Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$9.95
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Love Poems for Cannibals has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Love Poems for Cannibals Paperback – February 5, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.95
$6.83 $5.95

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$9.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Keen’s debut poetry collection arrives at the party already a little drunk, a bit raucous and talking a mile a minute, but the longer the night goes on, the more sense it seems to make. After all, he’s not out to hurt anyone; he’s just trying to figure out where it all went wrong for all of us. With considerable energy and tightly coiled wit, Keen ranges across the political, spiritual and pop-culture landscapes only to find them all a little disorienting and largely bereft. “There is no sadness,” he writes, “But the fear of sadness. / There is no despair, / But the distraction from despair. / There is no suffering, / But the avoidance of suffering. / We’re living in bad times, / Biochemically speaking.” Regardless of where he looks, nothing essential remains. Love is sold “in bottles now, / and smells like aftershave,” Christ is “lost in all the traffic” and “so far away from now.” Even your sense of self is suspect: “In this cellular moment, / This eternity / Among strangers, / You see / Yourself / In bits / And / Pieces, / Impossible to describe.” Trapped by the postmodern condition and yearning for the teleologically secure time “before the world was shattered,” Keen’s narrators respond in seemingly the only way available—playing their own language games, answering absurdity with absurdity and papering over fragmentation with pastiche. Meditations on death are peppered with popular advertising slogans, and the apotheosis of Western civilization is reduced to Michelangelo’s David infested with maggots . . . Amid the brutality arises humor, and Keen ably joins a long tradition in American avant-garde poetry of lampooning demagoguery . . . Supporting the politics, satire and social commentary is a more than capable, sometimes beautiful verse that relies heavily on repetition . . . and startlingly precise imagery . . . for great effect. Thought-provoking, incisive and entertaining; a remarkably well-rounded debut. - KIRKUS REVIEWS

Review

Raymond Keen’s debut book of poetry, Love Poems for Cannibals, is akin to “experiencing a death of ego / with the aid of a little hash.” One part Wilfred Owen and one part Charles Bukowski, Keen’s unique voice is distinct and clear. Often drawing from the aphorisms and iconic language of the Vietnam War, he tells crisp and sometimes difficult stories through the perspectives of a variety of narrators. Love Poems for Cannibals is filled with beautiful contradictions. While Keen’s poems are humorous at times, a deep sense of grieving permeates the book. Collectively, the poems are filled with a clear-minded portrayal of life and its mundaneness, while detailing human weakness and moments of painful realization. In “Doofus Ensign Comes to Terms With the War,” a young soldier asks a doctor, “What will my mother say / when I tell her I shot a woman?” This is part of Keen’s genius. He records the stories of humans trying to match one reality with another—who they think they are juxtaposed with their actions. Keen’s poems are often filled with pragmatic truisms, including “man is too evil / to assess his own evil,” and “if man is afraid, / he will protect himself with something frightening.” At one especially brilliant moment, Keen states, “Someone is always dying of cancer, / Someone is always reading the New York Times.” His language is often colloquial, biting, and raw. While there are many different poetic vignettes in Love Poems for Cannibals, the book revolves around several strong themes, such as the problematic act of expressing ourselves with language and the search for forgiveness and meaning. We see this uprooting, this breaking through into the light, in the poem “We Are The Broken Harps That Sing” . . . Although Love Poems for Cannibals is Keen’s first book, his poems have been widely published. This beautifully designed volume is filled with the polished work of a seasoned writer. This is apparent in the well-chosen line breaks that snap readers to attention . . . - CLARION REVIEWS
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470182688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470182687
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,140,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. H. Gregory on March 18, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Raymond Keen has given the world a gift of compelling poems that explore the depths of human mystery, ranging from hallucinations in Vietnam to fatwahs by Osama bin Laden.

One of his poems moved me to the core of my being, made all the more important because he and I were in Vietnam at about the same time. Here are some snippets from the poem:

The ensign remembers
What Marine Corporal Pruett
Told him early that morning,
The story of shooting someone
Who was running away
In black pajamas
At a distance of 300 yards
(that’s about a quarter of a click)
In broad daylight.

As Corporal Pruett approached
The black-pajama figure
Lying on the ground,
He saw a woman
About his mother’s age.
He listened
As the woman
Gasped for air,
The sound of blood
Gurgling in her throat,
Preventing her from crying out.

I wanted to learn more about this amazing poet, so I searched the Internet and found a note he had written about the poem:

“I created this poem from a diary entry I made while serving in Da Nang, Vietnam, as a boot Ensign/Clinical Psychologist in the Medical Service Corps. I made this diary entry on November 25, 1967, shortly after talking with this 19-year-old Marine Corporal. I was very moved by his integrity and anguish. I wrote the following in my diary:

“‘I saw an extremely interesting young Marine today, a Cpl referred to us because of recurrent nightmares in the field. On 18 or 19 November (1967) he had mistakenly shot a Vietnamese woman from a distance of 300 yards after firing two warning shots over her head. Later, he learned that she was the mother of a 10-year-old girl, and her husband had been killed by Marines earlier in the year.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title & cover of this book lure one in, then once you're lured -Raymond Keen hits you with his poetry.

Keen's voice is satirical and in-your-face. He is constantly questioning and dissecting -sometimes with sarcasm and wit, often with skepticism and darkness. His poetry varies in style. There are poems that are conversational and more accessible to the masses. Then there are those that are styled using repetition and verse.

The book is delivered in eight sections exploring war, religion, spirituality & social commentary.

For me personally, the second last poem in 'Love Poems for Cannibals' hits the hardest. Keen shares a war tale his father divulged to him. Be warned it is fairly horrific & traumatic.

Keen says: Maybe if I tell the story to you, that will help me get rid of it.

A strong yet dark collection. Recommended for those with a tough heart.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Edgar Allan Poe is the author that came to mind when I began reading Raymond Keen’s Love Poems for Cannibals. These poems are very cerebral. They really, I mean REALLY, make you sit back and think. My personal favorite is ‘I Love the Traveling Christ’. So much meaning in so little words. Amazing.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These poems are visceral, yes, but also tender and, believe it or not, fun to read. I use fun in the sense that crying in a movie is fun. I've always been a keen admirer of Keen's work, and this to me is his best.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Raymond Keen’s Love Poems for Cannibals will enlighten the reader, who will be in for some fasten-your-seatbelt moments. The reader will never be quite be certain where Keen’s poetic journey will go: the broad and eclectic spectrum of topics ranges from Nam fantasies to the meaning of being a modern professional. He even touches on his ideas about Christ, which demonstrates his insightful spiritual nature. His use of language is both rich and powerful. Literary allusions abound, and both Latin words and four-letter words enhance his fresh style. Foul language appropriately spices up the author’s poems about his Vietnam War experience. As a fellow Vietnam War veteran who served in the DaNang area, Keen’s Nam poems came alive and rang true with a refreshing authenticity. Sacred cows don’t stand a chance as Keen zeros in on what ever is on his mind, and he possesses an active and insightful mind, which the reader will discover and appreciate. Powerful poetry…yes! Fluff…no. I highly recommend Love Poems for Cannibals.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Raymond Keen's poetry fires at you, from first page to last. Poems about the brutality of war, poems about Christ - it's not a light read. It's deep and dark and questioning, constantly questioning.

You think you're settling in for a nice poetic journey? Well Keen's work keeps the reader on their toes. You will be unable to relax, as he pulls out some more ammunition.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This volume of poetry, composed over many decades, is brilliant, dark, and deeply subversive. As the author intends, these poems cut through the tumult of the twentieth century and leave our comfortable clichés in tatters. Yet some are hilarious, like Freud in the dental chair, and Albert Einstein in a corporate-style slide show. I also loved the travelling Christ with no street address. Raymond Keen is a well respected poet whose work has appeared in many journals. I hope his next poem will come to grips with an enigma that transcends cliché: every story has a happy ending. When the world brings down its full weight of injury and degradation, that is the moment of transcendence. I recommend this thoughtful poetry highly.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Love Poems for Cannibals
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Love Poems for Cannibals