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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Sharp corners. Sturdy binding. Clean pages. Very light shelf wear.
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The Strange Hours Travelers Keep: Poems Paperback – November 4, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Kleinzahler's first since his 2000 selected, Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club, brain surgery, an "old poet, dying," fighter planes, Andres Segovia and "a computer-generated Weimaraner" stand among the grand array of metaphors, objects and offhand stories that make this volume his most coherent and most thoroughly enjoyable to date. The title promises poems set all over the world; the New Jersey-bred poet obliges with landscape poems set in Germany, Texas, New England and "the snowy passes of the Carpathians," where the poet follows a Mongol horde. Kleinzahler is also a jazz critic; in the ambitious five-part "A History of Western Music" he shows himself at home with classical works but fascinated by popular performers from Liberace to June and the Exit Wounds. A series of poems adapted from Horace proves less complicated but almost compulsively quotable: one advises against "daydreaming" ambitions, concluding: "The weather here stinks, and neither of these girls is for you." Kleinzahler can leap, within a few lines, from science-speak ("collateral sulcus") to tough-guy talk ("Murph lent me his putty knife"); that code-switching range, along with his set of personae, add up to poem after poem nobody else could have written, despite their similarity to each other. Readers attracted to Kleinzahler's distant Beat forebears should appreciate the ambling free verse gleaned from urban strolls, while those who seek more ambitious work will find it in his meditations on music and art: "even the painter," he concludes, "must be destroyed/ in order that we may become the paint."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The title poem in Kleinzahler's tenth book begins, "The markets never rest / Always they are somewhere in agitation," lines that can serve as a key to this frenetic and wily collection. Kleinzahler is a poet of motion and moil fascinated by all that humans invent to keep themselves busy and dizzy and safe from sorrow's dark draw. Kleinzahler is dazzling as he conjures the zip of cyberspace, the churn of garbage scows, the roar of jets, all the contraband, produce, and products routinely hauled north from Mexico as well as the stinging nettles of gossip, petty rivalries, and peccadilloes. He is funny, waspish, and fanciful, coyly forthright about his preference for scintillating civilization over dull nature, and wildly enamored of music, a passion that inspires spiked reflections on the reception of black jazz musicians in postwar Paris. Echoes of Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and James Merrill can be heard in Kleinzahler's alert and worldly, clever and catty poems, little cyclones spinning feverishly over the precipice. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st Paperback Edition edition (November 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374529418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374529413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,874,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By ANITA FALCO on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great poet and writer. He grasps human nature and writes very well.
Read more of his work always enjoyed his books
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I tend to get my Kleinzahlers mixed up with my Leithausers (and then Seidel comes sidling along..) but I'm working on it. August has some of Frederick's effeteness (their names are a bit of a giveaway!); this is a marked improvement on the lifeless Red Sauce, which was a bit 'turismo', detached, heartless (not unfeeling merely, but lacking that vital organ), but that was already his *6th* book! This is more engaging but hardly gets the juices going - an easy, light read. And is it worth pointing out (An Englishman Abroad) that to the English an ass is something Jesus rode on? Arse. Arse. I'm not sure 'c'est complet' (A History of Western Music #26) is quite right either; complet has usually the sense of complete/no bits missing (as in un complet, a suit) rather than complete/ready; 'c'est complet', while ambiguous, suggests 'you can't come in'. The Hereafter packs a punch (and how could such a topic fail to be funny?) but AK's arch stab at the archaic (p70) is grim; though I admit the visual pun on 'undo' only works in American English, it is still feeble. There's a place for slight books but like light verse they should be uppers rather than downers; this one exudes froideur

And I see, catching up on the London Review of Books for April 14 (I've been away), that AK gets his French wrong on both attempts in the excruciatingly laboured Rain, a would-be jokey take on Ponge, the chief emotion evoked by which is embarrassment. If you want the interface with Europe to be more than window-dressing, stick to the GI Bill veterans or the New York School and steer clear of this old poseur!
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