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The Book of Men: Poems Hardcover – February 28, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Laux's fifth collection continues in her descriptive, storytelling vein: the at-hand, the matter-of-fact, the day-to-day are rendered in an earnest tone both sensuous and nostalgic. Something of a baby boomer's field guide, this book portrays the legacy of the 1960s from the perspective of one who has survived and must look back on what that decade did and didn't change. And so, the Vietnam War, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Cher, Frank O'Hara, and Superman all make appearances. Laux's treatment of this era isn't without sentimentality, but her true aim is more probing, more elegiac: Superman "sits on a tall building/ smoking pot, holding white plumes in,/ palliative for the cancerous green glow/ spreading its tentacles"; "It's 2010 and the doctors have given him another year in Metropolis." Laux's younger self has grown up, no longer that girl who knew "it was the summer of love/ and I wore nothing under my cotton vest,/ my Mexican skirt." Laux brings the book toward its close reconsidering women's bodies—specifically their breasts—and how they change: "your mother's are strangers to you now, your sister's/ were always bigger.../ your lover's breasts, deep under the ground,/ you weep beside the little mounds of earth/ lightly shoveled over them." (Feb.)
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Laux has somehow become the men, women and children of these portraits in an exchange of the power to live for the power to tell. --Andrew Tonkovich --bibliocracyradio.blogspot.com/2011/03/wednesday-march-23-poet-dorianne-laux.html
I think of (Laux) as the Ricky Lee Jones of poetry....sweet without being sentimental. Her poems are little songs of honest hope. --Dean Rader --therumpus.net/2011/05/the-hokum-of-her-clothes/
This is a bold raid by a female poet...Dorianne Laux dares to parse her life through the prism of men who've passed through it. --Dana Jennings, NYTimes --nytimes.com/2011/05/30/books/poems-by-dean-young-dorianne-laux-tom-sexton-review.html
"Dorianne Laux narrates the American dream and its collective unraveling with courage, compassion and exhilarating candour." -- The Poetry Trust, UK --thepoetrytrust.org/
Top customer reviews
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I came away from this collection feeling as if I know this poet now. More importantly, however, Laux (similar to Olds) it seems, is a master at the line-break. The way in which she crafts her lines made me feel as if Laux was very much in control throughout - even in poems like 'Bakersfield, 1969' and 'Staff Sgt. Metz,' where clearly there is an emotional element coming through.
Thank you Ms Laux for taking me on a wonderful, intense journey.
Most recent customer reviews
Initially filled with youthful memories of encounters with men, as you read The Book of Men, it...Read more