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Map Home Paperback – May 3, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Havird grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and studied at the University of South Carolina under James Dickey.  He completed his graduate studies at the University of Virginia with a doctoral dissertation on Thomas Hardy.  While not a prolific poet, he has published for many years in major journals, having broken into print in 1975 with a poem in The New Yorker.  His collection of fourteen poems, Penelope’s Design (2010), won the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize.  He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he teaches at Centenary College.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Review Press; 1 edition (May 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933896949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933896946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,988,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By William G. Wright on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
David Havird's poetry has not only delighted me with its intellectual and emotional range, its ability traverse a broad gamut of topics and consistently move both the heart and mind; indeed, it's been a book from which I've learned as I continue through the writing life. Havird's work marries sound and sense beautifully, and I was kept rapt by the momentum. Consider, for example, the first stanza of "The Horse on Zennor Hill":

Amid the yellow gorse, which pricked my jeans,
and purple foxgloves and bluebells--
puddles of hoofprints,
the footpaths in places trampled to mire--
and not a horse to be seen.
Even when I reached the granite tor,
and the green high moor with its boulders,
swept by the wet benumbing wind from seaward,
widened before me, none to be seen.

The Anglo-Saxon-rooted diction makes this example shine and urges an almost synesthesiac experience in me--or at least a experience that transplants me into the the world of the words. This level of sonic mastery is consistent throughout the book. There are no dismissive anecdotes or empty ironies here, no mere transcriptions of the quotidian. These are poems that amplify the spirit, what poetry should do.

Havird's range is also an aspect of his work to which I aspire. Integrating classic figures into his new mythmaking, as well as offering portraits of his wife, Havird's vast intelligence is on display, wholly permeable and somehow becalming. Ultimately, the reader is swept along into the myth and taken many places, such that the world of the book becomes, as James Dickey said, "realer than real." It is a curative journey, one both expansive and intimate, one that creates a powerful and lasting impression. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a former student of Dr. Havird. But note the "former" part. I don't have to write flowery reviews to garner favor, but I will say that David has been a huge influence on me in terms of my reading and writing life.

I purchased Map Home when it came out in anticipation of what I would find. As he says in his bio, David, isn't a "prolific poet", but that makes the wait for his new work all the more exciting. For me, Map Home is a beautiful, intricately-crafted travel journal. The poetry takes you through markets in Greece, paths through England, and haunts closer to home. Some of my favorite poems are set in Sonoma California at the house of Jack London. I love the dreamy visions in "Through Romsdal Fjord to Wolf House" mixing the stark reality of sleeping in the old house in a sleeping bag while the mind wanders to other lands connected together in the poem. "Late Thaw" also has one of my favorite lines in the book as well:

It looks as if we've climbed in our thick skin
out of our souls as ghosts in movies step
with legs of mist from bodies, salt-sown wounds,
that sweated out their death, like love, in bed.

The poems in Map Home are not a "quick read". They are poems that you have to read once; find your bearing; and then read again (preferably aloud) to hear the rhythm of the lines and appreciate the complexity of the subject.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Map Home is a book you can wallow around in. The language is rich and gorgeous, and the poems are deeply rewarding. Many of them are extremely funny, as when the poet reaches back to his youth in poems like “Smoking in Bed,” when he describes a boy sneaking to explore the forbidden “adult” toys at a beach novelty store; and in “In Seventh Grade,” when his class is subjected to “gross-out films.” They’re “getting the facts/ of life from Mrs. Chitwood, said to be/an atheist….”
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the poet’s skilled use of dry humor, pathos, and pure amazement at the natural world, to balance the muck of life—its messiness—with the sublime. You might find your feet traveling with the poet’s in manure—the “sluggish river of dung” of Shropshire—while your eyes with his find “pulsations of starlight” in Dorset. David Havird deserves congratulations for this soul-stirring collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Over the past couple decades, I've read a great deal of poetry that tries to extract meaning from everyday objects. You know, something like "The Single Mother at the Diner Considers the Roast Beef Plate Lunch" and so forth. Heck, I've written those poems.
These aren't those poems. MAP HOME from David Havird (a professor of mine many years ago) is a book of poems -- some from The New Yorker and Poetry magazine -- that looks at various places around the globe and through history, but has its vision in the human heart, the soul, that part of you that we need our poetry to consider. This is the type of poetry that FEELS like a poem, like something worthwhile. And, yet, it's the sort of writing you can learn from, not just about being human -- but about writing your own stories. The way the language moves in these poems is wonderful.
If you like to read and write -- hell, if you like to breathe -- you'll be impacted by the beauty in this book.
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