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The Country of Lost Sons

Thomson, Jeffrey

1 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1932559140 / ISBN 13: 9781932559149
Published by West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2004
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Trade paperback. Mint new review copy with publisher's card laid in. Bookseller Inventory # 52046

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Country of Lost Sons

Publisher: West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Description Jeffrey Thomson's second collection of poems, The Country of Lost Sons, investigates the narrative environment of childhood, especially the way violence is inscribed on children through myth, culture, and legend. The poems trace the growth of the author's young son (his vulnerability and equal potential for violence) across a landscape of rewritten myth and narrative. From the Trojan War (bracketed as it is by the deaths of two children, Iphegenia and Astyanax) through the Biblical accounts of Job, Jeremiah, and Jephthah to the modern tragedies of the war in Kosovo, AIDS, and the contemporary culture of violence, the poems build to a culmination of fear that is only tempered by love, grace, and the redemptive power of storytelling itself. About the Author The Country of Lost Sons is Jeffrey Thomson's third collection of poetry. His first collection of poetry was The Halo Brace (Birch Brook Press). Renovation, his third book, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has also published poetry and nonfiction in Quarterly West, New Delta Review, Puerto del Sol, Gulf Coast, and Willow Springs, as well as critical essays on Sandra Cisneros, James Wright, Derek Walcott and the environmental elegy. He has been a Fellow at the Writers @ Work Conference and a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference. His works have won numerous awards, including the Master's Poetry Contest and the Academy of American Poets' Prize on three occasions. He received his PhD from the University of Missouri in Creative Writing in 1996 and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Chatham College in Pittsburgh where he directs the MFA in Writing program.

From the Publisher:

In the midst of so many fast-talking contemporary poetry books comes Jeffrey Thomson’s lovely The Country of Lost Sons. Here is a book that chooses tender, meditative music over electric chatter. Here are the poems that tell us poetry can still explore and heal earnestly. More than praise, I want to offer gratitude for such an intimate book. After reading it, you will want to offer gratitude too. —Terrance A. Hayes

If horror is a given in the world, what place exists for beauty? If children are given in ransom to the gods, what parent can give thanks? The Country of Lost Sons takes Job’s children, and Jephthah’s daughter, and Hector’s son, lost at Troy, and fashions from their stories a cautionary chronicle for our own place and time, where love aspires to the condition of protection, but protection serves merely as prelude to elegy. —Lynne McMahon

Jeffrey Thomson’s The Country of Lost Sons imagines a land where the aggrieved and the grieving come wounded together, across borders of time and nation, epochs of loss and resurrection. There, they are redeemed, if not in fact then in his poems’ muscular music and flint-edged wisdom. So many things "hiss" in these poems—shoes, doors, paper, even grass—we sense the horror lurking within daily graces. It’s this horror Thomson interrogates and then reinvents in the deadly flight of Philoctetes’s arrow and his own son’s small-fisted punch. Beneath the city’s shattered walls—ours, after all—Thomson raises the "terrible blessing of hope." —Kevin Stein

The Country of Lost Sons, Jeffrey Thomson’s brilliant new book, shows the poet to be a man deeply read in western and world literature, a poet who sees the past and present, life and art, as inseparable, and yet this knowledge is never forced, never pretentious—just a vital part of life as we live it day to day. How else can we understand the joys and horrors we live except in the context of everyone’s joys and horrors, the book seems to ask. That knowledge and the passion of its saying tips everything toward joy. —Andrew Hudgins

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