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Veil: New and Selected Poems

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Rae Armantrout, a core member of the Language writing movement, has long been known for the wit, emotion and punch of her social critique. Veil contains poems from five of Armantrout's previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems. Her work relies tenaciously on the intelligibility of language, her careful syntax bordering on plain speech and meticulously sco ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published October 23rd 2001 by Wesleyan
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Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets
I'm extremely picky about the avante garde, but I like her work, and I think she's doing the most absorbing writing within that school of thought.
Daniel Klawitter
Jan 01, 2015 Daniel Klawitter rated it it was ok
Extremely hermetic stuff. Some nice turns of phrase here and there....but largely the kind of poetry that makes general readers feel stupid because they just don't "get it." Which is not a sin in and of itself I suppose (for postmodern partisans it's often a virtue), but it's hard to figure out at times who Armantrout is writing for in terms of audience other than herself or other LANGUAGE poets. She is certainly capable of wonderfully concise word play that gives pleasure and at times is quite ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Toni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
I just love Armantrout. She makes me think. I could read this book over and over. (I will!)

Here are just a couple of snippets. The poem "Generation" in its entirety:


We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.

The years; the

The poem, "Overhearing," starts this way:

The way "The Tennessee Waltz"
is about having heard

"The Tennessee Waltz"

an almost floral

totally self

is what we call

Mar 27, 2008 Anthony rated it really liked it
I am most impressed (amazed, actually) by the economy of Armantrout's shortest poems. Let me show you one:
We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.

The years; the

Her experiments with syntax intrigue me about as often as they annoy me. Her occasionally irregular punctuation tends to bug me; I actually tried to brush an unpaired parenthesis off the page because I thought it was one of my eyelashes!
Apr 04, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it
I like Armantrout and I’m slightly jealous of her recent Guggenheim but some of these poems felt like eating nothing but fresh veggies for days and days. I knew it was good for me but I wanted a little salt.
James Grinwis
Jun 24, 2011 James Grinwis rated it it was amazing

For a long time, Armantrout has continually achieved the 'sublime' while bridging several different levels of poetic trend. Wonderful work.
Al Filreis
Mar 09, 2014 Al Filreis rated it it was amazing
A must-read for anyone who has even the slightest hankering for contemporary poetry and/or poetics.
Paul Killebrew
Jun 21, 2008 Paul Killebrew rated it it was amazing
Aloha, Fruity Pebbles!
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Jan 19, 2016
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Adam Good rated it it was amazing
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Rae Armantrout (born 13 April 1947) is an American poet generally associated with the Language poets. Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California but grew up in San Diego. She has published ten books of poetry and has also been featured in a number of major anthologies. Armantrout currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego, where she is Professor of Poetry and Poetics.

On March 11,
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