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Field Guide to the End of the World: Poems Paperback – September 1, 2016
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About the Author
Jeannine Hall Gailey served as second poet laureate of Redmond, Washington. She’s the author of four previous books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter.
Top Customer Reviews
Field Guide to the End of the World is the darkest of Gailey's collections, surveying apocalypses great and small, global and personal. Despite this, there is still humor, still an appreciation for the beauty of life, still, even, hope. Postcards dot the collection like bread crumbs, and if you follow them you can find a single story through the destruction, the hopeless and unquenchable story of one lover writing to another although there is no longer a postal system, a government, even an address remaining. The end of days, Gailey prompts us, is not about dying. It is about life, and how it is lived.
But even if your tastes don't run to the apocalyptic, you must read this book. In her lyrical and haunting explorations of possible end games, Jeannine Hall Gailey reminds us of why we savor this world, and why it's worth fighting to save it.
Field Guide to the End of the World is Ms. Gailey’s fifth poetry book. I have read The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and thought I knew what I was getting into with her newest (oldest?) book. Ah, but while there are similarities, the author has let her playful side out to romp through the debris of our final days.
The book sorts poems into groupings, which is nice for slipping into a frame of mind and lingering there a while. My favorite section, and I am pretty sure many readers will agree with this, is “Cultural Anthropology”. It’s a bit like reading the literary version of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, while watching the Food Channel on the side and sneaking peeks over to Netflix. The name that pops out of the poetry listings immediately, is, of course, Wile E. Coyote (super genius), who’s been living in a post-apocaplyse world since most of us wore footed jammies. Who better to enlist than this ill-fed quasi-predator to be one of the guides on our journey? As it turns out, that guide is as lost as the rest of us, but we can take comfort in wandering in circles together.
My personal favorite is “Letter to John Cusack, Piloting a Plane in an Apocalypse Movie”. Take some time to linger on each phrase, and remember. As the saying goes, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it will become a part of you. Actually, it already was, you just needed open eyes to see it.
But I didn’t simply hunker down (though hunkering down during the end days certainly has its merit) in the ‘funny’ chapter.Read more ›
They choke me every time. Tears come. I feel tender toward the world, toward people and places and what will come after. I count myself lucky to have those three lines to keep. Thank you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I find that it either takes me a few days to peruse a poetry collection, or several months. The length of time has to do with each poem's depth, (by which I mean what it takes to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah Stockton
This is the first time for me reviewing a book of poetry, including reading one; so if this is not the most sophisticated review regarding poetry that you have read please have... Read morePublished 3 months ago by angie'sreadaholic
Typically, field guides are books that help interested readers identify wildlife such as plants or animals, or natural objects, such as minerals, designed to be brought into the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Suko