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4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  70 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"A wild confluence of words almost inundated by its barely restrained verbal enthusiasms."-Billy Collins

Winner of the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, awarded by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, these poems feature more of the rhetorical acrobatics that fueled Hamby's earlier work.
Paperback, 88 pages
Published November 7th 2004 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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James Murphy
May 24, 2010 James Murphy rated it it was amazing
I love Barbara Hamby's poetry. It's all about language. She writes jubilation and rapture. The mockingbird overlooks the 1st section of Babel, called "The Mockingbird Blues." Appropriate, in terms of language and that the mockingbird itself is here a kind of trickster animating the poems. But bees are frequently mentioned, too, and Hamby's language buzzes with them. These poems are busy with words carrying energy from line to line and from one part of the poem to another. The reader himself beco ...more
May 06, 2012 William rated it it was amazing
Shelves: forensics, poetry
Re-read this while at the State Forensics meet.

Barbara Hamby launches her poetry with a very rhythmic, slam sort of line where syncopation, alliteration mix with a general stream of consciousness. Add to this a few multi-lingual puns (check the action on Six Sex Say and stir in generous mixtures of pop and high cultural references. Underneath, however beats the heart of the formalist. He love of the surreal and juxtaposed settings often produces some startling effects.

She groups her poems in t
I don't often relax and enjoy a full anthology of poetry at one time, and Babel proved to me that I should break this habit more frequently. I found myself drawn in from the first exquisite poem, titled My Translations. (Other favorites include Cinerama, Ode to the Potato, Ode to Hardware Stores, and Ode to Barbecue. This last one is currently vying for the position of my favorite poem ever.) Hamby's work is a tribute to the English language and a treat for the human psyche. This is certainly a ...more
FSU Alumni
Barbara Hamby (B.A. '78, M.A. '81)
Aug 19, 2010 Craig rated it liked it
I never know exactly what to say when I read a book of poetry like this one.

It is obvious from the outset that it took such a talent and such a complete command of language (and not only the English language...) to create this tome. I have absolutely nothing but respect for the clever use of language throughout.

But, for the most part, it just didn't "do it" for me. It just wasn't my kind of poetry, I suppose. (and I give a huge exception to Ode On Satan's Power - wow. That poem alone took it fro
Ronald Wise
Aug 04, 2011 Ronald Wise rated it liked it
Some amusing and yet provacative verse, with an interesting weave of real-world observations and metaphoric tangents, classical mythology and modern realities. With some of the poems I enjoyed the literal imagery portrayed, while having a sense that I could find as much symbolic meaning as I desired. I learned of this collection when a the poem "Vex Me" was featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac on 03/07/2005.
Mar 15, 2007 beck rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks that like poetry
Another of Hamby's books--featuring such classics as "Ode to my 1976 Toyota Corolla" and "Ode to my Mother's Handwriting." This book also contains various poems set in Paris.
Kelly Butler
Apr 19, 2012 Kelly Butler rated it it was amazing
magical poet. musical and magical.
Ellen Johnson
Nov 25, 2012 Ellen Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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Barbara Hamby was born in New Orleans and raised in Hawai’i. She now lives in Tallahassee, Florida. She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Florida State University.
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