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Waterborne: Poems Paperback – February 27, 2004


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Waterborne: Poems + The Selvage: Poems + The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gregerson's understated sophomore volume, The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep, focused on mothers, children and family tragedy; this follow-up broadens her subjects while retaining her distinctive form. Gregerson's trademark three-line, sandwich-shaped stanzas accommodate long and short sentences, awe and baffled suffering, quick changes and sustained visual attention. Here those stanzas illuminate subjects from autism to wilderness to suburban ecology, from biblical cruxes to Norwegian-American genealogy and emergency-room night shifts. Gregerson (who teaches at the University of Michigan) is also a respected Renaissance scholar, and her Shakespearean knowledge informs the moving opening poem, which fans out from a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream to exclaim, "how odd to be this and no other and, like all the others, marked for death?" A cento of Puritan texts asks, "What meaneth, Ye shall be my Jewells?" while a compact poem set earlier in this century offers "another sorry tale about class in America." The three-part "Passover" reviews recent history with a heavy heart ("If anyone here were in charge, my vote is scrap us and start over"), yet the same poem retains humor and scope enough to focus on the recent film Magnolia. There and in the title poem (included in last year's Best American Poetry), water and watersheds stand at once for the course of history and the perils of human indifference.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

Accomplishments abound in Gregerson's elegant third collection of poems, which is clearly informed by her work as a Renaissance scholar. Intimate conversations are made worldly, peppered with parentheticals and interrupted by other voices. A poem on her father's death is set against lines from Luke 12 and her father's own retelling of a Depression-era Red Cross drive; the poem becomes an elegy completed by acts of faith and charity. Gregerson's rich aesthetic allows her best poems to resonate metaphysically, offering a way to live both now and in history: "the past / that has a place for us will know us by / our scattered / wake."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (February 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061838202X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618382026
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 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: #1,524,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Schulman on April 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is sepia-toned, art-directed, self-important, highly artificial work by someone who loves "literature" - and rightly so - but feels she can produce it herself simply through intelligence and learning. The miseries of reading this book are legion - pompous enjambment, moments of "shock," Frostian copybook grimness, dull exposition, the fancy that a whole world is being produced - when it is all Linda, Linda, Linda. Gregerson has a mildly interesting mind which clearly amuses itself - but not the rest of us. To quote her - and note the oh-so-daring enjambments -

... my

hour with you (one

breath, one more) was theft

of an otherwise perfectly good hour.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Waterborne: Poems is a unique volume of Linda Gregerson's free-verse poetry written in an open, unfettered style and a unique verse structure that draws the reader into a personal vision daily life and the inner power that transcends ordinary experience. The river is a central theme in these moving, thoughtful, lyrical poems. "...to think that tethered in his crib is all/the safety she can give him. Not kerosene nor/coalstove shall destroy him, yet/there must/have been a fire, he did not freeze."
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