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A Metaphorical God: Poems

4.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Dazzling....She writes with Milton open at her elbow but with the real dirt of a real Utah under her fingertips."—The Yale Review

No poet writing today confronts the perplexities of the divine with more pizzazz than Kimberly Johnson. In A Metaphorical God, Johnson showcases her gifts for mining language for its hidden gems and its gospel ("my tongue is a fovent choir, / a
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Persea
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Oct 04, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Kimberly Johnson’s second collection, A Metaphorical God, is one of those rare collections you pick up by a new poet that leaves you, upon finishing, thoroughly excited about the possibilities of contemporary poetry. Johnson is a metaphysical poet, a fact clearly signaled by the poem titles (Odes, Psalms, Divinations, etc.) in the table of contents, but that doesn’t mean she’s doing the 17th Century again. Instead, her poetry is anchored in a recognizable present, one that includes working (tran ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Stef rated it it was amazing
I really like how fine-tuned (and astute) Ms. Johnson's ear is. I really like the particular attention she pays to form (both visual and poetic). But while many of these poems did catch me up in their deftly executed verbal acrobatics, some of the subject matter prevented me from being entirely swept away. As a city girl, perhaps I can't relate to all aspects of country life (such as lamb marking). Chalk that up to a personal shortcoming; the problem I had in making that connection feels more of ...more
Woah. Definitely wasn't expecting this slender collection--plucked at random from a library shelf--to become one of my great discoveries of the year so far. Unapologetically esoteric and deliberately rooted in the great tradition of classical Metaphysical poetry, Johnson transforms her subject matter (more often than not the rural, "salt of the earth" type that usually fail to interest me, sometimes more witty and unexpected topics such as appendix surgery) into tremendously evocative exploratio ...more
Gabriel Oak
Jun 09, 2014 Gabriel Oak rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
Johnson has a voice that's part John Donne, part Louise Gluck, and 100% enthralling. I read a poem she had published in Slate a few weeks back, and it was so good I had to read an entire collection. Definitely worth reading and re-reading.
Sep 20, 2008 Patrice rated it it was amazing
"Pyrotechnic linguistics." I'd give it 6 stars if I could.
Rob the Obscure
Jan 17, 2011 Rob the Obscure rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book of poetry. Many will be uncomfortable with the constant overtones of spirituality. Many will be uncomfortable with the use of language - "verb-izing" nouns, etc.

And that's OK. Not all poetry is meant to speak to all poetry readers.

For me, though, the stuff is great. Johnson is struggling with the spirituality of her youth, trying to understand it in this current time of widening horizons and deep, deep insight. SHe is working through this and we are allowed to read the "
Heather Roberts
Feb 26, 2011 Heather Roberts marked it as to-read
i've been wanting to talk with local writers {american west folk who have paved the way and are still beautifully moving it forward...stephen trimble, teresa jordan, those who knew ellen meloy etc.} for a future blog post. kimberly johnson is among those kids and amazing. recently published in the {i love you} new yorker {jan. 2 way to go!} i'm way psyched to have found her.
Jul 27, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I have a weird anxiety-of-influence relationship with Kimmy J. I want to be her, but the myself version of her.
I really like Kim’s work, I’m afraid to say. Why afraid? I think she’s my Art Nemesis. I want to define myself against her. I’m far more explicitly Mormon, less certain of my academic chops and anti-Post Modern. She’s the one to beat in the 500 meter.
Nov 01, 2013 km rated it it was amazing
unreal language
Mar 18, 2009 Michaela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
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Kimberly Johnson is professor of English at Brigham Young University.
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