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Download Captivity by Laurie Sheck PDF

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By Laurie Sheck

The “exquisite and haunting” (Booklist) selection of poems outfitted round the language and mystique of yank captivity narratives during which Sheck enters the brilliant existence we are living inside of our personal minds and selves, and takes us into the mysterious underside of attention and selfhood.

From Publishers Weekly
The squat, long-lined poems of Sheck's 5th assortment meditate on American captivity narratives—stories renowned within the past due seventeenth century, equivalent to Mary Rowlandson's a story of the Captivity and recovery of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, usually approximately abduction by way of local Americans—as metaphors for the restrictions of awareness and the poetry that attempts to render it. those narratives are without delay addressed within the 17 "Removes," a time period taken from Rowlandson's booklet. somewhere else, Sheck (Black sequence) references different singularly American figures, together with Dickinson, Stevens, William James and Emerson. Sheck relishes the "slow conversion of myself into nothingness," an important (and frequently violent) step towards knowing "this chain of emotions wherein we suggest (if it really is that) a self." those poems now and then appear to courtroom vagueness—words reminiscent of "scatter," "broken," and "elsewhere" are between Sheck's such a lot detailed descriptive phrases. a few readers might locate that Sheck exhausts her subject matters and the time from which they originate; modernity seems occasionally, and while it does—in the shape of "a display screen candescing," the human genome and one "marketing director"—the impression is jarring. all through, in spite of the fact that, Sheck's lengthy traces maintain a sublime uncertainty, and her fractured syntax calls either Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins to brain: "The seconds slant and coarse with split-asunder."

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Sample text

That would be long to tense here for a leap, Thrall to the remote decisions of the light. 20 Little Elegy for a child who skipped rope Here lies resting, out of breath Out of turns, Elizabeth Whose quicksilver toes not quite Cleared the whirring edge of night. Earth whose circles round us skim Till they catch the lightest limb, Shelter now Elizabeth And for her sake trip up Death. 21 Ladies Looking for Lice after Arthur Rimbaud, “Les Chercheuses de poux” When the child’s forehead is afire with red Tortures and he longs for vague white dreams to come, Two enchantress big sisters steal close to his bed With tinselly fingers, nails of platinum.

43 Requiem in Hoboken Their wives and children, spiffed up fit to kill, Take front seats for the breaking of the crust, Choir hums the Miserere, china saints From Barclay Street look wide-eyed as though lost. The celebrant, among chrysanthemums Brought just a wink before the Bird with bread Whistled straight off our heavenly Father’s fist, Moves threshingly in black to twist the Host, Taste the raised wine. Peace fall upon those men Of Hoboken the 5:11 train Suddenly cut to lengths to fit the dust.

Get under it. Go moan at one remove. Incomplete spirit in a house laid waste, With thinning hands you tweeze threads in your sheet. Little enough is left of you. The priest Forgives you, gives you flesh and blood to eat. At cockcrow, helpless for a turn of phrase, A hollow teletype forgets to click. Stiff is the air you tortured with clichés And tongueless stands the body politic. You sigh between our lines. We can’t erase Your one historic catchphrase. Worn to death, It walks, a murmur from some public face.

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