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Or to Begin Again (Poets, Penguin) Paperback – April 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Poets, Penguin
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143115200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115205
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This ninth collection of poetry finds Lauterbach doing what she does best, anchoring her roving eye and associative thinking among the banalities and raptures of a mature urban life. If her banalities, often comically deployed, are sometimes merely that (There are new blinds on the windows across the way), her raptures, often in the form of physical description, can truly exhilarate and sound like no one else's: as the sun sets, tiny distinctions appear among luminosities, sky, river, car, white fence, yellow lights of passing cars, pale stone of the graves. Less rhapsodic than usual, Lauterbach may apologize for not making meaning, but when she does make it, she reveals a gift for impeccably phrased insight: one falls in love/ with the condition of hope// and falls out of love with its/ cruel replacement, hope.... Highlights of the book include its title poem, a breathtaking, understated 14-part elegy, and the centerpiece, Alice in the Wasteland, a playful semiotic dialogue that finds Carroll's Alice interrogated by an impersonal Voice as she wanders through Eliot's labyrinth of dysfunction. Intelligent but no less deeply feeling, this collection confirms Lauterbach's position as one of the most highly principled and tirelessly innovative poets writing today. (Apr.)
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About the Author

Ann Lauterbach is Ruth and David Schwab III Professor of Language and Literature at Bard College. Her work has received fellowship support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation. She has published six collections of poetry, including If in Time: Selected Poems 1975-2000.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HyacinthGirl on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Absolutely engaging poetics; the benefits of confusion. Read ann lauterbach if you're sick of transparency and want surprise, depth, and a way to navigate the "zones of retrieval."

The alice in wonderland middle section is so lively and full of specific questions and answers. 'chaos is the color of a pair of socks.' 'but there is only one chaos, alice answers.'

The title poem warrants rereading several times. This is a book i can already sense as having a big influence on me.

I've read her early works, this book surpasses them all. Without a doubt. She's found her voice and the canon will love it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JR on July 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lauterbach's piercing intelligence--full of dry wit, deft insight and patience in calamity--is exactly why we read books.
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