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I Was the Jukebox: Poems Hardcover – April 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 90 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393076512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393076516
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

More fun than most recent books, Beasley's second collection can also get quite serious: in the best parts, the poet pretends she is any number of nonhuman things—a jukebox, an orchid, the Egyptian god Osiris, an eggplant (in a sestina), grains of sand. She also writes love poems to big ideas: Love Poem for College begins You hit on me. You hit on everyone. Beasley portrays the sometimes chaotic landscape between sex and love, youth and adulthood, the young men and women who hope for everything and the grownups who settle for less. For an hour I forgot my fat self./ My neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment, says the piano, remembering when she was played. In Another Failed Poem About Music, even the name of a percussion instrument, triangle... is a perfect betrayal. Beasley can sound regretful, but also flirtatious: You are the loneliest of the three bears, she says in Love Poem for Wednesday, hoping/ to come home and find someone in your bed. If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way. (Apr.)
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Review

An excerpt: "More fun than most recent books.... If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way."
--Publisher's Weekly

More About the Author

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergies. Her previous books are both collections of poetry: I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poetry Prize, selected by Joy Harjo, and Theories of Falling, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Believer, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Best American Poetry 2010.

Beasley lives in Washington, D.C., where her nonfiction has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine. For more information, please visit www.SandraBeasley.com, follow her on Twitter @SandraBeasley, or check out her Author page on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Armand Aisselle on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
LOVE POEM FOR LOS ANGELES may be the best poem very written about this place.

Overall this book is absolutely a must. Make no mistake: Sandra Beasley's world is what Sir Paul McCartney once called "the world in which we live in." You will not find an escape route from reality in "I was the Jukebox." These poems are not consciousness replacement therapy. Instead they have that intriguing quality of great art: They sharpen the mind.

Sandra Beasley's writing reminds me of François Hemsterhuis' definition of The Beautiful (which also happens to be my definition): "that which gives us the greatest number of ideas in the shortest space of time." These poems have an abundance of perceptive and original irony, and what is most unusual in our era: real wit, without meanness, sloppy comedy or scatology. The concern they exhibit for language per se -- both for its follies and for its hidden implications -- almost reminds me of Wittgenstein. Every statement she makes contains the DNA of a question. Sandra Beasley has her own way of pushing the envelope, of making the reader uncomfortable in his or her complacency of thought. So much the better. The experience is invigorating.

Spend a short space of time with "I was the Jukebox," and I assure you, you will want to spend a longer one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SG on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this writer. Her poems are intimate cameras, held at odd angles, and pointed in odd places. Her language is masterful. I am certainly no expert in poetry, but I know what I like, and Beasley makes me say to myself, "yes, that is exactly how to say that".

I hope she continues to evolve and write. I already can't wait to buy her next book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon S. Wesick on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard Sandra Beasley read at Iota in Arlington and was so impressed that I bought her new book. Her poems have a playful, surreal quality. I enjoyed her riffs on mythology such as in "Another Failed Poem About the Greeks." The last section of the book is darker and more poignant. "Exits" is powerful.
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I am going to attempt to explain what I feel about this collection of poetry, without stating what has already been displayed.

I like 20th century poetry. Plath and T.S Eliot are my cup of tea. However, Beasley, though a not-so-common name in public (Though in the poetry world I hail her as the second coming) has very much potential. In fact, she breaks through some lines and beats that convey a mixture of emotions from me. Some were funny (You brought WHAT on a roller coaster?) while others were downright thought provoking. She really is a fine example of modern poetry expressed, I think.

I gave this a four out of five (I really do wish I could give a 4.5) due to the fact that some inexplicable part of her poetry is slightly...off. Then again, we are two different humans. With two different voices, perceptions, opinions...there is this place of poetry where things "Click" and make sense; nirvana, if you will. And, though I feel that reading Eliot and Plath (Especially Berck-Plage) I could not find that great, swelling feeling here.

However, there still is feeling. Very much so. Just not as much as the "gods" of poetry.

FINAL WORD:
I will continue to buy from Beasley. I love her style and wording, rhythm and playfulness. I can't wait to see more from her and she is a joy to read. I recommend it. :)
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By evinhughes on May 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ever since she came to Georgia Southern University's campus, I've wanted to read Sandra Beasley's latest book of poems, which has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while. One of the students that I tutor, a good friend of mine named Nadia Dreid, gave me a gift bag for helping her throughout he semester--how did she know? I imagine her questioning mutual friends under piercing lamplight in a CSI fantasy.

Anyways, I read through the book delighting over the poems that Beasley had read to me--and the others in the classroom--herself; the voice in my head inferior to hers. In the book, Beasley speaks from the point of view of an eggplant, of orchids, of a jukebox, and many other inanimate objects and animals. Though all of the poems are exceptional, I want to draw your attention to one titled "The Cutting Board (p. 57)."

This poem reminds me of her memoir Don't Kill the Birthday Girl, where she depicts how it's like to live with multiple food allergies. Over the years the cutting board was with her, "counting out almonds for the car, sandwiches for the plane." The images in this poem are very strong, like all of them in the collection, and really puts you into the scene.
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