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9780374526986

Interior with Sudden Joy: Poems

Shaughnessy, Brenda Author

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The Next Illogical Step In Love Poetry


"The next illogical step

in love poetry

The most inscrutable beautiful names in this world

always do sound like diseases.

It is because they are engorged.

G., I am a fool.

What we feel in the solar plexus wrecks us.

Halfway squatting on a crate where feeling happened.

Caresses."

--from "Dear Gonglya,"


At once hyper-contemporary and archaic, erotic, indecorous, and extravagant like nobody else, Brenda Shaughnessy seeks outrageous avenues of access to the heart, "This strumpet muscle under your breast describing / you minutely, Volupt, volupt."

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Review:

Brenda Shaughnessy's art is urgent and exuberant, deeply witty and just as disturbing. In her love poems the threat of failure goes both ways, and amnesia is never in the offing. The dizzying verses in Interior with Sudden Joy veer between adoration and the inevitable, since "espionage of flesh roots in the dirt / of the heart." One is titled "You're Not Home, It's Probably Better," which is either hilarious or heartbreaking, depending on your mood. Another begins, "Let this one clear square of thought be just / like a room you could come in to." Beautiful, no?

In Shaughnessy's visceral wonderland, obsession and poison go hand in hand, mirrors make people vanish, and nuns are definitely not safe in their alabaster chambers. She's ever intent on rescuing (or wresting) us from our easy beliefs. "The Question and Its Mark" is her stunning take on the myth of Leda and the Swan, its final couplet reading: "Leda possessed a pair of knees that also bent / in prayer. I ask of you only what she asked for there." Yes, this poet knows her tropes, and has a sure synesthetic touch. Her pairs of women are "hot with mixed / light drunk with insult," and her private language--in which words such as blue, strumpet, and silver reverberate--soon becomes a kind of lingua franca between her and the reader. In her debut, Shaughnessy's debt to the surrealists, particularly to Dorothea Tanning, is visible and audible on each page. She's also a distant and distancing poetic relative of Sylvia Plath, wielding a similar jaunty threat. "Epithalament," her twist of an epithalamium, invokes a woman lost--and begins: "Other weddings are so shrewd on the sofa, short / and baffled, basset-legged." What better combination could there be of tradition, the individual talent, and the razor-sharp imagination? --Kerry Fried

About the Author:

Brenda Shaughnessy was raised in California and is a graduate of Columbia University's writing program. She lives in New York City.

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Shaughnessy, Brenda Author
Published by Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0374526982 ISBN 13: 9780374526986
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Book Description Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The Next Illogical Step In Love Poetry The next illogical step in love poetry The most inscrutable beautiful names in this world always do sound like diseases. It is because they are engorged. G., I am a fool. What we feel in the solar plexus wrecks us. Halfway squatting on a crate where feeling happened. Caresses. --from Dear Gonglya, At once hyper-contemporary and archaic, erotic, indecorous, and extravagant like nobody else, Brenda Shaughnessy seeks outrageous avenues of access to the heart, This strumpet muscle under your breast describing / you minutely, Volupt, volupt. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780374526986

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Book Description Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The Next Illogical Step In Love Poetry The next illogical step in love poetry The most inscrutable beautiful names in this world always do sound like diseases. It is because they are engorged. G., I am a fool. What we feel in the solar plexus wrecks us. Halfway squatting on a crate where feeling happened. Caresses. --from Dear Gonglya, At once hyper-contemporary and archaic, erotic, indecorous, and extravagant like nobody else, Brenda Shaughnessy seeks outrageous avenues of access to the heart, This strumpet muscle under your breast describing / you minutely, Volupt, volupt. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780374526986

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Book Description Farrar Straus Giroux 2000-06-01, 2000. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-BNT-01188418

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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "I've not encountered a first book of poems this dazzling and bemused since day one. Shaughnessy's work is larkish, unseemly, and riddled with joy. These poems are not plainspoken, but luminous, impenitent, promiscuous. A brilliant sack of silk and ink and willfulness. What a pleasure to have such truths told sexy, seamless, slant."--Lucie Brock-Broido "Freedom of verse, freedom of love, certainly, but Brenda Shaughnessy has employed those old liberations for new exploits: hers is an imagination free to pass through all the locked chambers of association--and, in its delight in doing so, grants the poet freedom to find herself. As she says, in the unmistakeable accents of Primavera: 'I live to leave, but I never either . . . / Come, let us miss / another wintertime.'"--Richard Howard "Edgy and erotic, characterized by bravado and odd beauty . . . A dazzling first book."--Laura Rosenthal,Minneapolis Star-Tribune "Interior with Sudden Joyis a quirky, voluptuous thing. It's filled with unexpected, and sometimes opaque, imagery. And it constantly surprises with its tendency to merge harsh and smooth rhythms and sounds . . . An intriguing debut for a gifted young writer."--Jennifer Poyen,San Diego Union-Tribune "A heady, infectious celebration of the range and peculiarity of erotic life."--The New Yorker. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0374526982

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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 96 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.3in. x 0.2in.One of the freshest, most inventive and surprising new poetic voices to have emerged in the 1990s. Brenda Shaughnessys beautifully controlled poems house a virtually uncontainable intensity. Haunted and hopeful, fevered and willfully flawed, they seek out multifarious avenues of access to the strumpet muscle of the human heart in language that gyrates between necessity and invention. Here is the next illogical step in love poetry. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN, Momence,IL, Commerce,GA. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780374526986

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