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Practical Gods (Poets, Penguin) Paperback – October 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The poem was a wonderfully insightful look at our relationship and questions, and fear of gods wishes for us - pointing out that we may actually be living the life that is best for us.
The life we chose.
Bravo. And Congratulations Carl. I ordered 6 copies for myself, and my Christian friends. Perhaps they too may discover the god within themselves ... the one that really gets things done on this planet. If nothing else, perhaps they can lighten up ... and realize the path whether chosen or not - needn't be so damn heavy. Enjoy.
His poetry is written in comparatively long lines with a conversational rhythm. Unlike some writing in such a style, however, his work is not prose broken into lines but rather carefully crafted poetry.
The strength of the poetry is often in the cohesiveness built from disparate parts. Dennis is able to connect ancient mythology, Japanese poets, Biblical references, Moby Dick etc. to our contemporary lives.
Examples, "Sun Rise" begins with the Aztec human sacrifices only to move to the Jewish diasporia's revolution from temple sacrifice to a religion of the books. Or "Eternal Poetry" which explores prison reform while insisting it is not a topic appropriate to poetry. "The Serpent to Adam" is a surprising evaluation of what was (or was not) lost in the fall of Adam. "Prophet" uses the story of Jonah to explore the work of a prophet in our own time, in soup kitchen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first encountered this collection in undergrad, and have come back to it every year. And now I use selections from it in the classroom myself. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by Michael Byrd
This was my first encounter in print of Carl Dennis's work. After reading it I went out and bought most of the rest--all of which I enjoyed, but none as much as Practical Gods,... Read morePublished on June 8, 2013 by Kevin
My book club recently decided to take a month off from novels and nonfiction to read poetry, and one of the members read a few from this volume. Read morePublished on March 3, 2006 by Gregory Butera
My apologies to Carl, but he really doesn't strike me as an important Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. I appreciate the mythic themes of this book, & some of his insights &... Read morePublished on December 16, 2002
Practical Gods wouldn't have been my choice for the Pulitzer, but I can see how it won. While there are no poems that stand out themselves, the work as a whole is impressive. Read morePublished on May 8, 2002 by email@example.com