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Mornings Like This: Found Poems Paperback – April 26, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 26, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060927259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060927257
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Found poems are to their poet what no-fault insurance is to beneficiaries: payoffs waiting to happen where everyone wins and no one is blamed. Dillard culls about 40 such happy accidents from sources as diverse as a The American Boys Handy Book (1882) and the letters of Van Gogh. Taking the texts nearly verbatim but toying with theme and line breaks, the poet aims for a lucky, loaded symbolism that catapults the reader into an epiphany never imagined by the original authors. If parts of this collection fall short of that ideal, there are plenty of chuckles and some beautiful turns of phrase. Poems of joy tend to fare better than the more somber efforts. It is hard to play serious with a style that relies on techniques more common in comedy, such as understatement ("Another legal situation/ Is death") and double entendre ("Try dropping from different heights"). Regardless, these co-op verses are never less than intriguing.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Poetry from the ever-popular Dillard.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Annie Dillard is the author of ten books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, as well as An American Childhood, The Living, and Mornings Like This. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in 1945 in Pittsburgh, Dillard attended Hollins College in Virginia. After living for five years in the Pacific Northwest, she returned to the East Coast, where she lives with her family.

Customer Reviews

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"A ripple runs around and picks up the chin./When he laughs new forms begin."
Cecil Bothwell
Annie has crafted these found poems in ways that suprise and stimulate, mixing the clever and the humorous with the deep and profound.
gary gackstatter
Mornings Like This: wonderful selection of found poems from very interesting sources by a masterful writer!
Karin Bradberry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the introductory author's note to "Mornings Like These: Found Poems," Annie Dillard states of the book, "Excepting only some titles and subtitles, I did not write a word of it." Basically the book consists of "bits of broken text" taken from other authors' prose books and rearranged on the page as poetry. Dillard's sources include "The American Boys Handy Book" (1892), an 1853 maritime conference report, a 1926 junior high school English text, van Gogh's letters, and more.
Dillard admits that half of the poems in this book "are just jokes." Some of them are quite clever and thought-provoking; in some of them she really seems to change the original author's intent. Dillard thus, in a broader sense, makes us question the very nature of the written text and the nature of its relationship to potential readers.
There are some really interesting passages in this book. She mines a stunning section on pain from a prehospital emergency care book. I found the funniest piece to be a "Index of First Lines," from two poetry anthologies. Overall, an intriguing book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
Annie Dillard was recommended to me as a poet whose work would gracefully cross over the line separating genres of literature. I found "Mornings Like This" to be much more than this. It has been said many times that there are no more original thoughts left to be expressed. Ms. Dillard challenges this, by presenting us with "found poetry" - thoughts that she did not formulate originally but that she has adapted to show deeper or alternate meaning. It IS original, despite being thought of by others first. The work is a delicate web of whimsy
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By gary gackstatter on January 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful little book of poems! Whether you are familiar with Dillard or not, familiar with the original lines she "lifted" or not, or familiar with poetry at all, you will truly enjoy this book. Annie has crafted these found poems in ways that suprise and stimulate, mixing the clever and the humorous with the deep and profound. Each one is a treasure to be explored for again and again. Dillard makes these works her own; you can hear her voice through others' words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Shannon on September 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anne Dillard is a rare treasure. I loved her poetry in "Tickets For a Prayer Wheel" and have searched for more of her poetry for years. Well, this is it. In "Mornings Like This" she combs through old books and gathers sentences and phrases then assembles these "bits of broken text" into poems that brilliantly illuminate their source material. And what sources she has found! From works such as M. G. Minnaert's "The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air" - 1893, to D. C. Beard's "The American Boys Handy Book" - 1882, and David Greyson's "The Countryman's Year" - 1936 (from which she has assembled the poem "Mornings Like This") she has searched out and "found" words for nearly 40 poems. Oh, this work is a thing of beauty!
I have given this book to three friends and shared it with many more, and everyone has been, without exception, delighted with it.
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Format: Paperback
I discovered this beaut' while trolling for e.e.cummings for another project. Proving my guiding gnomon that 9/10 of writing is editing, Dillard did not find these poems in the sense that the term is usually used, but rather, lifted them from their sources phrase by phrase. None of the words are hers (save a few parenthetical conjunctions), but she has cobbled together poetry of mad humor and trenchant depth. Consider these couplets from "Class Notes on Painting and the Arts" which was drawn from a book by Robert Henri entitled THE ART SPIRIT. "The laughter should pass /From the beginning of the hair to the end of it." - "A ripple runs around and picks up the chin./When he laughs new forms begin." - "After laughter one should feel full,/Not empty as one feels after fireworks."... Or this from "Deathbeds," drawn from Le Comte's Dictionary of Last Words, "I am coming, Katie! John, /it will not Be long. /Supremely happy! Excellent!/My dearest, dearest Liz. We are all going;/We are all going; we are all going./This is it chaps. Take me home. I believe, my son, I am going. That's it./Good-bye -- drive on. Cut her loose, Doc." Fueled by Dillard's wicked sense of humor and passionate taste for metaphysics, frisbees and animal life, this one is a slim and wondrous delight.
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