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Worshipful Company of Fletchers

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  366 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Masterfully drawing on a variety of voices and characters, James Tate joyfully offers his first book since winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his "Selected Poems."
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by Ecco
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 543)
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Wayne
James Tate is one of my favorite modern poets. His poems are sometimes obscure and bizarre, and his wordplay and sense of humor make every volume an entertaining read. The best of his poems, images, and ideas remind me of some of my favorite Dylan lyrics. My favorite in this volume is 'How the Pope is Chosen', very funny and wins a bonus 1/2 point for timeliness. 4.5
Trevor John
HOW THE POPE IS CHOSEN

Any poodle under ten inches high is a toy.
Almost always a toy is an imitation
of something grown-ups use.
Popes with unclipped hair are called corded popes.
If a Pope’s hair is allowed to grow unchecked,
it becomes extremely long and twists
into long strands that look like ropes.
When it is shorter it is tightly curled.
Popes are very intelligent.
There are three different sizes.
The largest are called standard Popes.
The medium-sized ones are called miniature Popes.
I coul
...more
Michelle
So, I'm going through poets that studied at Iowa. My first experience with Tate. And I like it. I like the surprises, the whimsy and implausibility Tate blends with concrete images to link together the themes in this book: the usual stuff about life, religion, etc., and the never ending discussion about what the hell we're all doing here.

Particularly compelling are "In my Own Backyard," "The Parade and After the Parade," "An Eland, in Retirement" "a New Beginning," and "The Documentary We Were
...more
D'Anne
Mar 16, 2008 D'Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to D'Anne by: Laurie Capps
Shelves: poetry
This is the first Tate book I have ever read. I had some passing familiarity with him via anthologies and such. I came across a used copy of this book while Laurie Capps and I were perusing the poetry section at a used book store in Charlotte. She recommended it highly and since I think highly of her I didn't hesitate to buy it.

Judging from this one book alone, when Tate is on he's really on. Poems like "Happy As the Day is Long" and "50 Views of Tokyo" are wonderful conglomerations of seemingl
...more
anthony e.
I was about 8 pages from the end of this book when my girlfriend, from whom I had borrowed it, dumped me, and I had to give it back. After the shock and heartache began to subside (so, like a week), I realized I desperately wanted to finish this work.

I'm glad I did. Once the reader gets the hang of Tate's style in this book, the poems just hum with potent atmosphere and almost tactile emotion. The majesty of Tate's work here is how he wraps his larger ideas, not so much in mundane, but in the pu
...more
Timothy
After a poodle dies
all the cardinals flock to the nearest 7-Eleven.
They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and the he's the new Pope.
-"How The Pope Is Chosen"

"Head Of a White Woman Winking" is the poem I've always wanted to write, damnit.

D. Ennis
Probably my favorite volume of poetry. Changed the way I look at poetry and writing. and its wicked funny.
Chris McCracken
Follow the tinkle of the lead llama's bell.
Steven
There is a lot to be said about the power of association in poetry. Some of the most poignant moments in contemporary poetry happen when the poet is skilled and brave enough to disconnect from narrative logic and leap to another plane, opening a new level of understanding in readers. James Tate is obviously aware of this phenomena and in this National Book Award winning volume attempts to create a speaker and persona who freely associates images from his environment with observations about cons ...more
Paul
Dec 20, 2010 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I've read some Tate before, and these didn't really do it for me. I wasn't into the line breaks; I wanted straight prose poetry, son. Like one poem stuck out to me as amazing, but everything else was pretty cool still. Just not as good as I was expecting from my first full collection of Tate. I guess I should just read Collected. Cool, calm,
Mariochampion
i really liked this book. some of the poems i would rate a 6 even, so that even with a 3 or a couple of 4s, it has to average the book to a five. Laurie and i just saw him read new work at the HRC, here in austin. Gotta love the HRC.
Eddie Watkins
These poems usually get boring before I've even finished reading them, though they're all very clear and neat. Chuckle poems... occasionally.

But then I think his first book or two are great.
Colin
Dec 16, 2007 Colin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to read trippy stuff
This collection is what the result of a beautiful car accident involving Wallace Stevens and Doctor Seuss.(OK, I'm being a little stupid; it's a great collection.)
Sara
I should come back to this after I'm a little bit more used to reading poetry. A lot of little things I liked, but nothing really grabbed me off the bat.
Ben
Nov 14, 2012 Ben rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Sometimes only in a musical stream of consciousness can we puncture the absurdity of the mundane world. At this Tate is a master.
Todd
Tate is a genius. One of the best collections of contemporary poetry I've read.
Zach
Making it look easy, yet again.
Constanza
Fabulous Modern Poet
Jimmy
Feb 09, 2009 Jimmy added it
Love him, yeah.
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  • The Tunnel: Selected Poems
  • Elegy On Toy Piano
  • Modern Life
  • The Man Suit
  • Angle of Yaw
  • The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994
  • Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk: A Poem in Fragments
  • The Master Letters: Poems
  • The Light the Dead See: Selected Poems
  • Girls on the Run
  • The Pajamaist
  • Mysteries of Small Houses
  • Fragment of the Head of a Queen: Poems
  • Actual Air
  • Steal Away: Selected and New Poems
  • Interior with Sudden Joy: Poems
  • The Babies
  • Splinter Factory
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James Vincent Tate was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He has taught creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he has worked since 1971. He is a member of the poetry faculty at the MFA Program for Poets & Writers, along with Dara Wier and Peter Gizzi.

Dudley Fitts selected Tate's fi
...more
More about James Tate...
Selected Poems Return to the City of White Donkeys The Ghost Soldiers Memoir of the Hawk The Lost Pilot

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“Everybody who was anybody seemed to be going to a meeting, the glowworm, who was a solipsist, the lemur who was not.” 1 likes
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