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Our Lady of the Ruins: Poems (Barnard Women Poets Prize) Paperback – April 2, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0393086430 ISBN-10: 0393086437 Edition: 1st
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Our Lady of the Ruins: Poems (Barnard Women Poets Prize) + Rookery (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Traci Brimhall’s first book, Rookery, was a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. A doctoral student at Western Michigan University, she lives in Kalamazoo.
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Product Details

  • Series: Barnard Women Poets Prize
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393086437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393086430
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jon Corelis on November 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Traci Brimhall's are the sort of poems which are so immediately impressive in their diction and imagery that you are convinced it will be worth the effort to study them to discover what might lie beyond their dreamlike, surreal, and consistently puzzling surface. For me, this series of poems evokes the experience of a world which can only be made sense of as sacred, but in which it is impossible to believe in the idea of the sacred. Thus the poems are shot through with religious imagery, usually but not always specifically Christian, but this imagery is used in consistently surprising, sometimes even frightening, and occasionally unforgettable ways: I seem to hear a voice continually murmuring under these lines, "If only it were possible to believe." I have no idea if the poet is familiar with modern Greek poetry, but these poems in their nexus of surrealism, sacred imagery, and the crisis of faith seemed to me reminiscent of such poets as Ritsos, Gatsos, and Sachtouris.

So with that, why only four stars? Two reasons, one general, one more specific. In general, I reserve five star rankings for poetry books which I'd consider great classics. It takes a certain amount of perspective to make that judgement, so I hesitate to put a very recent book by a young poet in that category. And more specifically, I perceived in most of these poems, despite the brilliance of their language, a lack of formal (I don't just mean externally formal, but emotionally and psychologically formal) unity of statement which makes that poem into a story (not meaning a narrative necessarily) uniquely of its own, different from the story told by any other poem, even ones written in the same poetic language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah DeNicola on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an astonishing collection of poems, a post-apocalyptic journey
with a pilgrimage of women into and through a world destroyed.
Yet the spirit of the speakers of these poems is both spiritual and
devoted to life and the power of human love.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Foster on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything about "Our Lady of the Ruins" runs counter to popular definitions of poetry; it is indeed concise and full of fascinating images, but there's an attraction in these poems that made me race through the book -- and then go back and look at each selection more slowly. This is the kind of book I'd buy more copies of and recommend to friends that their libraries, however small, NEED a copy.
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