Rae Armantrout, 1947-

Book - 2018

"Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Rae Armantrout is at once a most intimate and coolly calculating poet... Her language is unexpected yet exact, playing off the collective sense that the shifting ground of daily reality may be a warning of imminent systemic collapse. While there are glimmers here of what remains of the "natural world," the poet confesses the human failings, personal and societal, that have led to its devastation. No one's senses are more acutely attuned than Arman...trout's, which makes her an exceptional observer and reporter of our faults. She leaves us wondering if the American Dream may be a nightmare from which we can't awaken. Sometimes funny, sometimes alarming, the poems in Wobble play peek-a-boo with doom"--

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Wesleyan poetry.
Middletown, Connecticut : Wesleyan University Press [2018]
Physical Description
128 pages; 24 cm
Main Author
Rae Armantrout, 1947- (author)
  • Making
  • Asymmetries
  • Speech acts
  • The craft talk
  • Conflation
  • Overtake
  • Audience
  • Background information
  • Wobble
  • Reception
  • My pleasure
  • My bad self
  • You know
  • Object permanence
  • Arch
  • Feeling today
  • Boreal
  • Say
  • Regime change
  • Credible
  • Return
  • Openings
  • Conjunctions
  • Incoming
  • Accomplices
  • Hoard
  • Hell
  • Silos
  • Trellis
  • The emotional life of plants
  • Those
  • Alone
  • Echoes
  • Thorned
  • Revisions
  • What's coming
  • Tunnel vision
  • Incorporation
  • The third person
  • Flicker
  • My erasures
  • Rankings
  • Chronos
  • Old woman's lament in autumn
  • Sparks
  • To
  • Practicing
  • Are
  • Shapes
  • Object
  • Design elements
  • Some body
  • I and I
  • Household
  • Mother
  • Chord
  • Chimera
  • Near
  • Life history
  • A few questions
  • The difference
  • Instruction
  • In the future
  • The trick
  • Accordingly
  • Moment to moment
  • Fusion
  • Seams
  • Nothing
  • Distinguish
  • Presents
  • Spun
  • Traffic
  • Negotiations
  • Refresh
  • Translations
  • Signaling
  • Bees
  • The show
  • Vessels
  • The act
  • Inner
  • Object lessons
  • Normal
  • Hate
  • Ahead
  • Give pause
  • Hence
  • Somewhere
  • Judgment
  • Logistics
  • Flux
  • Cottage industry
  • Practice
  • Trance
  • It is
  • So.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Armantrout (Entanglements) probes the place of sincerity in a post-modern cultural landscape in this formally dexterous and conceptually daring collection. Taking the form of prose poems, spare lyrics, sequences, and provocative hybrids, the individual pieces in this volume unify through an interest in technology and its role in shaping how humans inhabit language and affect. Armantrout observes how "blogs, Facebook,/ and Instagram/ have replaced poetry as ways of taking/ the private public." As the collection unfolds, she frames language-and the relationship to psychic landscapes that language maps-as increasingly self-conscious and performative, informed by people's ongoing awareness of an audience. In "Audience," Armantrout elaborates, "Zipper fracture/ involves simultaneous/ stimulation of parallel/ horizontal wells." She gestures at the ways new technologies have given rise to a split subject, with individual consciousness dominated by the presence of others. What's remarkable about Armantrout's poetry is how she visibly enacts this fracturing-and the way conscious experience is becoming increasingly social-n the style of the writing itself. She frequently makes use of both familiar forms and experimental techniques, only to comment on and ironize them within the language of the poem. This volume is marked by wry humor and striking self-awareness when considering writerly craft. Indeed, Armantrout's intelligence and keen insight are equally present in the work's humor and cultural commentary. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

In her latest, Pulitzer Prize-winning Armantrout (Versed) presents language poems built on a metaphysics of loss, with subtle allusions to work by William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and even Robert Frost. In "The Craft Talk," for instance, readers will recognize Williams's influence as Armantrout explains writing as climbing "inside the machine/ that was language.steering only occasionally." Another poem compares writing poetry to piloting "a stream as it freezes into shape" and ends with comments about a verb's ability to "act out metaphorically." Frequently, there are references to the poet's mother. An especially poignant poem notes that she's "in managed care" unable to remember the past and therefore is "not her mother." Another describes a particularly sad visit: "After what passes for thought,/ she leans forward, extracts/ a honey-flavored cough drop/ from its yellow/ packaging." VERDICT With enjambment and double meanings, the best poems here use crystal-sharp images to muse on lost time and to take "the private public," as Armantrout writes so eloquently. For all attentive poetry readers.-C. Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.