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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Controvertibles features more of the refined brilliance and delicate lyricism of this poet, cast in a more meditative mode. Throughout, she examines cultural objects by lifting them out of their usual settings and repositioning them in front of new, disparate backdrops. Doug Flutie's famous Hail Mary pass and Rutger Hauer's role in Blade Runner are contextualized within th ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published September 26th 2004 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published 2004)
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I'm not sure if it's complementary aesthetics, similar cultural experiences, or just appropriate targeting but I find this Quan Barry volume compelling and--despite the concerted work of understanding she tasks the reader to--intensely readable.

In this work of superb and delicate lyric, Barry finds the balance between the holy and profane, the obvious and oft-overlooked bridge between common experience and transcendent belief. Everything from her endings to her titles are extra-worldly. They acc

the guitar's sorrow / swelling like a sprain (3)

the heart's four rooms (5)

two men hanging like pinatas above a crowd (7)

the long notes like eggs on the page (10)

I wore white, the cloth plentiful as walls (13)

her feet like two small holes (17)

Tonight I am thinking of the young woman who dreams of her father being shot in the head. Imagine needing to believe the one you love has been destroyed. (24)

it hones its trumpet of bone (26)

what did it feel like / when she first held the small loaf o
Mike Ponti
Sometimes, when a poet writes about Rage Against the Machine without any irony or humor, I say, "Thanks, Quan Barry, for being observant of things outside that university library where the other poets seem to cloister themselves."
Sep 12, 2007 Meredith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cecily
really enjoyed the intertextuality of this poetry collection, even though it made it more difficult to actually read the poems as poems. i want to go back and read the poems again without google in front of me.
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