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Crush (Yale Series of Younger Poets) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Yale Series of Younger Poets
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300107897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300107890
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Vital, immediate, and cinematic in scope, [Siken's] verse offers sharply observed vignettes of longing, love, and pain."—Library Journal (Best Poetry of 2005)


(Library Journal) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Richard Siken’s Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It's like listening to your deepest thoughts ... or someone else's deepest thoughts.
LateNightShopaholic
This book is filled with some of the most amazing poetry I've ever read; definitely recommend for anyone who wants to read something with meaning.
Kathey
At times, Siken's poems are pure lyric, love lyrics, but always there is the grit to ground such poems.
C. Dale Young

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By C. Dale Young on May 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Richard Siken's Crush, the recent Yale winner. It is a phenomenal book. And I don't say that lightly. What strikes me the most about this book is the absolute command of the line Siken has. That might sound like mumbo jumbo to some, but his lines seemed guided both by cadence and by rational thought. Add to this a hauntingly dark, brutal, violent landscape and what you get is something absolutely memorable. At times, Siken's poems are pure lyric, love lyrics, but always there is the grit to ground such poems.

These are poems with speakers who want desperately to understand what is going on around them, want to explain them. But time and time again, the poems demonstrate that we are incapable of ever really recounting experience with any real degree of faithfulness.

And gorgeous, these poems are. I am glad there are poets like Louise Gluck out there judging book contests because the world needs books like this one. It is easily one of the best first books published in the last decade. It heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice. I will be anxiously and "faithfully" looking for Mr. Siken's work in the future.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Richard Siken, Crush (Yale, 2005)

When I compile my list of the ten best reads of the year, I have no doubt whatsoever that Richard Siken's first book, Crush, will be on that list, possibly at the top. I could stare at the cover for hours-- a close-up of a mouth, and a hand, thumb wet with blood, or perhaps motor oil. It fits perfectly with the contents of the book, which are clingy, suffocating, obsessive, and uniformly brilliant. Louise Gluck writes in her introduction that "[f]or a book like this to work, it cannot deviate from obsession (lest its urgency, in being occasional, seem unconvincing)...". She is, of course, correct; how obsessive can you be if you are not constantly turning your obsession over in your mind or your hands? And Siken provides a picture of obsession that is hauntingly pure.

"...Your name like
a song I sing to myself, your name like a box
where I keep my love, your name like a nest
in the tree of love, your name like a boat
in the sea of love-- O now we're in the sea of love!
Your name like detergent in the washing machine.
Your name like two Xs like punched-in eyes,
like a drunk cartoon passed out in the gutter,
your name with two Xs to mark the spots,
to hold the place, to keep the treasure from
becoming ever lost. I'm saying your name
in the grocery store, I'm saying your name on
the bridge at dawn. Your name like an animal
covered with frost, your name like a music that's
been transposed..."
("Saying Your Names")

There is something not right about this, and it's obvious from even a cursory read. In the hands of many (perhaps most) other poets, a passage like this would come off sappy-sweet.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Marvel on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Richard Siken's Crush is urgent, its voice an aggressive invasion. From the first sentence of his first poem, the reader engages death, love, and longing. "Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake / and dress them in warm clothes again" (3). There are no subtleties here, only language that literally forces the reader to engage the writing and the beauty of the rhythm on the page. It is in this language and rhythm that Siken develops a very tight and eloquent structure.

Siken's voice is consistent throughout the collection - at times raw, uninhibited, escaping the clothed bitter aftertaste of conventional language and in other parts soft, rhythmic, alliterative, and safe. "The Dislocated Room" is crafted in just such a manner. It begins on a beautiful evening where it would seem all is at peace:

It was night for many miles and then the real stars in the purple sky,

like little boats rowed out too far,

begin to disappear.

And there, in the distance, not the promised land,

but a Holiday Inn.

(46)

But the dislocation begins. The reader quickly peels back the layers of the poem and finds something sinister and raw in a Holiday Inn somewhere, anywhere in America.

This is the in-between, the waiting that happens in the

space between

one note and the next, the part where you confuse

his hand with the room, the dog

with the man, the blood

with the ripped up sky.

He puts his hands all over you to keep you in the room.

( 47)

The sky is no longer purple with stars "like little boats rowed out too far" but violated, filthy, stained.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily D. McMillan on December 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in love with this book. I bought it a couple of years ago on a recommendation and have read it over and over and over again. Other reviewers have sung the book's praises brilliantly and I agree with many of their descriptions. Violent, haunting, tender, unflinching. I think my favorite adjective for these poems is "seductive." The way you're lulled into reading a nice little love poem ... and then sent reeling. It's breathtaking.

"An all-night barbeque. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
The radio aches a little tune that tells the story of what the night
is thinking. It's thinking of love.
It's thinking of stabbing us to death
and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
That's a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey kisses for everyone."

The scenes are so alive, so vivid, so intense and immediate. Very cinematic poetry. I wish I could write like this, and I wish there was more of Siken's work out there to be found. I've been searching ....
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