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Bliss to Fill Paperback – March 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I soak underwear with my head out to dry,// I am happy to be organized with my problems,/ keeping them simple and deft for an unremarkable bathtub oratory." An ebullient, South Asian-American identity is put through the emotional wringers of lost love, first generationality, and New York City in this debut-and emerges triumphant. The book takes its title and one of two epigraphs from Dickinson ("Our blank is bliss to fill"), and is suffused with a Dickinson-like archaic diction that lends "Prageeta," as she appears in the third person, an historical aureole: "Arguments/ do arouse this poem which oscillates in the same, trying space as arguments./ How do we rise to a spiritual position? Prageeta asks. Wanting to again, reading/ Hegel, she asks the book to fly to him." The book is divided into two chapbook-length sections. The first, "Dear _____," includes letters to a lover-like "Dearest echo," and to disheartened comsumers of Prageeta's poems; contemplates the arranged marriage of the poet's parents; and exhorts a "Politician Bird" "Do continue to free the clouds from the firm, plastic, earth." The second, "The Other Possibility," considers lifestyles like those of the multi-part "All-Purpose Rockstar" (where a poet taunts fans, and deploys "The song designed for situational/ dumbness"); of a bitter, bizarre "Girl Vendor" ("my spacecraft is more project-/ oriented than your spacecraft"); of "The Assassins"; and even a "Suburban Address." At once playful, ironic and affecting, this debut suggests that Sharma will "roll onward, to deviate, to leeward-I did have thrills/ or happily ate, or vigor caught me." (Feb.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

The first-generation child of a South Asian immigrant family and a native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Prageeta Sharma is the author of BLISS TO FILL (Subpress, 2000), THE OPENING QUESTION (Fence Books, 2004; selected by Peter Gizzi for the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize), INFAMOUS LANDSCAPES (Fence Books, 2007), and UNDERGLOOM (Fence Books, 2013). She is also the recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Grant. Sharma is associate professor and director of the creative writing program at the University of Montana.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: Subpress; 1st edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193006800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930068001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,530,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2000
I found this book by accident, and it must have been kismet. Sharma's impressive poetry is coy, witty, and still completely soulful. A welcome refreshment--I can't wait to see a new collection of her work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Cohane on February 1, 2001
I used this book in a class, and we enjoyed it so much I am going to assign it. It is my new gift, also, to friends and folks. Very exciting poetry, incredibly gifted new voice.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on August 25, 2004
The poetry is wonderful; the person is great. I have the honor of working with her during the course of my studies. It's refreshing to read something contemporary that exudes warmth and engages the reader.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph I. Sack on September 21, 2001
Meaningful prose and a beautiful style. Good surprises here!
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