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When There Is No Shore Hardcover – September 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 101 pages
  • Publisher: Word Press (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097173710X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971737105
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,005,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Bradt on February 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In her most recent book of poems, Where There Is No Shore, Vivian Shipley displays a polymath's familiarity with the natural world while at the same time telling marvelous stories that render the subtleties of human emotion in splendidly revealing ways. The poems explore a diverse range of subjects and employ a rich variety of voices: from Jim Quillen at a reunion of Alcatraz inmates, to Martha Stewart offering advice for the proper responses to snow; from Bronislawa Wajs, the great gypsy poet, to a colonial judge as he counsels a woman before sentencing her to hang for adultery, after she has refused to kill the child she and the judge produced. Many of the books poems reflect the book title's metaphor and provide a sense of how we try to find our way in a world that defies comprehension: one poem reflects on TWA Flight 800, and concludes that for the relatives of those who perished, there has been "No reason from TWA, no word from God." Other poems celebrate life's simpler pleasures--particularly food. Even the humble artichoke inspires the speaker "to write poems that explore...woman's fall from grace." Like her previous volumes, this book contains beautifully made poems that are accessible, yet which reward each successive reading with fresh insights and new delisghts in the poet's mastery of language. I enjoyed this book immensely. To read it is to put yourself in the hands of a gifted storyteller, a mature poet whose work continues to enrich and reward.
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Format: Hardcover
Vivian Shipley's latest book "When There Is No Shore" is a revelation. Her poetry is a statement of soul. Time binds each poem to the next creating a gorgeous rhythm that wraps you around and won't let go. This is not a book that you can flip through. Every poem is linked to the preceding one and there is no escape from the logic of where she is going and why. Whether she is describing the family farm, Harlan County or the blues running on Long Island Sound, she makes no settlement. "If you're dead you were dead" This toughness often brutal and relentless in its honesty still maintains humor, love and a memorable beauty. Both death and love hold the reader by the hand and won't let go. An entire life undulates through the pages of this book unselfconsciously and you feel yourself swept along with Shipley as she attaches herself to you. Even though our backgrounds are totally different, she is a southern product, a refugee from farm life, hard work and poverty, and I come from a family of Russian Jewish immigrants who ran from the tsar and his pograms, our connection is poweful and inescapable. I suspect it happens to everyone who reads this book. Using rich, auditory images, she lashes us together and creates a relationship, a deep understanding and tolerance for each other. We are both colored in earth tones. Tradition plays an important role in our lives even in the preparation of food, in our simple language and the myths we create.
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