What Narcissism Means to Me
How did I come to believe in a government called Tony Hoagland?
With an economy based on flattery and self-protection?
and a sewage system of selective forgetting?
and an extensive history of broken promises?
In What Narcissism Means to Me, award-winning...more
From Publishers Weekly
"How did I come to believe in a government called Tony Hoagland?/ with an economy based on flattery and self-protection?" How indeed. In Hoagland's third collection, as in the previous two, his speaker devotes considerable energy to unmasking this vulnerable self, revealing its ugliness, hatred and social sensitivity in articulate detail. A typical poem begins masochistically:...more
Tony Hoagland’s poems in What Narcissism Means to Me shows us that poetry can still be possible during anytime period and enjoyed at any age. He reaches into society’s current topics and ideas and pulls out a real unapologetic interpretation. As the reader and an American, we secretly enjoy him “calling us out”. He brings our unconscious opinions to our attention and by doing this unites the reader to the poem.
Something has to quickly appeal to me at the beginning of the poem to draw me in. In...more
Donkey Gospel, as a collection, felt much tighter than this. I definitely like this more than his newest book because of the more personal quality of the poems, one of the main reasons I dig Hoagland.
The first two sections contained poems that didn't seem as tight as Hoagland can be. I like his narrative, here you go, type poems the best.
The last two sections, especially the fourth Luck...more
"I knew that if I could succeed at being demolished/ I could succeed at anything".
"so Nature's wastefulness seems quietly obscene/ It's been doing that all week:/ making beauty/ and...more
Here's my favorite poem of the bunch:
Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud
Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison
Whose walls are made of RadioShacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes
Where you can't tell the show from the...more
Hoagland uses vivid imagery and unique diction as well as plain, simple lines. While I enjoyed the book overall, I was pumped for the section entitled Blues. The collection moved slowly towards this burst of song...more
He delves fearlessly into racism and stereotypes, gender issues, and issues of sexuality without a hint of preaching - only observation and insight.
He describes life for those living an everyday life in a way that is so honest, and so refreshi...more
Still I enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure at first. It occured to me that I probably should have read Donkey Gospel first, but I'd already start...more
that aside, it was okay. i like his conversational style of poetry. this i like, yes i do. otherwise, um, therapy for middle-aged white guys in vermont blech.
mr. tony tony is down on love. i like his down on love poems.
here's the one i liked. i ripped it off for a writing exercise. i will not share it here for it is of a personal nature and i don't want anyone to know anything about me. ooh secrets. how intriguing right?
writing poetry is in...more
Tony Hoagland has been a great introduction.
On one page his piece might be playful, reworking cliques about American identity, and then turn to personal, heavier material like “Suicide Song”. His ability to span such a wide scale with such simple language is irresistible.
Tony Hoagland makes poetry seem easy.
Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind.
Be sure to read Hoagland's Donkey Gospel, too. Neither is family reading, but they are genius.
Hoagland's work is gutsy, comical, dark yet hopeful, accessible, and tenacious in its quest to clarify the human experience. I immediately purc...more
It's a shame the book takes a nose dive midway through the third section. Enough to make me rather sick of it....more
"And dying you know shows a serious ingratitude
For sunsets and beehive hairdos and the precious green corrugated
Pickles they place at the edge of your plate"
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and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;
overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,
dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,
so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
and throwing it away,
and making more.”