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Belmont: Poems

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The new poetry collection by Stephen Burt, “one of the most gifted poets of his generation” (Frank Bidart)

*An NPRBest Book of 2013 * A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Poetry Book of Spring 2013*Our skills are finally in demand.
If you mock us, Pan,
In whom we also believe, do it
As gently as you can.
—from “The People on the Bus”

In Belmont, Stephen Burt maps out the joys and the limi
Paperback, 88 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Graywolf Press
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May 13, 2014 MJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2014
It was hard for me to finish this book because I kept wanting to flip back to some few, immediate favorites every time I got it in my hands.

The scope of these are amazing, both in terms of content and form (or format - these are not formal poems, but they are formatted in ways that are thoughtful and varied, and sometimes innovative) - children's kites, trans/gender stuff, paraphilias, the CITGO sign ("O self-important hub, / You fit me more than any other where."), owls, odes after Pindar and S
John Pappas
Aug 29, 2013 John Pappas rated it really liked it
I had only encountered Burt through his superior criticism (mainly, but not exclusively, in Close Calls With Nothing), but this is my first
reading of a collection of his. In this collection, Burt plumbs the tensions between the joys of parenthood and the recognition of unrealized dreams that parenthood precludes. He notes the various secret selves, and past selves, that are harbored, visited and nurtured while the public self is one that unselfishly and deferentially takes care of the familial o
Oct 16, 2013 secondwomn rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, out-loud, 2013
i can't decide about this book. i read the first half aloud in a hotel room. it rings. it sings. i read the second half silently in transit (including the unbelievably happy coincidence of reading "the future" at the porter sq T station!). and somehow on the page the poems weren't jiving as much. several of them felt like they ended too abruptly, too soon. there's a lot of playfulness here, which i enjoyed. there's a lot of minutiae, which was sometimes charming and sometimes a bit too hermetic. ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Tristan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is so awesome! Every poem was beautiful; my personal favorites were "Butterfly, with Parachute" and "A Sock is Not a Human Being" both of which were sweet and witty and just totally brilliant. Burt really manages to capture life exactly as he lives it, even in the poems that are obviously not directly about him, such as "Fictitious Girl Raised by Cats." The poems are meaningful and real and every one is a small, beautiful experience. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a ...more
Christina Rau
Aug 28, 2015 Christina Rau rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A slow start with the first section of poems focusing on parenthood/children, the second section takes off with poems that focus on quirky subjects, poems that pay homage to other literature, poems that incorporate the current language of tech, and lots of word play throughout. "The Paraphilia Odes" shines as the centerfold. The third section moves out to nature and has some of the same word play in addition to vivid imagery. Stephen Burt's Belmont should be on any poetry-to-read list.
May 07, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it
A sample:

Stephen Burt - “The Soul”

Easy to recognize in its costume
made up of Sunday puzzles and Scrabble tiles

you can take it, but not very far.
Nor can you baste, drip-dry or evaluate

happily what’s left when it’s removed.

Respectable people have found it in a guitar.
Consider where it lives, or hides, in you.

No frills, enjoyable, and a lot like reading a glass of cold lemonade with your eyes.
Nov 22, 2014 (a)lyss(a) rated it really liked it
Definitely one of the better poetry collections I've read in a while. I like that the language is specific enough to convey certain feelings and images but still vague enough to be relatable. I liked having references I could actually picture such as New England public transportation and a lovably used Subaru. It's a fantastic collection of modern poetry that captures places and moments in time that are relevant time and time again that make you stop and think.
Feb 18, 2014 Becca rated it liked it
A bit of a stretch for me - modern poetry. It was ok - nice little mediations on a gentle life in the Boston burbs.
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I write books about poetry, essays on other people’s poems, books of my own poems, and shorter pieces about poems, poets, poetry, comics, science-fiction writers, political controversies, obscure pop groups, and the WNBA.

My published books are: Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf, Spring 2009), The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia University Press,
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