- Series: The National Poetry Series
- Hardcover: 250 pages
- Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (August 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393037983
- ISBN-13: 978-0393037982
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,946,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Hummock in the Malookas: Poems (The National Poetry Series) Hardcover – August, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Rohrer, a hip young poet whose first collection here has been selected as a 1994 National Poetry Series winner by Mary Oliver, offers a clue to his work by quoting for an epigraph the surrealist painter, Rene Magritte. Rohrer's imagery is intensely visual, as in the opening lines of "news of the dead pope": "Out of a window musical notes float in single file/ past the windbreak of sage-colored trees." In Rohrer's landscape, the inanimate is conscious: dust from a snapped rug hangs angrily in the air; a radio weeps. In another poem, a house looks in on its inhabitants, who are making love in the kitchen: "The refrigerator shudders and tries to shrug them off"; afterwards, a dessert "...passes out out from the pain of his first bite." The humans of Rohrer's world seem sad and ritual-driven; they too are subject to a reality beyond the expected: there are waiters who are "ashamed to serve anyone," people who have "tender teeth" and others who find that their hands, having gained wills of their own, molest passing strangers. From this ordered turmoil of whimsy and highlighted limitation emerges our awareness of a talented new poet of leaping imagination who manages to claim a place among the video generation without sacrificing individual vision or the precise use of language.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A sacher torte that passes out when bitten into, furniture that sighs, a luminous fork undergoing a drama "worthy of investigation:" household objects made otherworldy drift in and out of this haunting first book by a native of Oklahoma and graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. As a rule, domestic surrealism quickly disappoints; we pick up on the routine and know what to expect, what disparate elements will be juxtaposed next and to what cold effect. But Rohrer never falls back on the usual formula. His imagery is more the product of a wakeful, disquieting solitude than some mechanical nightmare, and this makes for a poetry rich in human pathos and heart. A car is afraid of being junked, a pond groans while freezing to death. Seldom does pathetic fallacy so sadly articulate truth as it does in this book, a winner of the 1994 National Poetry Series, judged by Mary Oliver.
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved. -- From The Boston Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
You will not regret buying this book. Poetry should be a vital part of everyday life, and Matthew Rohrer should be a vital part of everyone's poetry collection.