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By Common Salt Hardcover – June 1, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 61 pages
  • Publisher: Oberlin College Press (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932440738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932440730
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,378,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


More than half of these 53 short prose poems resemble those in Clary's first book, Who Whispered Near Me: elliptical, fluent, coy, earnest, and in touch with the things of this world. Clary can be a landscape poet, her landscapes occasionally Irish, but more often a Greater L.A. of freeways, beaches and balconies. She's weakest being topical or anecdotal, best when anthropological, astronomical, personal. Her accomplished rhythms reveal conscious choices among grammatical structures-she knows (most prose poets don't) how rhythm in prose poems is 80 percent syntax. Cutting from one impression to the next in occasionally-Ashberyan, nearly-free associations, the poems contrive new proverbs. Melodrama redeems itself through compact and aphoristic music-"I ask like a spire, busy as lodestone and distracted by wanting to be lightning, fuel"-a sentence that makes a good touchstone: if you like it, you're someone for whom this poet will matter.
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved. --From The Boston Review

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Killarney Clary is an accomplished poet whose work has been published in such publications as the 'American Poetry Review', 'Colorado Review', Missouri Review', 'Ploughshares', 'Yale Review', and many more. Her work is hallmarked by its spare and lucid prose poems in which she describes and sometimes celebrates aspects of our contemporary landscape, dream fragments, human loss, and the unknowns of our existence in an almost 'stream of consciousness' style of presentation. "By Common Salt" is a highly recommended compendium of her work deserving of as wide a readership as possible and is especially recommended to poetry enthusiasts who appreciate how the deft employment of words can evoke lasting and lingering emotions in the mind and emotions of the reader. 'An old woman alone in a white car on Fletcher peers into a pink bakery box as she waits at the signal in twilight. I'm anxious to be home, talking. I'm afraid of the smell of damp metal, a chill that rises into my scalp a thud against the wall at three a.m.; the phone keeps ringing. When you only have one thing, you're bound to hate it.'
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