Poetry Mary Karr Viper Rum

ISBN 13: 9780811213820

Viper Rum

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9780811213820: Viper Rum

Now that gift returns to its origins in poetry. Viper Rum delves into the autobiographical subject matter of her two early collections (The Devil's Tour, New Directions, 1994, and Abacus, Wesleyan, 1987). Various beloveds are birthed and buried in these touching lyrics, some of which -- as the title suggests -- deal with drink: I cast back to those last years/I drank, alone nights at the kitchen sink, /bathrobed, my head hatching snakes, / while nay baby slept in his upstairs cage/and my marriage choked to death.... Exact and surprising, her poems take on the bedevilments of fate and grief with a diabolical edge of their own (Poetry). The prize-winning essay Against Decoration, which first set off a controversy in Parnassus, serves as an Afterword. In it, Karr attacks the popular toward ornament in contemporary poetry: the highbrow doily-making that for art today.

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About the Author:

Mary Karr's poems and essays have won Pushcart prizes and have appeared in magazines such as the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Parnassus. She was a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, and is now the Jesse Truesdale Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse.

Review:

Adieu
Animistic Anatomy
Beauty And The Shoe Sluts
Belongings
The Century's Worst Blizzard
Chosen Blindness
Christ's Passion
County Fair
Dead Drunk (or The Monster-maker At Work)
Domestic Ruins
Field Of Skulls
Four Of The Horsemen
The Grand Miracle
Hubris
Incant Against Suicide
The Invention Of God In A Mouthful Of Milk
The Last Of The Brooding Miserables
Lifecycle Stairmaster
Limbo: Altered States
Mall Crawl
Mr. D. Refuses The Blessing
The Pallbearer
The Patient
Requiem For The New Year
Revenge Of The Ex-mistress
Summons (or This Won't Hurt You A Bit, And It'll Cheer Me Up)
Terminus
Viper Rum
The Wife Of Jesus Speaks
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

Hardboiled, hardedged, hardbitten--these are consummately American adjectives, and peculiarly American literary postures. Mary Karr's bracing, tight-lipped poems bring these terms to mind, but it's a credit to her probity and her prickly intelligence that one stops short of defining her by them. Avowedly unsentimental, Karr doesn't overcompensate by striking exaggerated poses of disabused wisdom or affecting mandarin disdain for the muddle of human relations. But like the late laureate of desolation [Larkin]..., Karr evidently holds that 'suffering is exact.' -- Poetry

Karr is an unsentimental realist whose capacity for pleasure and praise is all the more convincing for her clear-eyed view of contingency. -- The Harvard Book Review

Karr's grim wit and compressed, charged language seldom fail in Viper Rum's twenty-nine poems. -- The Hudson Review, Robert McDowell

Readers of The Liars' Club will find poetic versions of some of the same autobiographical material. -- Chicago Tribune

The poems of Viper Rum may be blunt for bluntness' sake, but they are not exploitative. -- The Georgia Review, Judith Kitchen

[A] terrific, plot-driven collection concerning themes that include alcoholism, religious belief, death, love, family, salvation, transformation....One cannot help but cheer. -- I>Harvard Review , Tina Barr

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Karr, Mary
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