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Book Title: Facts About the Moon|
The author of the book: Dorianne Laux
ISBN 13: 9780393329629
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2386 times
Reader ratings: 3.3
The size of the: 858 KB
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Edition: W. W. Norton Company
Date of issue: May 17th 2007
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No time lost, the opening poem immediately, stunningly, reminds me why Dorianne Laux still ranks among my top three favorite poets and keeps giving the other two a really hard time. “The Life of Trees” swirls me back into memory, all senses remembering. Once again, I am lying in my bed in the dark of a backcountry night, shack on a dirt road, tree branch scratching along the glass pane of my window.
… I want to sleep
and dream the life of trees, beings
from the muted world who care
nothing for Money, Politics, Power,
Will or Right, who want little from the night
but a few stars going dim, a white owl
lifting from their limbs, who want only
to sink their roots into the wet ground …
Because Laux understands and masters simplicity, and remaining simple in a complex world is one of the greatest arts of all. She speaks proletarian with the finesse of an intellectual, everything about these poems tapped into the blood of a common people in an uncommon world. She writes of the poor and homeless in “Democracy,” she makes us feel the highs and lows of everyday life, of angst, of growing pains, of loneliness and new connection.
“Vacation Sex” is a poem that is good and earthy and real, by God, real, not that drivel written in bad romances, posed for fantasy and never in reality, and never meant to be. Laux captures the couple that we are, our neighbors, our friends, dumping luggage at the door on the return home from vacation, and leaping back into the comfort of known bed, known body, known joy.
Nature, animals, earth, moon, connection with and between humans, these are the favorite things of Laux poetry. One of my favorites is “The Crossing,” in which the poet bride assesses the long-term value of a new husband by the way he treats an elk standing unmovable in the road. In the details, we are known.
Title poem, and moonlit we come to understand the light and shadow side of love, none purer than a mother’s, none more anguished and tested than the mother’s of a bad-boy son.
We don’t deserve the moon.
Maybe we once did but not now
after all we’ve done …
… you want to slap her back to sanity, remind her
of the truth: he was a leech, a fuckup,
a little shit, and you almost do
I won’t finish that. Endings of poems, especially Laux’s, are such dynamite. They either blow up all in your face, a ruin, or, as Laux’s do, they blow up your heart, shatter it with rediscovered feeling, remembering, suddenly, what it feels like to be sensitive and raw and open and vulnerable to life: vacation sex, flashlights under sheets as a child reading at night, elk caught in headlights on the road, your heart “a blue cup fallen from someone’s hand.”
~Zinta Aistars for The Smoking Poet, Spring 2010
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Read information about the authorDORIANNE LAUX’s most recent collection is The Book of Men (W.W. Norton) which won the Paterson Prize for Poetry. Her fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon (W.W. Norton), is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award, chosen by Ai. It was also short-listed for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the most outstanding book of poems published in the United States and chosen by the Kansas City Star as a noteworthy book of 2005. A finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, Laux is also author of three collections of poetry from BOA Editions, Awake (1990) introduced by Philip Levine, What We Carry (1994) and Smoke (2000). Red Dragonfly Press released The Book of Women in 2012. Co-author of The Poet's Companion, she’s the recipient of three Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work has appeared in the Best of the American Poetry Review, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and she’s a frequent contributor to magazines as various as Tinhouse, Orion and Ms. Magazine. Laux has waited tables and written poems in San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Petaluma, California, and as far north as Juneau, Alaska. She has taught poetry at the University of Oregon and is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. In 2008 she and her husband, poet Joseph Millar, moved to Raleigh where she directs the program In Creative Writing at North Carolina State University.
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