Sad Little Breathing Machine: Poems

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9781555973964: Sad Little Breathing Machine: Poems

Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker
as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically
inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines
I understand best.

One betrayal, two.
Merrily, merrily, merrily.
-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Matthea Harvey is the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.

From Publishers Weekly:

Taut and up-to-the-minute in its intellectual and its formal concerns, Harvey's sophomore effort seems sure to consolidate her status as a young poet to watch. In acute unrhymed couplets, typographically teasing experiments and titles as oddly audacious as the poems themselves ("O the Zoetrope & the Periscope Should Be Friends"), Harvey explores the possibility that people are nothing more than desiring machines; the chance that she and her friends are as predictable as physical law or ephemeral as gossip; and the countervailing weight of love and want. An early poem propositions readers, "Invent the sun & edition the trees": later she explains "I am no relation/ to the sky but to the mechanical// dragon wrapped in tissue paper," or exclaims enticingly, "Frond-fond & pond-proud/ we sugar the obstacle dark." Harvey characteristically combines childhood (or teen) scenes with material from philosophical or literary theory: "Girls who could see around/ corners whispered 'or'/ to one another." Though many younger poets share her interests, few match her verbal assurance, nor her skill in knowing when to stop. Harvey (Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form) also includes a series of prose poems constructed like fairy tales (such as "The Transparent Heir Apparent"); these allegorical stories ballast what might otherwise seem an overexcited, or overly elliptical, collection. Admirers of Brenda Hillman, or even Anne Carson, may find here a new favorite. And although fans of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus-based desiring machines may find the scale here claustrophobic, reduction is precisely the poet's problematic, explored with force and imagination.
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Book Description Graywolf Press, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker as intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically inventive, offers her second stunning collection Units are the engines I understand best. One betrayal, two. Merrily, merrily, merrily. -from Introduction to the World In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. If you re lucky, Harvey writes, after a number of / revolutions, you ll / feel something catch. I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It s only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I m tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I m having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don t want it to ever end. --James Tate. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781555973964

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Book Description Graywolf Press, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker as intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically inventive, offers her second stunning collection Units are the engines I understand best. One betrayal, two. Merrily, merrily, merrily. -from Introduction to the World In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. If you re lucky, Harvey writes, after a number of / revolutions, you ll / feel something catch. I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It s only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I m tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I m having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don t want it to ever end. --James Tate. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781555973964

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