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Turkish Pears in August Paperback – October 15, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With Turkish Pears in August, Robert Bly―always generous, pioneering, provocative, revolutionary―has given us yet another gift: a new form to explore. He has named it the ramage. Each poem has repeated sounds at its center, rather than images or the weight of structure. . . . The approach helps bring poetry back to its old brotherhood with music. It's also an audible/subtle way of confirming the presence of what is half-visible, awareness living at the nether edges of things―unconscious, subliminal, intuitive, oblique―which is where poems have always lived." (Frank Steele)

"Bly's ramages are mystical psalms in the best sense. Without being epigrammatic or dogmatic, they sing in praise and grief, with a pagan's sensual curiosity, a spiritual student's awe, and a poet's intuition for measure." (Cindra Halm, Rain Taxi)

From the Inside Flap

Previously available only in a small letterpress edition, Robert Bly's Turkish Pears in August is now available as an affordable perfectbound book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Eastern Washington University; 1st Offset edition (October 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159766023X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597660235
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,009,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Previously only available to a select group of readers in a limited letterpress edition, the Eastern Washington University Press has republished "Turkish Pears In August: Twenty-Four Ramages", an enthusiastically recommended collection of memorable poetry by the Minneapolis-based poet Robert Bly. 'Ramage' is from the French word 'rameau' and echoed in the English word 'ramify'. Bly created a new poetic form and chose to call it 'Ramage' to signify the sensual, earthy, mystical, and vigorous life force of his new poetry. 'Lovers in the River': Peony blossoms open in starlight. The lovers/Cross the river carefully, secretly, secretly./All night horses stamp on the sandy island./Husbands feel uneasy tonight. Their wives/have gathered with Krishna in the river,/their bodies sweetened by glad bones./While David sings, stars fall into the sea; Uriah/Dies...It is the madness of the dark-faced God.
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Format: Paperback
This chapbook is composed of ramages - an 8 line poem with a (syllabic) sound as the unifying factor. The "sort of" in the title review is to indicated that in some of the poems, I was uncertain which sound was the chosen one - Bly clearly uses near matches as well as exact matches.

The poems themselves are vintage Bly - some excellent poems, some good poems with memorable lines and a few just okay poems. A favorite image: "... Slowly the mountain / Enters the man ..." from "A Ramage for the Mountain" A favorite poem combines images from multiple religions "... Husbands feel uneasy tonight. Their wives / Have gathered with Krishna in the river, / Their bodies sweetened by glad bones. / While David sings, stars fall into the sea; Uriah / Dies ... It is the madness of the dark-faced God."
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