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The Selvage: Poems

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  5 reviews
A magnificent new collection from National Book Award finalist and Kingsley Tufts Award winner Linda Gregerson

In eloquent poems about Ariadne, Theseus, and Dido, the death of a father, a bombing raid in Lebanon, and in a magnificent series detailing Masaccio’s Brancacci frescoes, The Selvage deftly traces the “line between” the “wonder and woe” of human experience. Keenly
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Poetic Dramas - lyrical and devastating

Linda Gregerson understands history, mythology, psychology, social commentary, and knows how to paint with words like few other who elect to share the kinds of thoughts she offers in this collection of poems - THE SELVAGE. Look up the term 'selvage' and you'll find the definition 'the edge on either side of a woven or flat-knitted fabric so finished as to prevent raveling' - and while that term is the title of one of the major poems in this book (a wondrous
the words on paper make
a sort of currency, which heaven,

against all odds, accepts.
So Will, which is to say, May what

I purpose, please, this once, and what
will happen coincide.

And who hasn‘t felt the urgency or desperation to ask that question?

"The Selvage," by Linda Gregerson is a mostly accessible collection of 18 poems rendered in a prosodic style. Certain of these confections are driven by an easy, if flavorful, flow of straight passages presented as verse and resulting in the slightest a
Dido Refuses to Speak

If I burn the oars he won't be able to use them
to leave if I
lock up the winds in my cellar

If I shed the rigging or just
that pair of tendons at his inner
thigh not

So he suffers no but so he isn't able to
walk without help
and as for the eyes

He's already seen how I love him what need
for the eyes I was
-wasn't I?-young when the

Other one came to me dressed
in his wounds which
wounds my brother gave him I

Have faithfulness since but
mistaken the...yes or lost
the thread and now
William Reichard
The poems in Gregerson's new book are spare, but they're sharp and beautiful and they cut deep. There is such a breadth of knowledge in these poems, and always, a fine attention to form and language. I found I could only read one or two poems at a time, and this was the perfect pace for such a book.
Do you wish to be spared the sight / of your children against the rocks? - "Theseus Forgetting"

Best of:
"Lately, I've Taken To"
"Her Argument for the Existence of God" - exquisite invective against domestic violence
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