Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems

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9780679448815: Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems

Already singled out by The New York Times and the subject of a feature in The New Yorker, Virginia Adair has, after decades of shunning book publication, decided to collect eighty of her best poems in a volume that will surely be hailed as among the most accomplished works of our time.

Ants on the Melon includes poems that concern the author's childhood, that explore sensuality in candid terms, that starkly treat her husband's suicide and her own blindness, and that explore both her own emotional landscape and the universal mysteries of the human condition. Technically brilliant, using strict, classical prosody, yet entirely modern in sensibility, Virginia Adair's poetry will play a central role in the ongoing American poetry renaissance.

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Review:

There is a fairy tale quality to the appearance of this book of poems by Virginia Hamilton Adair. Although she has been publishing poetry for six decades, this is the first collection from a writer who is now in her 80s and is blind due to glaucoma. But for all that she has been through (including the suicide of her husband, historian Douglass Adair, some 30 years ago), there is a modesty and wryness to her work. From "Ants on a Melon," the poem that gives this collection its name, to "The Dark Hole," which tackles Hiroshima and the atom bomb as its subject, her poems are always finely wrought and highly original.

From the Publisher:

"She is very, very, very good, the fine, agile turn like an arabesque on ice that blasts, lightning-like, into a ghastly abyss."
-- E. Annie Proulx

"The rhyme was ingenious, the humor saucy and unsparing, and the author clearly took a delight in perversity, in an inversion of the expected."
--The New Yorker 12/25/95

"Virginia Adair is a welcome addition to the generational hubbub. She speaks directly and unaffectedly, in an accent stripped of mannerism and allusion....Ants On the Melon exhibits enough formal variety, freshness and intelligence to confirm, at one stroke, that Ms. Adair is a poet of accomplishment and originality."
--The New York Times Book Review 6/23/96

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Virginia Hamilton Adair
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