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The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You: A Poem

4.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  371 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You, in its current printing, runs 383 pages and numbers 15,283 lines. It contains no punctuation, and neither stanza nor section break. Frank Stanford most likely worked on the poem through the late 60s and early 70s, and anecdotal evidence dates a complete, typed draft in 1971.

Ostensibly about Civil Rights in the South, in The
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Paperback, 542 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by Lost Roads Pub (first published January 1st 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,547)
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m.lady
Nov 14, 2007 m.lady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to build a house out of this book and live in it forever.
Peter
Jan 13, 2008 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book used to be very hard to find ( I think it's easier now), but is completely amazing. It's a 542 page poem, but don't let that put you off. Some says it's the Great American Novel, even tho' it's a poem, and in many ways, it completely beats On The Road. The JK book is not a good reference point. TBWTMSILY is visionary swamp narrative... Maybe Huckleberry Finn, William Blake, plus Ulysses, set in the Mississippi Delta, not like Faulkner tho'... Stanford's writing is as powerful as Waits'
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Chris Ebert
Jun 17, 2009 Chris Ebert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of enduring patience
The best text I've ever read, but it's not for the faint of heart. Stanford's epic poem is best read as slow as possible and as many times as you can. It's written without punctuation, sentences, or structure, and the style makes you feel like you're being swept away by a flood. It's as dark as any material you'll ever find, but humorous at times; it shifts jaggedly between cerebral existential thought and loose narratives, all woven into a cohesive stream that transpires in a blink.

The poem is
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Daniel
Oct 06, 2009 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book castrated me.
Sean A.
Dec 07, 2013 Sean A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, surreal
I really might as well never read another book after this one.
It might have been a mistake to begin this book at the beginning of my first semester back to college in 5 years. the semester's almost through, and now I have at last fought my way, outside of school reading, through The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You. The overwhelming gumption of this book cannot be understated. My edition was 383 pages, which is all good and well, except that it, as advertised, is one long poem without
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Allan MacDonell
Feb 05, 2014 Allan MacDonell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give up. Literally two-plus months have been invested in reading The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You, to the exclusion of all other books, and I have reached only page 258 out of 383. I am beaten and will go no further. Delivered in an idiom as unique to its author as Huck Finn’s voice is to Mark Twain, Frank Stanford’s sprawling prose poem is rich in Southern Gothic ambiance and incidence, and stingy with literary niceties—such as punctuation and stanza breaks—that afford a reader ...more
Morgan McComb
Feb 18, 2015 Morgan McComb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At this risk of sounding very melodramatic and unnecessarily intense, this book/poem is everything. Though the book is obviously best understood after having read it in its entirety, open it to any page and began to read and this poet's words will move you. It (as well as the rest of Stanford's work, which I highly recommend) found me at a time where I needed to believe in the power of words to uplift and inspire. It has been doing that for me ever since.
CA
May 19, 2008 CA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the sort of poetry we need in high schools, not that those older won't also LOVE IT, I'm just saying THIS is the kind of poetry that can open kids up to poetry! And keep them open! It never lags, it's a constant whiplash!

CAConrad
http://CAConrad.blogspot.com






....
Aran
May 20, 2009 Aran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
So, I'm almost halfway through this epic 400 pg book, which entitles me to say: WTF.

Some of it's pretty sweet, granted, but...
Josh Boardman
Mar 04, 2013 Josh Boardman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a lot of fun in the beginning. It was actually a lot of fun until the last hundred pages. Then, it lost any sense of narrative. This would be okay, if the language had held it up... but it didn't. I want to ctrl+f how many times Stanford said the words "moon" and "dream"-- god I hate those words to begin with. The narrative of the first 300 pages, though, was worth the read. Unlike other epic readz, however, this one doesn't have me constantly thinking about it for weeks to follow. ...more
Lee Razer
Nov 16, 2014 Lee Razer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, poetry
Surely a contender for the most remarkable book to ever come out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Which is not to say this dense 15,000 long-lined "poem" with no punctuation marks is very readable, in fact its a terrible challenge. I read 3,500 lines and feel that's enough for awhile. This is an hallucinatory stream of dreamtime images sometimes coalescing into an identifiable narrative for a bit before dissolving back into the torrential flood of passing language, taking their shapes from the African ...more
Jenni
Jul 28, 2007 Jenni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poets
He's a great writer and I love his selected, but this is one long poem, and I don't do too well with epics. I got maybe halfway through it and occasioanlly I'll just open to a random place and read a few pages. Blame the 3 stars on my own limitations as a reader.
and
Mar 16, 2015 and rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poems
"all of this/ is magic against death/ all of this ends/ with to be continued/ I wave so long with a handkerchief/ to the horses on the range of my dreams".......... this book completely destroyed me. wrecked.
Tanya
Mar 14, 2011 Tanya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-drama
"the spirit of these words defy translation"
Luxagraf
Sep 09, 2007 Luxagraf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the best American book of the 20th century. A bold claim I know, but I stand by it. There's a great little essay on Frank Standford at Alsop Review "It was Lorca who noted that poets have to be able to use the image to fuse details of the infinitesimally small with astronomic intuitions."

By the way if you go to buy this, don't do it through Amazon, way way too expensive. Try Amherst Books, the sometimes get it in stock.
Hardie Brian
Aug 04, 2014 Hardie Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the most amazing books i have ever read
Mike Soto
Dec 07, 2010 Mike Soto added it
Shelves: poetry
It's hard to think of another work so unrestrained and daring. Stanford will leap from narrative sometimes for 6 straight pages of metaphor- I felt i was making a giant circle in my mind while reading.

I have to say though, the new edition put out by Lost Roads is pretty boring. CD Wright and Forest Gander added their intros to a flat, conventional edition set in Times New Roman. Though the original had unnumbered lines, it was set in Georgia (I believe) and the art and experience of reading it
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Adam
Aug 25, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hello Stanfordites!

I'm writing a Master's Thesis on Stanford and can't fucking find where this quote is in this book: "Because none of you know what
you want follow me/ because I'm not going anywhere/ I'll just bleed so the stars can have something dark to
shine in."

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THIS OCCURS? PAGE NUMBER? LINE NUMBER? ANYTHING???

Thank you for your help and for keeping Frankie alive.

Hope everyone is buying the re-issued books (The Singing Knives, You) from LostRoads! They're amazing.
Molly Moore
Jun 02, 2012 Molly Moore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolute perfection in print. Frank Stanford was, in my semi-humble opinion, one of the most brilliant minds in (and one of the most important contributors to) the history of the written word. Highly underrated, wholly life changing... I'm still shocked this book isn't on every high school's reading list.
Carmelo Valone
This book is better than: The fucking Iliad by Homer. A postmodernist Southern poet's take on the epic poem. Bleak and beautifully rendered not unlike a finely crafted corpse for an open casket wake viewing.
Sean
Jun 23, 2007 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
some of the most beautiful poetry i have ever read, so very sad that Stanford did not live on to write more, his portraits of the South show his sensitivity and perhaps hint at his pending suicide, intense.
Dickson
Feb 02, 2008 Dickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is rough around the edges, but this is a poetry with images that are truly amazing, hence five stars.
An example: "I'll just bleed so the stars will have something dark to shine in."
James
Jan 18, 2011 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, long-poems
This poem will drag you under its lines like the Mississippi drowning in darkness a child fallen from the bank. You will be glad for the burning in your lungs.
Paul
Nov 02, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic, violent, sexual, hilarious...a tome of a book that never has a dull moment. Stanford's lines are all spectacular.
Joe Sacksteder
Jul 05, 2010 Joe Sacksteder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very tough to get through and not zone out, but some really beautiful stuff. Took me four months to read.
Michael
Oct 28, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a 380 pg. poem. wild stuff. if you want something to
rock your world...this might do it.
Guion Pratt
Apr 04, 2013 Guion Pratt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE feelgood summer romantic page turner of 1977. Excellent beach reading.
Derek
Oct 16, 2007 Derek rated it it was amazing
I can't believe nobody's reviewed this. It's like the best book ever written.
Cary
Apr 17, 2015 Cary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no defense against this.
Nicole
Aug 19, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
absolutely delicious so far...
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Frank Stanford was a prolific American poet. He is most known for his epic, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You— a labyrinthine poem without stanzas or punctuation. In addition, Stanford published six shorter books of poetry throughout his 20s, and three posthumous collections of his writings (as well as a book of selected poems) have also been published.

Just shy of his 30th birthday, S
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More about Frank Stanford...

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“tonight the gars on trees are swords in the hands of knights
the stars are like twenty-seven dancing russians and the wind
is”
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