- Paperback: 80 pages
- Publisher: Mariner (April 4, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780618422548
- ISBN-13: 978-0618422548
- ASIN: 0618422544
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Clerk's Tale Paperback – April 4, 2004
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From The New Yorker
"Inside everything was Episcopalian— / the wicker chaise lounges, the small spotted mirrors, / the rattan dining room set, the tears." Reece's evocation of a family house on Cape Cod, eventually sold, exemplifies the twin currents of detached humor and sorrow that run through his début collection. The most effective poems here are autobiographical, recording early family life; a period spent recovering from a nervous breakdown in hospitals and borrowed houses ("My legacy is to leave the room empty"); and a new life in retail—hence the title. Reece's poems are saved from solipsism by a keen alertness to the characters around him and to the consolations of the natural world. Animals please him, because they are happier than people—"The ponies said: This day astounds us. The field is green." And resignation brings with it a kind of peace, as in a poem written on the poet's birthday in a lonely Florida town: "It is not Paris it is not Florence / but it has majesty in its anonymity."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Supple, atmospheric, and lucent, Reece's entrancing lyrics evoke the diametrically opposed yet equally affecting landscapes of Minnesota and Florida and consider the axis between solitude and connection, peace and pain, philosophy and madness. Reece's poems are at once splendidly fresh and deeply rooted in poetry's rich loam as he offers a witty yet moving variation on Chaucer's The Clerk's Tale and echoes the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and James Merrill. No academic, Reece is a longtime Brooks Brothers employee, and, accordingly, the title poem, originally published in the New Yorker, portrays two men, including an aging homosexual, who clerk in an upscale men's clothier in the Mall of America, an edifice Reece compares to a Gothic cathedral. Indeed, religious images surface often as the poet summons up childhood memories and evokes resonant vignettes, still lives, and today's cluttered versions of pastorals, subtly tracing the soul's uncertain progress from brute survival to transcendent receptivity and affirmation. Insightfully introduced by poet laureate Louise Gluck, Reece's striking debut yields new revelations with each reading. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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One travels from the busy streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, to the quiet back waters of Florida. Reece shows a great desire of silence, for solitude. When a days work is done he goes home and shuts himself in a room, left with nothing but silence and his thoughts.
A reflextion on life and what is all the hurry about.
Thank you, Mr. Reece, for sharing your life though your awesome poems.