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Veil: New and Selected Poems

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  7 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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Jenni
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Antonia
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:


Generation


We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.

The years; the
undergrowth



The poem, "Overhearing," starts this way:

The way "The Tennessee Waltz"
is about having heard

"The Tennessee Waltz"
before:

an almost floral
nostalgia,

totally self
contained,

is what we call
beautiful.

...more
Anthony
I am most impressed (amazed, actually) by the economy of Armantrout's shortest poems. Let me show you one:
"GENERATION
We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.

The years; the
undergrowth"

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!
Teresa
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

For a long time, Armantrout has continually achieved the 'sublime' while bridging several different levels of poetic trend. Wonderful work.
Al Filreis
A must-read for anyone who has even the slightest hankering for contemporary poetry and/or poetics.
Paul Killebrew
Aloha, Fruity Pebbles!
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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.

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