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The Cuckoo

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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The winner of the 2003 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is Peter Streckfus’s The Cuckoo, chosen by competition judge and Poet Laureate Louise Glück. It is Glück’s first selection as judge. In this unforgettable, daring first collection, Peter Streckfus offers the reader poems of deep originality and astonishing power. Taking his inspiration from both American and C ...more
Paperback, 78 pages
Published March 11th 2004 by Yale University Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Valerie
Dec 20, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. Even if I didn't like a poem, I usually liked what the poet was trying to do with the poem. He wrote poems in the voice of The Oregon Trail (written in 1875) and or based on the Monk Hsuan tseng's trip in The Journey to the West (written in the 16th century).

My favorites in the book are the ones that are written in the poet's voice himself. They are imaginative, and beautiful. He has a lot of recurring characters or subjects in the book, which I always enjoy. Peacoc
...more
Will
Apr 07, 2008 Will rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Strange, wildly original, and full of fresh mythical imagery. One of my favorite examples:

*"Pilgrim's Progress"

Hsüan-tsang and his party traveled fourteen days from Ait Aein to
Wansgelt. Look. On the eighth day. Here they come:

His little monkey companion rattles its collar bell;
And the piglet requires more water than they can afford.
The little monkey's bell sounds loudly in the silent heat,
Disharmonious to the company's foot falls;
The piglet requires drink! Oh, the poor foundling piglet
Wants its
...more
Julia Gay
Aug 30, 2007 Julia Gay rated it really liked it
The first time I ever read this book of poetry, I felt like I had stepped through a dimensional portal to a world that was incredibly similar to my own but I couldn't understand the worlds people were saying. English had turned into some sort of alien language, though the words registered, they didn't make sense in their placement in sentences.
This is not a bad thing. In fact, this only encouraged me to reread. Each time I read these poems, I understand a little more. Of course, since it's poet
...more
Joe
Aug 25, 2007 Joe rated it liked it
Recommends it for: experience unpretentious eruditon
Shelves: poetry
Streckfus doesn't let you know he is referring to another work--rather, he just confronts you with images scooped from unusual texts in all their lush, anachronistic bizarreness. The poem "Organum" is collage at its best--both playing on & paying homage to what is most striking in the original text. & while this book isn't all collage, his most energetic poems seem to draw on the startling leaps that the gaps in a collage piece force one to take.

Wasn't fond of his shorter poems & th
...more
Sarah Smith
Jul 14, 2008 Sarah Smith rated it liked it
I think I flipped through this a few years ago at a used bookstore in Pittsburgh and decided that it wasn't worth buying, and have been ignoring it ever since. Somehow I thought I knew what was up with this book based on that experience, but whatever, I was wrong. There's a point to the lyricism here, and I'm grateful for it because I'm not too inclined to enjoy pointlessly torqued language. Maybe pointless torque is impossible. Eh. Anyway.
jenn Bress
Jan 02, 2009 jenn Bress rated it it was amazing
BRILLIANT!
Jocelyn
Jul 31, 2014 Jocelyn rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!!
Anna
Aug 23, 2007 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Well put together.
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Peter Streckfus is the author of two poetry books: Errings, winner of Fordham University Press’s 2013 POL Editor’s Prize, and The Cuckoo, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2003. His poems appear in journals such as The Chicago Review, The New Republic, Seattle Review, and Slate. His awards include fellowships and grants from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Peter S. R ...more
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