veil. seemingly endless vignettes and fortune cookie moments that include but are not limited to jesus, dirt dobbers, thomas merton, messages of light, possum russians and the wind is I am waving goodbye to the casket of my first mammy..."
" angel with the right hand extended slightly palm open means guardianship of human beings the blood sprinkled upon the doorposts of Egypt was a symbol and.."
tough. tender. tragic rant of the isolated spirit whose lonliness is interrupted by language and the potential of song in a world seemingly made by someone else who doesn't seem to be available.
the trauma of seem.
search for this book
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Format: Paperback
This isn't a book for light reading. This is a whole cultures ugliest face lit up for posterity. Hell, all culture. Written from the point of view of a clairvoyant boy, Stanford wades the swamps of his youth on a destructive mission to right the wrongs that he sees around him. There's humor, death, more references to classic literature than you can imagine, sex, incredible beauty, and profound ugliness- often in the same line. People who aren't from the south often mistake Stanford for an idiot-savant, and use words like "surreal". This work began its life in the late 60s, and it's quite accurate in its brutish depiction of the hatred and violence of the time in the rural Mississippi delta. Stanfords comprehensive knowledge of history, literature, and human nature make him an entertaining (if unreliable) narrator, and the cast of characters create a creepy landscape. This isn't academic poetry. Well, it IS, but it doesn't want anyone to know it. This is poetry that wants to puncture your lung and steal your car.
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