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Comment: Withdrawn library item. Limited marks/labels. Clean, reasonably crisp pages. Tight binding. Cover and DJ have moderate surface and edge wear.
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Late Wife: Poems (Southern Messenger Poets Series) Hardcover – September 30, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Southern Messenger Poets Series
  • Hardcover: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807130834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807130834
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,587,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Claudia Emerson is also the author of the poetry books Pharaoh, Pharaoh and Pinion: An Elegy, both published in Dave Smith's Southern Messenger Poets series. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, New England Review, and other journals. She is an associate professor of English at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This author knows how to capture the nuances of life that most of us can relate to.
K.P.
I read these poems in a parking lot waiting for someone to return, in an airport waiting for a loved one to arrive, and in bed when I couldn't fall asleep.
Larry Dilg
I would highly recommend this poetry collection for anyone who enjoys reading poetry.
Tasha Cotter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Larry Dilg on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've only read this book once, which isn't really enough for most poetry - or for these poems - but the fleeting impression of something deeply wrong, something radiantly right, something lost but always retained leads me to write about it now. This book haunts you the way an old love affair, a failed marriage, or a missed opportunity lingers in your mind after the second cup of coffee. I read these poems in a parking lot waiting for someone to return, in an airport waiting for a loved one to arrive, and in bed when I couldn't fall asleep. Claudia Emerson was there with me - or actually it felt like she had been there before and I heard her echo, felt her departed presence. The language of the poems felt intentional, concrete, full of meaning and suggestion. The poems tingle, poised between death and renewal, loss and discovery, and that owes something to the language. I haven't lived with them long enough to know how they work, but this is a group of poems worth the time.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brian Williams on May 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Timeless poems that reveal, through domestic detail, the complexities of the heart. I am so glad this book won the pulitzer. Deeply heartfelt, yet complicated and brave enough to resist declining into the sentimental. I can think of no recent book that writes of the shadowy emotions of loss and hope as this.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chris A. Humston on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the first Clauidia Emerson book I've read and it makes me want to read her others. I have to admit though, that on my first reading, I thought, "Big whoop." But after sitting and really digesting it, it started to win me over. She has the great poetic ability to capture, with candid detail, those rare emotional moments we have in life, like: divorce, death, lost love, fear of being lonely, etc.

There's no questioning her poetic skill. She uses all the tools and uses them well. But I think what turned me off initially was her ryhme scheme and use of white space. Sometimes her ryhming is too thick and noticeable, which gets in the way of what she is trying to convey. Also, many of her poems are long and structured using tercets (3 line stanzas). After reading five or six poems that look the same, you begin to grow weary and lose interest. Other than those considerations, "Late Wife" is an excellent collection. I am looking forward to her next piece of work.

Favorite poems and quotes from "Late Wife":

1. The Autobon Collection- "There will always be/such things I regret knowing."

2. House-Sitting- "Evenings/I lit candles as though for guests/and danced with my own vanishing/as the prisms moved in the draft/my body made of the stillness."

3. Rent- "But I imagine the walls still disappear inside/themselves, vacant forms, and the house grows/lighter, a deceitful ruin that lingers, rising//longer than it should above you and the fertile/hunger that will, with enough time, consume it-/before going on to another survival."
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jimbo in Virginia on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I almost exclusively read nonfiction, but saw this author on tv after winning a pulitzer. I decided to give it a try, and find her poetry to be very moving.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a retired university teacher of contemporary poetry, I was not surprised at the content. I respect the Pulitzer Prize selection committee. I am confident the material they reviewed was, as most contemporary poetry tends to be, more personal than universal.
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By MR-LR on December 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
As I try to recreate my paper library into a Kindle one, I have to be honest with myself about which are the very best books in my library and worth the cost of buying twice. This work by Claudia Emerson is most definitely one of them. There are some books by modern writers/poets that deserve, and want, to be read again and again, and since the Kindle allows us to take our library with us wherever we go, it's nice to have these very best at our fingertips.

The formatting in this book was interesting--they worked hard to keep the physical form of the poem in place--to the point of adjusting fonts to different sizes on the same page. Are other Kindle owners seeing the same thing? It's not a problem; in fact, I think I prefer it.
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Format: Paperback
I had to read this book for a graduate level poetry workshop and was quite simply blown away. What a fascinating premise Emerson has created. There were many poems I went back and re-read, marvelling at her word choice and craftsmanship of these poems. The collection is divided up into three parts and chronicles her relationship with a man whose former wife passed away. I would highly recommend this poetry collection for anyone who enjoys reading poetry. It is one of those rare books of poetry you want to read again and again.
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