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Crush

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  11,336 Ratings  ·  752 Reviews
Richard Siken’s Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In the world of American poetry, Siken's voice is striking.
In her introductio
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Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 11th 2005 by Yale University Press
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Readtolive Well it really depends on your teenager, age and maturity wise. The book is excellent with intense, sometimes graphic descriptions. I would wait if…moreWell it really depends on your teenager, age and maturity wise. The book is excellent with intense, sometimes graphic descriptions. I would wait if he/she is within the 12-15 band [older than that it would be alright but still depends on you].In any case the book is highly recommended, read it first and you can get to decide yourself on it! (it is short too) (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kirstine
"and the gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it.
"

I read Richard Siken's poem "Wishbone" on the internet. I read it once and closed the page. The next day I was painfully aware I couldn't leave it behind. That my mind kept circling back to his words. So I read it and re-read it again and again. Dozens of times, until I realised it would never be enough, so I ordered his book.

I have never in my life anticipated the arrival of a book more than I did w
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Nick
Jun 28, 2007 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me after I read this. There's a thread of a story here, but it's abstract and shadowed. Almost a ghost of a story. What's left are the raw emotions of the actual experience, which is what great poetry is: distilling the massive events that make up a life until there's nothing left but the urgent parts, the ones that carry the meaning.
Vishous
When I started reading this I couldn't believe what I got myself into.

I am not a poetry fan so some parts at the beginning cracked me up and I tried to find some sense in them and I failed.

But later... Some parts... Most parts ... Literally broke my heart...

And for those parts I am giving this 5 stars because I can't 4.5.

QUOTISH SPOILERS


description

(view spoiler)
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Whitney Atkinson
Once again, I return to rating poetry on a scale of "how much of it did I understand?" This one's language is easy to follow and the entire thing is comprehensive and you can really see the emotions and angst, but still, I couldn't find any deeper meanings in the poems. Perhaps I couldn't relate to them, but for the majority of this, I wasn't impressed.

My favorites from this collection: Little Beast, Litany in which Certain Things are Crossed Out, and You Are Jeff #24
Celeste
Feb 20, 2012 Celeste rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Ugh why does everyone love this book? Siken, the winner of the 2004 Yale Series, is clearly a capable poet, and there were a few moments in this collection that were beautiful and lucid. Otherwise, though, the poems are so overblown (too many words going in too many directions) and drowning in imagery of bodies, knives, and death. Oh, and SO much cheesy, disembodied dialogue.

The form of the poems in this collection felt like a cop-out: you can only splatter lines across a page so many times bef
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Patrick Duggan
Jul 12, 2007 Patrick Duggan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
SIken's Crush, his first book which also won the Yale Young Poets' award in 2004, is one of he most complete works of poetry I've come across in years.

He uses the pacing of his long line to slow time, and create a darker atmosphere within the verse, where shadows move from walls and creep along the legs of lovers. Time drags in elongated moments, or appears in flashes of memory and scenescape. His pace and image teach us fight from the first two pages how to read the work, and how to prepare yo
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Daniel
Mar 21, 2013 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry, lgbtq
Do you remember Prometheus?

That thief of fire who was bound to the rock in order for the vulture to pick at his liver, every day? That liver grew back every day for the sole purpose of being eaten again. The liver wasn’t helpful to Prometheus, it was only a source of pain. Can you imagine what it would be like to know that your liver would be eaten from your body day after day? There must be an immense sense of dread, knowing that what’s going to happen today is inevitable.

This is not a book ab
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'hayat
May 02, 2013 'hayat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(I read this sleepless and aching.
I've read parts of this book separately and reading it whole now takes me to places I thought I left, a previous lover read to me a poem by him, I've read lines of the book once so many times that some days of mine were titled by some of these verses.
By the end of the book I was just drained from the bits of me that Siken's words swallowed.
The poem Saying Your Names should be read loudly, so loudly that the names and the verses will take place in your mind and
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Yuki
Sep 28, 2012 Yuki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, poetry, m-m
I think that's the most beautiful piece of poetry I've ever read. I won't convince you. Here's my fav poem.

Little Beast

1
An all-night barbecue. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
The radio aches a little tune thet tells the story of what the night
is thinking. It's thinking of love.
It's thinking about stabbing us to death
and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
That's a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey kisses for everyone.


Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating a fruit pie with a buckknife
carv
...more
anna
Aug 16, 2014 anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, lgbt, poetry, mlm
"i wish i could read it for the first time again" i say but what i mean is i wish i could read it without crying for once
⊱ Poppy ⊰
Well, HONESTLY speaking I started this book with really high hope's. Richard Siken is pretty much an spectacular writer, but this book was JUST not for me! The style and writing was awesome, if I was a critic I would've rated this book a 5star, but NO I am NOT a critic and I will only give my precious stars to the book I love!!

"Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it."


But some poetry hit home!! Like literally
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tee
Jan 16, 2008 tee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, poets
I've had this book on my shelf for ages and have been holding off reading it because I didn't want to read it and it be over. You know how it goes? So I kept saving it. My partner pointed it out to me the other day (I keep it on my bedside table), and said, "uh-oh, she's drawn all over the cover." - referring to my 1.5 year old daughter. Seeing my crestfallen face he asked what book it was and I said, "Oh, just only my favourite." Even though I hadn't yet read it. I had breathed in snatches of i ...more
Stacie
Nov 12, 2015 Stacie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A million stars.
Pavellit Off
May 08, 2017 Pavellit Off rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you feel like you've spent too much time doing crap things.
Shelves: short, glbt, poetry
I have always wondered what is the essence that makes prose a lasting memory and deeply flows into my veins. Reading this collection of poems allowed me to see it clearly. The poetic bits are the thing ingrained (encoded) in my sensitivity system.

This work is more than a fascinating compilation of language. I've seen the intricacies and strings of thought that carry through each section. It truly reached in deep and took me along with it.

'Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of
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Liz
First, I found this fragment from "Planet of Love" on the internet:



I didn't pay much attention to the feelings it invoked the first time. I remember saving it amongst my favourites and then going back to business, however things changed when I found myself coming back to this exact fragment over and over and over again in the following days.
What did I do afterwards? Right, I searched for some more fragments. And then I just ordered the whole book hoping that unlike most modern poetry collectio
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Yara (The Narratologist)
In an older study advice post on how to approach poetry, I wrote that a good poet should be able to make you feel something, whether you fully understand the work or not:

Often poems are not so much vessels of information, but more like an experience. A good poet can reach out and get an emotional response from you even if you have no clue what (s)he is talking about. Sometimes you need to read a poem a few times before you fully understand it, or you can spend the rest of your life reading a wor
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Alexis Hall
Brought to you courtesy of Reading Project 2015.

This particularly volume of poetry is profoundly important to me, I can't do it justice in a couple of Reading Project paragraphs.

Also I have thoughts! and feels! and, uh, things.

And writing about poetry is difficult at the best of times.

So Imma going to come back to this.
Frances
Feb 22, 2016 Frances rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Heart-breakingly beautiful.
Maddie
Sep 13, 2014 Maddie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, poetry
I think reading a lot of Siken's poetry that came from this book before reading the book itself has caused me to not like it as much as I should, which is disappointing, and my mistake.

I've been left overwhelmed by Crush; there are poems in here that are some of my favourite in the world (Snow and Dirty Rain), lines that cut right through me but when you're reading a collection as opposed to individual poems, not all of them can hit so close. Some of them went on for a long time, dragging their
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Matthew
Apr 15, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Chaneli
Shelves: poetry
The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. The competition is open to any American under forty years of age who has not previously published a volume of poetry.

The Thom Gunn Award is an annual literary award, presented by Publishing Triangle to honour works of gay male poetry. First presented in 2001 as the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry, the award was renamed in memory of American poet Thom Gunn, the award's first winner, following his death in 2004.
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Ferrin
Dec 30, 2013 Ferrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd seen this book quoted all over, and I really looked forward to reading it because of those quotes, which I quite liked, but those few that I'd read before even opening the book were almost the only quotes I liked after completing it.

I liked the first poems the most, but I'm not sure whether it's because I did like them or because I was still optimistic about the book. After a few poems you notice the repetition pretty early on. I kind of figured it was a reoccurring theme type thing, which I
...more
farida
Apr 21, 2017 farida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"My applejack, my silent night, just mash your lips against me. We are all going forward. None of us are going back."

that was a beautiful book. a new favorite.
vicky ✨
Jun 03, 2016 vicky ✨ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lgbt
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.

I had a dream about you. We were in the gold room
where everyone finally gets what they want.
You said
'Tell me about your books, your visions made
of flesh and light' and I said 'This is the Moon. This is
the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you
there. The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar
cube…' We were in the gold room where everyone
finally gets what th
...more
jenice
like millionth re-read: aug/22/2016

fckinng kill me. i'm still too in deep w/ this shit. do i really need to say anything? this is my fave poetry collection. i adore richard siken's way with words and i cry every time i read it.

original read: jan/39/2014
Jenna
"[T]he face in the mirror is a pale
and naked hostage and no one can tell
which room he’s being held in."

-Richard Siken, from "Unfinished Duet"

This Yale Prize-winning book details the travails of eros in the obsessively anguished voice of a latter-day Propertius. With its accessible narratives, its frank passion, and its unabashed sincerity, Crush appears to have claimed a spot as one of the most popular poetry books published in the last decade (if it isn't a contradiction in terms to refer to a
...more
Leila
I wish I could give this collection of poetry the review that it deserves but truthfully, I find myself unable to write about it adequately enough. The book is so good. It's not often I read poetry and it is even less so that I find myself drawn into it. With this, each poem drew me in. Each line felt like a story of its own and more often than not, I found myself reading a poem further in and reminisicing a poem that I had read earlier in the collection and wondering how connected they were. I ...more
Cristina
Oct 19, 2012 Cristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I recently bought this book, and so decided to reread it. There is nothing like reading Crush for the first time. The first time I read this book, it was like being attacked with language. Emotions were being thrown at me: love, panic, terror, guilt, regret... and they were beautifully written and twisted and haunting, and I knew that I missed a lot of interpretation and would one day have to reread it.

For one thing, Crush is my favorite poetry anthology. I LIKE poetry, but I'm not sure I was in
...more
Melynda Yesenia
Feb 05, 2008 Melynda Yesenia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
“Scheherazade”

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
Until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the wi
...more
daniela
Aug 12, 2013 daniela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a fan of poetry. I don't understand it just as I didn't understand this. Here's what I understand: I understand the poet tries to write his feelings. A poet, a good one, tries to make you understand what he was feeling when he wrote whatever he wrote, or so I was told. Richard Siken is a good poet. I didn't understand most of his poems, I didn't understand what they were building up to or what story they were trying to tell, but I felt them. Well, most of them. I am sure I will feel the ...more
Victoria Larroque
Apr 17, 2015 Victoria Larroque rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
It was like being trapped inside a dream. Everything was beautiful and transient, murky and haunted. It felt like being swept away and not wanting it to end but still struggling to wake up.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These, our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we'll never get used to it."

"I walk through your dreams and invent the future."

"This is where the evening splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard, and make
...more
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GRL Review of Crush 3 79 Sep 22, 2013 01:57PM  
  • And Her Soul Out Of Nothing
  • Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form
  • Some Ether
  • This Clumsy Living
  • Slow Lightning
  • Elegy
  • Dancing in Odessa
  • Averno
  • Selected Poems
  • The Great Fires
  • Kingdom Animalia
  • King Me
  • When My Brother Was an Aztec
  • Plainwater: Essays and Poetry
  • The Man Suit
  • What We Carry
  • Mayakovsky's Revolver
  • Awe
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Richard Siken's poetry collection Crush won the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize,
a Lambda Literary Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Conjunctions, Indiana Review and Forklift, Ohio, as well as in the anthologies The Best American Poetry 2000 and Legitimate Dangers. He is a recipient of a Pu
...more
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“Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.”
845 likes
“We have not touched the stars,
nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it.”
651 likes
More quotes…