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We Bed Down into Water: Poems (Triquarterly Books) Paperback – January 8, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"John Rybicki collects the ordinary elements of a work day, whether it's work at the tire shop or work at the desk 'cracking one sharp stone against a page until it sheds/the proper sparks . . .' These are the fruits of hard labor and love, a poet banging away until the beams are balanced, until life is balanced for one day against all the confusion and swirling called a life. It is love, after all, that begs this testimony, but it is devotion that allows it to flower into song."  --Sandra Cisneros, best-selling author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo

"I cannot, dare not, will not commit the crime of commenting on Rybicki's verses.  All I might do is cry with him, yet lack the courage to venture a feeling anywhere within the infernal precinct of this man's authenticity.  Song, song--he, Rybicki is singing."  --Gordon Lish

"John Rybicki has a hurricane heart, a hammer-heart, that is just waiting to unleash itself upon this perhaps undeserving world."  --Rick Bass

About the Author

John Rybicki is currently the Sandburg-Auden-Stein Poet-in-Residence at Olivet College. His published works include Yellow-Haired Girl with Spider and Traveling at High Speeds as well as poems in numerous anthologies and periodicals. 


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Product Details

  • Series: Triquarterly Books
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Triquarterly; 1 edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810151863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810151864
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,820,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Hollander on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
It's easy to be complacent about writing out of pain - it's easy to imagine it's all the same somehow, or all intended to affect you in a particular way. This book is different. The poems here are so exposed, so incandescent with the presence of loving ghosts, that Rybicki's intention may just be a real danger: as he writes in "Julie Ovary Song," he wants you to drown with him.

In some of these poems Rybicki seems to live his own life from across a insurmountable distance - watching through a movie screen, or as a "distant eye in the future gazing back on this," or from a vantage helplessly "mounted in the sky." But even as he leaps from constellation to constellation in his perfect, barbaric, unprecedented writing, he never lets us forget that the water keeps rising around us, and will not stop to admire the view.

Buy this book. It will be a classic of modern American poetry.
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