Domain of Perfect Affection (Pitt Poetry Series)

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9780822959311: Domain of Perfect Affection (Pitt Poetry Series)
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In Domain of Perfect Affection, Robin Becker explores the conditions under which we experience and resist pleasure: in beauty salon, summer camp, beach, backyard, or museum; New York or New Mexico. “The Mosaic injunction against / the graven image” inspires meditations on drawings by Dürer, Evans, Klee, Marin, and del Sarto. To the consolations of art and human intimacy, Becker brings playfulness—“Worry stole the kayaks and soured the milk”—suffused with self-knowledge: “Worry wraps her long legs / around me, promises to be mine forever.” In “The New Egypt,” the narrator mines her family’s legacy: “From my father I learned the dignity / of exile and the fire of acquisition, / not to live in places lightly, but to plant / the self like an orange tree in the desert.” Becker’s shapely stanzas—couplets, tercets, quatrains, pantoum, sonnet, syllabics—subvert her colloquial diction, creating a seamless merging of subject and form. Luminous, sensual, these poems offer sharp pleasures as they argue, elegize, mourn, praise, and sing.

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"Robin Becker achieves what may be one of the early twenty first century's most difficult accomplishments-to write a credible poetry of affirmation. In the doing, she doesn't pretty up the world. Rather, she finds language that embraces our dualities, our many-selved presences, regularly demonstrating her kind of perfect affection: 'Come up for the lunch I made you, / O handy lover, with your retractable blade, / your small drill, your paint brushes bristling.'" --Stephen Dunn

"A deft painter of scenes and lives, Robin Becker follows a thread of comedy in the dark labyrinth of the family saga. We could call that thread compassion. We could call it wisdom. Becker is an afficionado of old and odd paintings, of summer and seashore, of friends, lovers, and autumn heat, of whatever may 'disappoint and delight.' She is a lover of life and language-stubborn as they come. Domain of Perfect Affection is a poet in her prime." --Alicia Suskin Ostriker

"In Domain of Perfect Affection, Robin Becker has again written poetry that, in Wordsworth's phrase, 'is carried alive into the heart by passion.' She bears forth her father's wisdom, 'The most important thing: / to love your work,' and in poem after poem that love is obvious: 'How many words for glisten, sparkle, glister?' Yet her passion for language spells a deeper passion to 'inhabit / a place of such tenderness' where the poet might 'accept myself / for what I am-androgynous, sublime.' Line by line, these poems create such a place, a domain where celebrations 'of our communal selves, / sheared of the theoretical,' quicken our lives, endowing us with 'the dignity / of exile.' In poems of startling clarity and intensity, in poems of-yes!-androgynous sublimity, Robin Becker reveals herself to be one of our most generous and essential poets." --Michael Waters

Praise for The Horse Fair: "This generous poet is never less than attentive and responsive to the world that surrounds her." --Carmela Ciuraru, New York Times Book Review

"Becker's painstaking, emphatic use of language celebrates a patient yet intrepid dedication to art as well as the indomitable spirit of life, human or otherwise, in the face of oppression and death." --Floyd Collins, West Branch

About the Author:

Robin Becker, professor of English and women’s studies at The Pennsylvania State University, is the author of six collections of poetry, including The Horse Fair, All-American Girl, and Giacometti’s Dog. In 2002, the Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh published Venetian Blue, a limited-edition chapbook of Becker’s art poems. Becker is the recipient of individual fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, she won the George W. Atherton III Award for Excellence in Teaching from Penn State. For the Women's Review of Books, Becker writes a column on poetry called “Field Notes” and serves as poetry editor.

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Book Description University of Pittsburgh Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In "Domain of Perfect Affection", Robin Becker explores the conditions under which we experience and resist pleasure: in beauty salon, summer camp, beach, backyard, or museum; New York or New Mexico. "The Mosaic injunction against / the graven image" inspires meditations on drawings by Durer, Evans, Klee, Marin, and del Sarto. To the consolations of art and human intimacy, Becker brings playfulness - "Worry stole the kayaks and soured the milk" - suffused with self-knowledge: "Worry wraps her long legs / around me, promises to be mine forever." In "The New Egypt," the narrator mines her family's legacy: "From my father I learned the dignity / of exile and the fire of acquisition, / not to live in places lightly, but to plant / the self like an orange tree in the desert." Becker's shapely stanzas - couplets, tercets, quatrains, pantoum, sonnet, syllabics - subvert her colloquial diction, creating a seamless merging of subject and form. Luminous, sensual, these poems offer sharp pleasures as they argue, elegize, mourn, praise, and sing. Seller Inventory # AAN9780822959311

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Book Description University of Pittsburgh Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In "Domain of Perfect Affection", Robin Becker explores the conditions under which we experience and resist pleasure: in beauty salon, summer camp, beach, backyard, or museum; New York or New Mexico. "The Mosaic injunction against / the graven image" inspires meditations on drawings by Durer, Evans, Klee, Marin, and del Sarto. To the consolations of art and human intimacy, Becker brings playfulness - "Worry stole the kayaks and soured the milk" - suffused with self-knowledge: "Worry wraps her long legs / around me, promises to be mine forever." In "The New Egypt," the narrator mines her family's legacy: "From my father I learned the dignity / of exile and the fire of acquisition, / not to live in places lightly, but to plant / the self like an orange tree in the desert." Becker's shapely stanzas - couplets, tercets, quatrains, pantoum, sonnet, syllabics - subvert her colloquial diction, creating a seamless merging of subject and form. Luminous, sensual, these poems offer sharp pleasures as they argue, elegize, mourn, praise, and sing. Seller Inventory # AAN9780822959311

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