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Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (November 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809325314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809325313
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Does boxing poetry get any better than Cassius Clay promising the crowd "a total eclipse of the Sonny"? Well, yes, although that line is one of the highlights in this fine anthology. Since Homer, boxing has been fertile ground for poets. The boxer-as-tragic-hero archetype seems to have particular power in the poems collected here; fatally flawed champs like Jack Johnson and Sonny Liston are poetic subjects at least as often as Joe Louis and Ali. A few of the selections, notably those by pop songsters Warren Zevon and Paul Simon, seem painfully out of place amid the likes of Philip Levine and Langston Hughes. But the quality is generally high, proving that poets, though not well known as a class for their fistic talents, know a good metaphor when they see one. And as Richard Katrovas writes in the wrenchingly beautiful "The Boxers Embrace," boxing serves "as a mottled lens / unto the bifurcated human heart / whose one true nature is to break apart." John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“What a paradox that the most brutal of sports is also the most sensitive and the most creative. . . . These are poems we want to go back and reread because the more they tell us about boxing, the more they tell us about the human condition.”

—Budd Schulberg, from the Foreword

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