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Coeur de Lion

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  553 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews

Now that I am not addressing you But the you” of poetry I am probably doing something horrible and destructive.
But this I” is the I of poetry And it should be able to do more than I can do.

Just a few months after the publication of her prize-winning, instant classic debut The Cow, Ariana Reines self-published this stunning book-length poem, now a cult object among reader

Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 14th 2008 by Mal-O-Mar
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,397)
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Jul 08, 2008 CA rated it it was amazing
I DEVOURED this book as soon as I pulled it out of the POBox! LUCKILY I didn't have to go to my stupid job and could sit in the park and READ READ READ IT with all the pain and pleasure it deserves having when read!

So many unexpected FREAKISH, BEAUTIFUL moments it's hard to put a finger to it. Here's one particular moment (JUST WHEN sex in poems was getting redundant and boring THIS SUCH STANZA):

I did it a few
Times when I was
Eighteen. My hole
Is just another
Hole in the world
I said in my head
My ho
Aug 06, 2008 Ana rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who ever thought contemporary poetry was unexciting. read it and weep
Ariana Reines wrote the best book of the year, and 2009 will have to work hard to top this, and hell, most other years too. Coeur de Lion isn't just 'great,' it's Great. Read it, talk about it, spread the word!
Carrie Lorig
Oct 06, 2012 Carrie Lorig rated it really liked it
it's so important that there are women.
Mar 31, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I just read the new Fence version and it was full of startling moments and bare-ass naked truth. This is one of those books (along with other "personal" poetic volumes like Ghost Machine and Greg Sherl's I Have Touched You) that was the perfect thing for me to read right now. Raunchy, sexy, confessional beauty. Can't wait to read more of her work and to see her read one day. I've heard that her readings are crazed!
May 23, 2008 Randy rated it it was amazing
Voice? I felt like she was sitting talking to me. To borrow a word from one of my favorite sources; "Unbestopable!"
Eugene Varnedoe
Sep 08, 2015 Eugene Varnedoe rated it it was amazing
coeur de lion is art and I devoured it in a day. it's a book that makes me cry, lust, think and laugh. such a fuckin good book - sharp, fresh and moving. Ariana Reines demonstrates good flow and rhythm in the composition of the individual pieces as well as the ways in which the book moves between them. it's a book that makes one feel as if they're privy to something intensely intimate, which surely is one of the goals of many a piece of fiction - yet it's Reines that pulls it off so brilliantly. ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Leanna rated it liked it
I liked this much more than "The Cow." The self-consciousness, while still present, is to a lesser and more productive degree. "Coeur de Lion" is basically about a love affair gone awry between the poet and one "Jake". It takes us through the poet's graduate school in Europe and some time in New York. She is poor and she and Jake have a lot of non-vanilla sex and she goes through his email account and pisses him off. Both have other lovers at home while they are in Europe (are they both cheating ...more
Sep 19, 2009 Farren rated it really liked it
A single long poem or a series of poems with no discernible boundaries, about a love affair. The book is coversational, but urgent, the words tumble over each other desperately so that suddenly you look up and you've read forty pages.

"Ariana" pines after and also kind of disdains and also kind of loathes and also kind of tenderly cares for her love object, "Jake", who has been writing emails to "Emma", a girl who is clever but simple, pretty, infinitely more manageable than the narrator, whom
Jun 01, 2008 Robert rated it really liked it
William Gass calls the sentence a unit of consciousness, and the sentences here, splintered into lines of verse, navigate between self-analysis, self-pity, self-revelation, self-delusion. Maybe one of life's fundamental conflicts is between the way you know yourself to be, and the way others see you?

Of course, that's the province of the love poem and the love song: the accusatory, needful *I* and the hateful, beloved *You*

COEUR DE LION seems like both an embodiment and deconstruction of the lov
Jul 30, 2008 Juliet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I loved this.

At times, I felt like some kind of a voyeur reading it--but not a voyeur of sleaze; more like a voyeur of open authenticity.

There are lots of parts I like. Here is one of them:

The words on a page
In an open book
Looked stupid to
Me when I was little
Unless I was right up close
To them. They looked
Weak; barely
It made me nervous
That in order
For words on a page
To have power
I had to be close.
I had to be close.

This book puts me in mind of someone I know and semi-secretly love but canno
Núria Costa
Jul 10, 2015 Núria Costa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
How can a book begin setting the bar so high, and creating another one even higher by the end of it?
Mind-blown for how good this was.

Reading it aloud it's satisfying.
Jan 30, 2012 Francesca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I read this in one day - that's how gripping & essential it is. Written in a style that is compelling, addictive, direct; Reines is both clumsy and graceful, and the poem has a catalytic effect. How anyone can write such truthful lines despite the cynicism such knowledge should inculcate is beyond me. For anyone looking for proof that there is such a thing as a love poetry that replicates the experience of pangs of lost desire: that wounds & turns in the gut and doesn't lie despite the h ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Yarrow rated it really liked it
this poem-story is fascinating, and i want to read it again. it's intimate, self-indulgent (absurdly so at some points, but also somehow still effective, maybe because it's so self-consciously *personal*), and accurate.

it can probably best speak for itself. (don't worry, no spoilers here; although this spiralling self-analysis does have a plot, or anyway a coherent narrative structure, these fragments won't reveal it)

" though proximity were tantamount
to metonymy, which it isn't, not in rea
Jeune Fille
Even if
Your having been a field across which certain things

this is my favorite part of this book:

i really liked this but i also read this after a breakup, and i read i love dick and a lover's discourse after my previous breakup, and both of those works, like this one, cemented every abstract feeling of obsession and frantic grief into something more tangible by fully describing the mystical aspects of the crush. i highly recommend reading all
Jun 10, 2013 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Gonna carry this around with me for a while
Sep 29, 2015 daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 08, 2016 ebabehh marked it as to-read
Shelves: want, poetry
I don't know enough about the current (New York) literary scene to tell if the writing in this is part of a larger literary movement, but I've noticed a similar style in many other young writers (e.g. Tao Lin, Sam Pink). Self-conscious confessional first-person narratives written in spare poetic lines with heavy enjambment, spattered with both high and low cultural references. Often the writer will say outright "I like this" or "It bothered me when," as if mocking his or her inability to feel or ...more
Nov 15, 2014 annakatrina rated it really liked it
I was told once by someone with whom I lived and was in love that I was capricious. It stung quite a bit to recognize the truth of his insight. I've spent a lot of time since that moment thinking about how to dial it back-sometimes successfully, but more often than I'd like to admit, I've failed miserably.

I love the sculpted rawness of this poem. The elegant articulation of the ugliness of her acts. It doesn't make me feel better about my own struggles with my caprices. Just not quite so alone
Nov 12, 2010 Lucas rated it it was amazing
i moaned.
Aug 22, 2008 Beau rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I’ve been reading Ariana Reines lately. I am a regular-ish listener to Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm show and it was there I discovered Ariana Reines. (Listen to the show, Ms. Reines gives a killer reading, though there is a fair amount of ‘bleeping’ - f*cking FCC!) Her latest work, the slender but whollup-packing “Coeur de Lion” amazes and delights and saddens and everything else, unfurling much like a Chinese Scroll Painting- linear in composition, but ...more
Brian Henderson
Dec 20, 2015 Brian Henderson rated it it was ok
Picking up where the confessionals left off (oh dear, must we?) Rienes charts an aggressively dictioned path through, you guessed it — the breakup of an affair, though that’s not likely the word she’d use; more likely “fuck fest with a remote possibility of something like love”. The book reads like a long Facebook poem. “Where literature / is concerned, ha, ha," she says, “I’ve still / got work to do.”

Peter Landau
Aug 18, 2013 Peter Landau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book length love poem is going to have sex, and Ariana Reines' poem has that, which has gotten it attention, but only "professional" relationships are only sex, and COEUR DE LION is far more than an exchange of goods or services. It is a well deep with emotional currents that resonated to this reader with all the ebbs and flows related to people when they couple. But it is more. The fact that the entire 90-something pages is narrated to "you" creates an intimacy on the page which mimics that b ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Simon rated it it was amazing
One long lyric often complicating the "you" of the love poem with the "you" of the second person. Or a raunchy and romantic narrative that darts in and out of something more expansive and confused and personal the way a difficult love affair often does. Beautiful, sad, and darkly hilarious.
Jun 25, 2015 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
there is like two good parts of this poetry selection and the rest will leave you with glazed eyes thinking about something else, occasionally she put together such sentences it will leave you in awe at how perfectly she sums up heartbreak. 95% of the time however, you won't
Mar 20, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"She is the Gallery Girl. / I know what that's about. / I was the Gallery Girl. I tried / To like it. I twas important / To pretend to be interested / In being near artists and art / As though proximity were tantamount / To metonymy, which it isn't, not in real / Life. What's metonymy / In real life. You rub up / Against something; some of its / Truth and incompleteness / Is transferred onto you; / You carry it around on / Your body. Maybe. Art. That fussed / Trite shit rich people buy."

"It made
Feb 11, 2016 Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Araiana Reines is my heroine (and my heroin), her poetry is like if she read my mind and wrote it down.
Gene Tanta
"Whether as a gadfly to the bigger kids in communist Romania or as a teenager in Chicago, part of me always wanted to be hip, but another part always knew that it was too much work.

What does it mean to be hip? It means to be urban, wired, social, to occupy the latest spaces, to perform the most contemporary habits according to a precise code. If being hip means being urban, multinational, vanguard, does being unhip end up meaning that one has to be rural, nationalistic, or even parochial?"

Sep 08, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Poetry is supposed to be a lot of things: dark, indulgent, indecipherable—like wine labels or post-modern art. Certainly not the kind of thing you’d pass from friend to friend to friend; not the kind of thing you devour guiltily on the subway; not the kind of thing that reminds you of late night AIM sessions, the note left in a locker, the Moleskine hieroglyphics you perfected as an undergraduate, the words you agree with but never said out loud."

Read the rest of my review at Slate: http://www.
Kira Clark
Dec 01, 2015 Kira Clark rated it it was amazing
Ariana Reines is a brilliant woman and poet. Read her!
Feb 22, 2014 Erikaaaa rated it really liked it
Yep, I think it actually is as good as everyone says it is.
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Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow (Alberta Prize, FenceBooks: 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar: 2007; Fence: 2011), and MERCURY (Fence: forthcoming fall 2011), plus the LP/audiobook SAVE THE WORLD starring Lili Taylor (Fence: forthcoming spring 2011).

Volumes of translation include My Heart Laid Bare by Charles Baudelaire, (Mal-O-Mar:2009), The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Ni
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“Where are the messy women who love the fragile boys.
Where are the suicides who are my heroes.
Where are the bitches who know what they want, who love what they do, bosomy and declarative, happy to be artistic in this stupid night.”
“Maybe what made me cry in class was how tired I was and how sad and hard it is, and how rare, to undertake an act that's truly free, and not just a response to a confused surge of drives and fears.” 7 likes
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