Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “First Course In Turbulence” as Want to Read:
First Course In Turbulence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

First Course In Turbulence

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine 1999 Poetry Book of the Year

With rapid shifts between subject and tone, sometimes within single poems, Dean Young’s latest book explores the kaleidoscopic welter of art and life. Here parody does not exclude the cri de coeur any more than seriousness excludes the joke. With surrealist volatility, these poems are the result of experiments tha
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about First Course In Turbulence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about First Course In Turbulence

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 301)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Spoil Me Not

Dean, I finished your book about turbulence.
I bookmarked it with a boarding pass -
Charlotte to Kansas City -
whuddya think of that?
Kansas for vacation.
As I cut another notch in my weirdness belt,
I slip and pit my thumb like an avocado,
spilling blood on the pages. It's OK.
I bought the thing used and it came in fair
rather than the promised very good
condition. That bastard. At any rate
do you think someone will see the blood
and think Abandon All Blood
Ye Who Enter Here, or will they
Dean Young was suggested to me by someone (a English/poetry professor) I met at a bar. She lent me three books, one of which was this collection, after finding out that I'm a big fan of Tony Hoagland. Little did I know that they are 'brothers'... at least as far as the acknowledgements are concerned. The poem specifically written about Hoagland and his lake was great as were about 75-80% of the poems. The 5 star rating comes not from the fact Dean Young's sense of humor hits the mark with me, bu ...more
When Leonardo is 11 and still sober,
he brings home a dead wren to disconnect.
His parents hope he is a genius and not
just another morbid little boy

-Dean Young, "Lives of the Inventors"
Patricia Murphy
Interesting repetition of themes: the poet as creature (bug or panther), The Tony/Mary poems, wearing the wrong clothes, mono-diets (first rice, then mashed potatoes), art, The French surrealists, Jimi Hendrix.

Each poem here has a new disjointedness, and the collection does too (as compared to Strike Everywhere, which was my most recent DY read).

"even the carpet/ is a tongue."

"I know someone could make a great weapon of me/ if only I was thrown hard enough."

"The problem isn't that you will bec
"After eroticism, suffering is my favorite subject" pretty much sums up Dean Young's poetry. I enjoyed these poems more than I expected to, all the while wondering why & where from I had any expectations at all. As I'm generally less interested in wholes than in parts, I found many lines throughout the book to enjoy. Here's one of my favorites, from "Sky Dive": "I forgot all I learned/ throwing myself from a practice flight of stairs./ It drove me crazy, the way she smiled/ at strangers and ...more
Eric Phetteplace
There's something to be said for poems that, by focusing on a singular subject, gain precision and insight. Not much of that here. Young rambles, and don't get me wrong he's a hilarious and lush rambler, but in the end I wish he take his talents and try something different and more ambitious.
Clark Knowles
A lovely book of poems. A hive of tiny things--ants, hearts, infants--swarming through Walt Whitman's dreams. There's big things here too: painters, oceans, myths. Funny and terrible, like love. What are you waiting for? You've already been given your free gift.
Had to read Tony Hoagland for class and hated him. Read an article by Hoagland about Young, and found via the snippets of poems quoted there that I would probably like Young more than Hoagland. Got this out of the library and found that I did.
Funny and sad and compelling. Young is one of the best contemporary poets writing today. If you get a chance to hear him read, then grab it, and prepare to be charmed.
Tim Lepczyk
Dean Young writes with a unique perspective. His poems move with a life of their own and make connections between ideas and images that are vivid and poignant.
Scott and I met Thanksgiving night over a poem in this book. They are so good, a romance can start over them.
Funny, sad, surprising, interspersed with wisdom. Always entertaining!
Malcolm Alexander
I liked "Strike Anywhere" much more.
Jun 19, 2008 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
Reminds me of Billy Collins
john steven
it's all voice and shroud.
I love Dean Young...he rocks!
Sep 13, 2007 Shaindel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in associative poetry
Excellent associative poetry.
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Kate marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Eric marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Sam added it
Dec 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Selected Poems
  • Modern Life
  • Fragment of the Head of a Queen: Poems
  • Donkey Gospel
  • The Light the Dead See: Selected Poems
  • Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk: A Poem in Fragments
  • The Babies
  • Field Guide
  • Animal Soul (Contemporary Classics Poetry Series)
  • The Man Suit
  • M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A
  • A Hunger: Poems
  • Elegy
  • The Mooring of Starting Out
  • A Little White Shadow
  • Slow Lightning
  • Queen for a Day: Selected And New Poems
  • Holy Land
Dean Young is a contemporary American poet in the poetic lineage of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and Kenneth Koch. Though often cited as a second-generation New York School poet, his work also resonates with the Surrealist poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire, and if neo-surrealism has a poetic corollary then it is him. His most recent books are Elegy on Toy Piano ...more
More about Dean Young...
Elegy On Toy Piano Embryoyo: New Poems The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction Skid Fall Higher

Share This Book

“Go down any road far enough
and you'll come to a slaughterhouse,
but keep going and you'll reach the sea.”
“Often beauty is disguised
by appearance just as music can be
by sound, the dreaming wish by the waking
wish until there's this terrible stress
because a thing must finally reveal itself,
break itself. Leaning shadow, cinder
heart, shouts. In Gorky's The Unattainable,
the line begins to free itself from any
utility of contour and becomes a trajectory.
One day, Gorky hung himself from a beam
but left us in charge of those ravishments.
Hello, interior of the sun. Usually alone
on Sundays, she won't get off until late,
the man steams rice because it's cheap
and easy and feels in its austerity poetic
like candles during a power outage
or trying on overcoats all afternoon,
buying none. ”
More quotes…