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Luck Is Luck: Poems (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award) Hardcover – March 22, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1400063239 ISBN-10: 140006323X Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Series: Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
  • Hardcover: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1ST edition (March 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140006323X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400063239
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Recipient of a 2000 MacArthur Fellowship, Perillo has turned out a fourth collection of poems in her signature style: sassy, slangy and aggressively matter-of-fact: "So ta-dah," she writes, "Here's the moment to which we've been brung" ("I'm not sure about brung," she immediately notes). Like many poets of her generation, Perillo cycles between the low and the high; she manages instantaneous leaps from troubadour poets to nipple rings, from raga trip-hop to the baby Jesus, seeking the irreverent in every possible moment of reverence, and vice versa. "When first they told me the serpent beguiled her / I pictured her eyes knocked loose and rattling around." It's no accident that Perillo mentions Eve—women, and their usual second-class role in the world, are a chief subject. Although her tone could be called puckish in places, its wry quality doesn't mask the real feminist anger that's at the core of the book and finds its expression in poems on Simone de Beauvoir, breast cancer, misogynistic poets and mutilated dolls: "Darling / lamb chop, don't you look feverish, don't you look faint," she asks her doll, after she's finished removing all the limbs. Death creeps into the book's last section, but in her customary manner—and though she does occasionally give in to sentiment—Perillo isn't about to let a little thing like mortality get her down. "[H]ard luck is luck, nonetheless," she declares, and she gives us no choice but to believe her. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Perillo's poetic persona is funny, tough, bold, smart, and righteous. A spellbinding storyteller and a poet who makes the demands of the form seem as natural as a handshake, she pulls readers into the beat and whirl of her slyly devastating descriptions and observations before they can catch their breath. Perillo sings a love song to her big nose, remembers the forgotten housecoat, describes crows as strutting "Little Elvises," recalls her girlhood confusions in church, and remembers her wild, careening past as she sorts through an absurd accumulation of tacky Christmas ornaments. But Perillo's humor is a sheath concealing precisely sharpened daggers. For all their brio, these entrancing lyrics are about abandoned dreams and making do, degenerative illness and a polluted Earth, injury, age, and death. Birds embody resilience and fragility, beauty and transience, flight and the inevitable return. The fluid grace of Perillo's irresistible lines belies the tension inherent in their outlook, the resistance to easy emotion and obvious sentiment, the rejection of self-pity in favor of flinty humor and rigor. Sheer, shivery pleasure to read, Perillo's poems have extensive appeal. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Roberts on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's nothing like discovering - and welcoming -- a new poet into your life. Lucia Perillo's talent has been celebrated by critics and colleagues alike. In particular, she is noted for her deft juxtaposition of popular culture with weightier issues, all of it accomplished with minimum pretension and much self-deprecation. For this reader, the word that comes to mind is compassion. Compassion for herself, as she beholds how time has meddled with the plans and dreams of her youth, and compassion for the rest of us, who are undoubtedly in the same boat. After getting to know her poems, you will likely discover the bittersweet facts of her life story: the initial career in the outdoors, as a forest ranger, the subsequent onset of multiple sclerosis, and the challenges that ensued. Then, perhaps when it was most needed, came the awarding of the MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, a huge sum, which apparently enabled Perillo to restructure her life to accommodate her progressive illness. There are some references to her current situation ("...by the trail where I walked, back when I could walk,/ before life pinned me on its thorn."), but many of the poems just make you smile, paradoxically, at the sad humor and the flawed beauty that graces each of our lives. "Hard luck," she says, "is luck, nonetheless." But how to convey the winning, unsentimental touch of Perillo, who entertains, even as she shines a light on the things we usually hide -- or hide from? Read the poems and see.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The copy is fine, but it's a library edition which is usually a separate category. Not a great copy if I wanted to gift it to someone.
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