Testimony: The United States, 1885-1915: Recitative
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Testimony: The United States, 1885-1915: Recitative

4.67 of 5 stars 4.67  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Published (first published 1965)
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Dylan Muckerman
the simplicity of language used by reznikoff makes these poems extremely powerful. it was difficult to read too many of them in one sitting. i think this is the perfect example of poetry that doesn't strive for obscurity and instead focuses all efforts on expressing intensely emotional things. the language used is never emotional and instead the stark objectivity forces the situation directly upon you, giving you a more direct feeling of the experience.

because of the subject matter and the style...more
Diego Munoz
This is a brutal book.

Each short poem is based on a true court document. Each one generally ends with one type of murder or another. Some are quite difficult to read, but all are quite addictive and beautifully written.

This is one of the few books of poetry which i have read from cover to cover. They resemble very short stories more than traditional poems, as they have very few metaphors and adjectives, etc.

Any of these poems could be expanded into a movie or book.

Having read this book, which i...more
This is indeed a rough book to read, as it focuses primarily on heartache, murder, disfigurement, suffering, and loss. And yet, it’s pretty great too. Its style (Objectivism) is blunt, to the point, and utterly devoid of literary flourishes. The words mean what they mean and nothing besides.

Taken from court records between 1880 and 1915, “Testimony” reaches across time to illuminate forgotten (and jarringly common) moments of anguish. However, while the stories these poems tell are tough to abso...more
Paul Secor
Charles Reznikoff was trained as a lawyer, though he practiced law for only a short time. These poems are based on law reports, focused through the ear and eye of a master poet.
Aug 18, 2008 Allen added it
CR delves into actual law cases, and the results are hair raising. he made the best use possible of his law degree with this work.
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