Lisa Fishman The Happiness Experiment (New)

ISBN 13: 9780916272944

The Happiness Experiment (New)

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9780916272944: The Happiness Experiment (New)
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Poetry. Fishman's work marries Wordsworthian country life to modern complexity in lyrics celebrating love, joy, birth, and wonder. "These lyrics carry the reader into a realm of immense, immediate, and surreal activity. THE HAPPINESS EXPERIMENT is a dream-version of what Whitman might have called a 'song of occupations.' Within Fishman's moving work of observation and recollection, the world of ordinary things seems itself to think, to mind itself; things gather, watch, prepare, betray, forget, explore, give names or keep silent. Throughout, the poet's mercurial intelligence is alert to the play of echo and the surprises of memory, in which the simplest verbs reveal their capacity to haunt. Her book's experiment is always linked to experience, its happiness to hap or chance"--Kenneth Gross.

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About the Author:

Lisa Fishman is the author of Kabbaloom (Wyrd Press, 2006), Dear, Read (Ahsahta Press, 2002) and The Deep Heart's Core Is a Suitcase (New Issues Press, 1998). She lives in Chicago and in Orfordville, Wisconsin, and teaches at Columbia College, Chicago.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nothing in Fishman's laconic earlier books would have predicted the dreamy, impressive exuberance in this, her third: the poet depicts her rural surroundings, their precedents in classical pastoral, and her own, generously drift-prone imagination in these lyrical sequences, exploring attachments geographic, georgic, erotic and maternal. "Darken the roses dried on the lamppost," one of a few poems called "Calendar," instructs; "thud thud in the weather/ all trembling kissed my mouth." Fishman (Dear, Read) repeatedly invokes the Romantic radical poet Percy Bysshe Shelley as she seeks ideals, new beginnings, and pure sentiments in a sometimes frustrating Midwest: "One winter the road stuck us all in our houses/ turning to horses or daughters or fish." Titles such as "Eighth Month" and "Ninth Month" combine an interest in pregnancy and motherhood with attention to the agricultural year, at once inevitable and eccentric: "the woman tore a flower like a cabbage/ Often she was full of beets." Breathless, almost punctuation-free lines recall the W.S. Merwin of the 1970s, whose fans ought to love Fishman's work-yet Fishman is hopeful where Merwin was dark, delighted amid disorder. Originality and sincerity make up, in these bravura bursts of song, for what can look like disorganization, and even her many abandonments of syntax and sentence structure serve her emotions, describing her search for a better, unconventional way to live: "Don't be silly/ like a pillow full of atoms, where to lay your/ head with horses/ in the happiness."
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