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Burnings Paperback – November 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0578070599 ISBN-10: 0578070596

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578070596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578070599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Vuong's masterful poetry is something any literary enthusiast should experience. His poems share a worldly sadness that paradoxically recalls the joyful magic that can spring forth unexpectedly in life."
--Lantern Review

From the Back Cover

"I was born because someone was starving..." ends one of Ocean Vuong's poems, and in that poem, as in every other of his poems, Ocean manages to imbue the desperation of his being alive, with a savage beauty. It is not just that Ocean can render pain as a kind of loveliness, but that his poetic line will not let you forget the hurt or the garish brilliance of your triumph; will not let you look away. These poems shatter us detail by detail because Ocean leaves nothing unturned, because every lived thing in his poems demands to be fed by you; to nourish you in turn. You will not leave these poems dissatisfied. They will fill you utterly."


-Roger Bonair-Agard, author ofTarnish and Masquerade




"Ocean Vuong's masterful poetry is something any literary enthusiast should experience. His poems share a worldly sadness that paradoxically recalls the joyful magic that can spring forth unexpectedly in life. Vuong's words hold inside them a wisdom that speaks across and through generations of people who have suffered and then go on to persevere. Burnings is definitely for any reader who is looking to come in from out of the cold."


-The Lantern Review




"Ocean Vuong is a poet of rare lyrical gifts and urgent stories to tell. "Memory," he writes, "has not forgotten you." No, it hasn't forgotten the burning city or the taste of blood nor the hanging of rags or the violence of war. Vuong's poems are testament to the enduring power of poetry and its place in this human universe."


-Hoa Nguyen, author of Hectate Lochia and Kiss A Bomb Tattoo





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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
I bought this book on a lark.
Marcel Louis
The images are crystalline, and his voice is consistent and strong in all the poems, from the lyrical to the lighthearted to the heartbreaking.
Padme
Ocean Vuong's book will leave you speechless and breathless, but aching for more!
Chuckles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is very difficult to read the poetry of Ocean Vuong: he gets inside the marrow and hides there for even a few moldy moments of memories that we've tried to erase. Perhaps not for everyone, this response. Likely for most these poems he collectively and intuitively titles BURNINGS will be simply the virtuosic, luminous constructions of a vividly experienced/inherited life. Ocean Vuong is Vietnamese, now living and writing and teaching in Brooklyn. He was born in Saigon in 1988, well after the US withdrawal of troops from that grossly wrong war, but his parents and grandparents carry the napalm smells and bitter battles in every cell of their bodies: Vuong's inheritance. And now, years away from that fetid error, his poems ask, if not force, us to recall that cancer that will never go away. So for those of us who experienced the Vietnam of which he speaks these poems are pockets of pain and renewed compassion. And as an example, everyone, no matter what age will recall
THE PHOTO (after the infamous 1968 photo of a Viet Cong guerilla being executed by South Vietnam's national police chief)

What hurts the most
is not how death
is made permanent
by the camera's flash,
the irony of sunlight
on gunmetal,
but the hand gripping the pistol
is a yellow hand,
and the face squinting
behind the barrel,
a yellow face.

Like all photographs
this one fails
to reveal the picture.
Like where the bullet
entered his skull,
the phantom of a rose
leapt into light, or how,
after smoke cleared,
from behind the fool
with blood on his cheek
and the dead dog by his feet.

a white man
was lighting a cigarette.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chuckles on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Burnings" is a lifetime of pain, anguish and celebration packed into 44 pages! Ocean Vuong's book will leave you speechless and breathless, but aching for more! You will be changed forever by the astonishing and haunting memories and images he shares! His poems are expertly and exquisitely written. And while they are about a life--or lives--that may seem foreign to many of us, these poems are universal. This is a MUST, MUST HAVE book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Padme on November 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing first book--Vuong makes every word count. The images are crystalline, and his voice is consistent and strong in all the poems, from the lyrical to the lighthearted to the heartbreaking. I bought both the print and kindle versions--that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For this review, it's tempting to use a title like "One to Watch" or a "A Young Poet with Promise" but these seem not only cliche but, when applied to Ocean Vuong, patronizing. If you're going to watch this poet, you're almost certainly going to watch him get more and more recognition for lovely work. He has two poems in the current issue of POETRY, which were extensively featured on the podcast for the issue. This is a wonderful book and I can't wait to read more from Ocean Vuong.
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