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9 Reviews
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars splendid, September 15, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
Ben Lerner has written a book both timely and timeless: it's political and yet deeply versed in various literary traditions. It's beautiful, but mean. Mean, but hopeful. Loving, but stern. This is a major work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, August 15, 2014
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This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
I'm so glad I was introduced to the poetry of gifted Ben Lerner earlier this summer! His witty, poignant, beautiful wordscapes linger long after these spare poems are read. I was happy to buy his novel 'Leaving the Atocha Station' and would give it five stars as well.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great First Book, September 26, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
Most first books of poetry are collections of imitations of other books of poetry. This book is original, powerful, and perfectly realized.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new direction for copper canyon, September 29, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
This book signals that Copper Canyon has turned an important corner. Formerly more concerned with publishing established poets than with discovering new ones, Copper Canyon has now produced the most impressive debut collection I've read in twenty years.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most important book of poetry in a decade, November 3, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
In the 1998 Hal Hartley movie Henry Fool a perverted garbageman writes a poem that becomes the "best selling poem of all time," eventually earning him the Nobel Prize. Ben Lerner is not a garbageman, but he holds a degree in Political Theory from Brown University, which is close enough to the script that he ought to be in line for recognition by the Swedish Academy. Lichtenberg is a sonnet sequence chloroformed by the lies and swindles of the English language circa 2004. I adore this book. I adorate it.

Check out some of its lines:

What am I the antecedent of?

When I shave I feel like a Russian.

When I drink I'm the last Jew in Kansas.

I sit in my hammock and whittle my rebus.

I feel disease spread through me like a theaory.

I take a sip from Death's black daiquiri.

...

O slender spadix projecting from a narrow spathe,

you are thinner than spaghetti but not as thin as vermicelli.

You are the first and last indigenous Nintendo.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPLEXITIES IN A SIMPLE STYLE, October 23, 2004
By 
Scott R. Hightower (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
Lerner's sonnets are authentic explorations in an old form. Jargons and cliches combine with the poet's plain observations to illuminate a far-ranging curiosity...and a modern assimilating heart.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Figure, October 7, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
While Lerner's work has much in common with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing--an interest in the materiality of language, in postmodern theory, in visual art, and so on--it also has the discursive precision of a more traditional poet--Auden, for example. The Lichtenberg Figures is one of those rare books in which beautiful and playful linguistic surfaces coexist with moments of sincerity.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lerner is inspiring, April 18, 2005
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
Ben Lerner is fantastic at what he does and not only is his material fresh, but his approach at poetry is quite miraculous. Each time I sit down to write a poem, I think of his collection and how it inspired me to become more creative and flexible with my voice. This is a must-read. -->Ben Lerner<-- is way cool...A true artist and genius in his gift.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever. Satirical. Honest., September 26, 2004
This review is from: The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets) (Paperback)
At times, deep enough to preserve certain intimacies, but all the while intriguing. A truly enjoyable read. Congratulations, Ben.
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The Lichtenberg Figures (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets)
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