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Facts About the Moon: Poems Paperback – May 17, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
To understand why her work is so widely read and admired, listen to the music Dorianne Laux makes, line after line....She is quick-witted and compassionate, with a genius for phrasing that never compromises the perfect clarity of her text....Continually engaging and, at her best, luminous. --Steve Kowit"
Top Customer Reviews
Democracy requires open eyes and a willingness to suffer discomfort for its own sake, the burr of memory kept sharp:
"... the woman with her purse clutched
to her breasts like a dead child, the boy, pimpled, morose, his head
shorn, a swastika carved in the stubble,
staring you down...
"You can feel it now: why people become Republicans: Get that dog
off the street. Remove that spit and graffiti. Arrest those people huddled
on the steps of the church." (Democracy)
The title poem reflects upon the reality that the moon is receding from the earth an inch and a half each year, that one day in the distant future it will finally spiral out of orbit and "all land based life will die". The moon is our regulator, our constant companion, a mother we have treated badly, defied and scorned:
"... a mother
who's lost a child, a bad child,
a greedy child or maybe a grown boy
who's murdered and raped, a mother
can't help it, she loves that boy
anyway, and in spite of herself
she misses him...
... and you know she's only
romanticizing, that she's conveniently
forgotten the bruises and the booze...
and you want... to slap her back to sanity...
... and then, you can't help it
either, you know love when you see it,
you can feel its lunar strength, its brutal pull.Read more ›
From the first two lines, "when I think of the years he drank, / the scars on his chin," right away the audience knows two things: the first being that the narrator is describing a recovered alcoholic in the present day, and second the fact that he has "scars on his chin" gives the impression that the recovered alcoholic had a rough experience(s) when he was drinking. Rather than painting a picture of a smiley, tan, tall gentleman who survived from an addiction, Laux chose to show the wear and tare, the imperfections, the proof of his past mistakes. Even though the narrator claims to want to believe that "he survived" for her, the narrator does explain that her desire to have been the reason for his survival isn't reality; in truth, it was "luck and love" that saved him (lines 18, 25). Although I feel that this is probably my favorite poem by Dorianne Laux (as of the present day), another poem that I enjoyed from this collection was "The Idea of Housework."
Regardless of one's age, any reader is able to relate to the concept of this poem; what is the point of cleaning dishes?Read more ›
It is in this way, through the poetry of images and objects, that Laux expresses her feelings and portrays the people she cares about. Often, she compounds these images on top of one another, further deepening the comparison. In her poem "Cello," Laux uses the image of two trees rubbing together "When a dead tree falls in the forest" to a stringed instrument, as the dead tree's body "[builds]/ Its dead music" and uses these two conceits, the trees and the cello, as a metaphor for the 9/11 terrorist attack (89). The trees evoke the image of one tower collapsing into the other, the cello the mournful, keening sound of grief. It is these three images, the trees, the cello, and the towers, that create the framework for the suggested body of the poem: Laux's feelings as the first anniversary of the attack draws near.
There is a similar layering effect in Laux's titular poem "Facts About the Moon," where Laux compares the increasingly distant moon to "a greedy child" (40).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am in love with Dorianne Laux. She writes about everyday experiences and people in such a way that the images linger beyond the pages. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kirk A. Worthington
The poems in this collection are gorgeous, fearless, and powerful.Published 4 months ago by Beth Hoffman
Searching for something fun and creative to gift to my partner, I looked forward to receiving and wrapping this along with other tokens. What a disappointment. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ashley Johnson
Dorianne Laux's "Facts About the Moon" is a very surprising book of poetry in several different ways. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Vickie Westland
True Dorianne Lux style. If You enjoyed "Smoke" and "What We Carried", this is for you.Published on April 16, 2008 by Annie