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Comment: Withdrawn library copy with typical marks/labels. Pages are clean and crisp. Cover and dust jacket have moderate surface and edge wear.
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Open Shutters: Poems Hardcover – May 13, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Openness and transparency take many forms in this lucid collection. A woman looks through an unshuttered window and watches a wary hare succumb to the sensuous spell of the grass' sweet fragrance. Old photographs are portals to the past; an ultrasound provides a glimpse into the future. The pages of books and newspapers open to reveal new worlds, and hands open, too, in gestures of giving and receiving. Once again Salter, whose last collection was the radiant A Kiss in Space (1999), performs with deep pleasure and arresting artistry the paired arts of avid observation and the transformation of hectic experience into crystalline images, golden threads of narrative, and startling extrapolations. In poems such as "The Accordionist," in which a gypsy boy boards a Metro train to serenade stoic passengers, and "TWA 800," in which a postcard survives a deadly plane crash, Salter's moves are so precise and gravity-defying, so astonishingly eloquent, the exhilarated reader feels as though she's watching a gymnast perform intricate, risky, and unpredictable sequences, nailing each one perfectly. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Open Shutters (2003)
“[Salter] . . . challenges us with the discovery that something lucid, forthright, and fantastically undisheveled might also be sublime.”
–Stephen Metcalf, New York Times Book Review

“Salter . . . performs with deep pleasure and arresting artistry the paired arts of avid observation and the transformation of hectic experience into crystalline images, golden threads of narrative, and startling extrapolations . . Salter’s moves are so precise and gravity-defying, so astonishingly eloquent, the exhilarated reader feels as though she’s watching a gymnast perform intricate, risky, and unpredictable sequences, nailing each one perfectly.
–Donna Seaman, Booklist

“A mature poet at the top of her form. . . Delightful.”
–Rochelle Ratner, Library Journal

A Kiss in Space (1999)
“The book of poetry I loved best this year was A Kiss in Space, full of moving adventurous work.”
–Les Murray, Times Literary Supplement

"These are poems of breathtaking elegance: in formal control, in intellectual subtlety, in learning lightly displayed."
–Carolyn Kizer

Sunday Skaters (1994)
“A beautiful book, a major phase in the career of an important poet . . . In these poems a quality of close but apparently effortless observation is backed up by a strong and deep moral sense.”
–Henry Taylor
Unfinished Painting (1989)
“Mary Jo Salter’s work embodies the marriage of superb craftsmanship to the tragic sense of reality, which is the formula of true poetry.”
–Joseph Brodsky
Henry Purcell in Japan (1985)
“A poetry full of alertness, tact, credible feeling, and an unforced gaiety of form . . . For all her modesty of tone, she has a range of awareness and response, which, in a time when much poetry has shrunk to the merely personal, is refreshingly large.”
–Richard Wilbur
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (May 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400040086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400040087
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,885,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ceri Miller on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mary Jo Salter, the writer of Open Shutters (2003) uses imagery and observation to transport the reader from the seat they are reading in, into the setting of the poem. Through the "open shutters" Salter lets the reader see into the action of what is going on. In poems such as "The Accordionist", Salter lets the reader look through the movie camera to see the boy's transformation from a child to a man as he plays his songs to the passengers. As well, in the poem "School Pictures" you see the transformation of a family through a camera lens. Salter also speaks about current tragedies such as plane crashes, bombings, and the tragic September 11th as well as addressing families and people individually changing and transforming. By going back and forth between light and dark, Salter allows there to be tension and emotion in the reader. Through her vivid descriptions of the settings, light imaging, and artistry, Salter leaves the reader wondering and thinking that maybe the impossible really is possible.
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By Robert S. Kull on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fresh, bright, and enjoyable. This collection is a pleasure to read and meditate on. I look forward every morning to awaken with one of Mary Jo's poems to read.
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