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It Is Daylight

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Arda Collins is the 2008 winner of the annual Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. Mesmerizing and electric, her poems seem to be articulated in the privacy of an enclosed space. The poems are concrete and yet metaphysically challenging, both witty and despairing. Collins’ emotional complexity and uncommon range make this debut both thrillingly imaginative and ethical ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Yale University Press
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Dec 02, 2015 Zanna rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry, usa
...cemeteries/Of grandparents and criminals

God's going to a dinner
where they're having lamb chops
and veal stuffing...
And after, they're going to have
pear clafoutis behind a velvet curtain
and drive their skulls into the centre of a diamond

“The people had been taught to despise themselves because they were left with barren land and dry rivers. But they were wrong. It was the white people who had nothing; it was the white people who were suffering as thieves do, never able to forget that their prid
Jul 10, 2009 Farren rated it did not like it
"It was finished and went to heaven.
Heaven is a white formica table.
Not what I expected,
but I'm not unsatisfied.
God still isn't here.
I'm not even waiting."

-From "Heaven"


Luis Correa
Jul 02, 2010 Luis Correa rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
I hated this book. Maybe I'm not "mature" enough to understand these sad suburban squanderings, and that's exactly why I hate it.
Kevin Lawrence
Oct 27, 2014 Kevin Lawrence rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
For many years, graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Poetry Workshop were under the Jorie Graham spell – we got lots and lots of numbered sequential poems with blank gasps punctuating philosophical/historical subjects intersecting with mundane events in the poet’s life. Well, she’s moved on to Harvard so that was that. Reading Arda Collins’ collection, I kept thinking, “ah, now we start getting poets under the Mark Levine spell!”

In her introduction to this Yale Younger Poets prize-winning book, Louis
Jul 22, 2012 Jenelle rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jenelle by: Shannon Burns
Shelves: poems
Some of these are only 3-star poems, but the 5-star moments are such beautiful, elegant, sober & strange 5-star moments, that I'll eagerly bias my memory.
Apr 09, 2009 Mia rated it it was amazing
I am rather in love with this book and its flatness and its food and its interrogations and its hiding-in-apartments right now.
Nov 12, 2016 Lindsey rated it liked it
Favorites: "Heaven," "Spring," "The Sound of Peeling a Potato," "Letter Poem #6," "From Speaking in the Fall," "It is Daylight," "Over No Hills," "Poem #9," and "Parts of an Argument"
May 07, 2010 Samantha rated it really liked it
Is it Day or is it Night?

I read it thinking the title "It is Daylight" was a bit interesting with the cover being the opposite of what the title sounded as though it was supposed to be like. I thought it would be poetry dealing with non-darkish sides of poetry... I was a bit wrong. I first discovered this story in a class that I’m taking of Post World War II literature. I saw this title and thought about it to be about a book of somewhat positive poems, It is Daylight by Arda Collins seems as th
Aug 10, 2011 Robert rated it liked it
This book is about nothing, but I mean that as a good thing. There is an emptiness that echos throughout the book. The poem Department Store is a good example of this emptiness that Arda Collins makes palpable. The speaker is detatched from their surroundings, moving through the world almost like a sleepwalker. These poems are interested in what goes on in an empty room when the door is closed. "He wondered what became of all the things/ that never happened..."-12. Each poem is quiet and passes ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Craig rated it liked it
I don't really know how to review this book.

It really just didn't connect with me at all. And so, typically, I would give it a lower score.

At the same time, I was so intrigued by the voice. At times "confessional," it also maintains a certain clinical distance. I haven't read any voice quite like it - and that elevates it an extra star for me.

The voice almost reminds me of a documentarian following a serial killer. As odd as that might sound, I pictured that at several points in the book. The
Jul 01, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is one cohesive little book--like the Abbey Road of slim, lonely volumes of poetry. She's fresh, and funny as hell too. Well played.

Poems that made me go "gah" (many) included: The News, With a Voice in Front of You, Spring, A History of Something, Because It Has to Be This Way, Garden Apartments, January, Central Park South, Elegy, Snow on the Apples, and the killer prose poem, Parts of an Argument.
Jul 15, 2009 Allyson rated it liked it
I heard Arda Collins read in Chicago at one of the off-site AWP readings (I'm pretty sure it was the jubilat reading). I left the conference in February with her name on my must-find-and-read list. The short and sweet: It Is Daylight is good. Some of the poems do nothing for me ("Garden Apartments," "Poem #9") and others, especially the first one in the book ("The News") drive me batty with envy of her talent. I look forward to reading her future publications.
Sofia Samatar
Jan 17, 2013 Sofia Samatar rated it really liked it
Very flat in the best way, these poems. Reading them is like eating ice. They are full of mundane objects--cars, phones, posters, airports, tables--with a insistent unreality breaking through. All the time the language is also trying to be as empty as possible, sustained by a fierce and uncompromising intelligence. You sort of have to ask yourself, if one of these poems seems sad, whether that sadness is the poem's, or yours.
Nov 30, 2011 James rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-poetics
I will defer to William Logan's pretty much dead-on review of this book. Click the link below to read it (last of the five):

Basically, the book is awesome but too long. It's worth it to read it just for the first 1/3, then it peters out. Still, I'm really looking forward to what this poet does in the future.
Mar 03, 2011 Zach rated it liked it
The poems in this collection are interesting, but they seem headed to a place than none of them quite reach. They spend all their time asea, and never think about the shore, so they remain ungrounded. I'm all about the voyage, but with no hint of a destination, even one that the poet never intended to actually reach, I found it hard to relate or connect to the poems.
Mork Schettler
Dec 18, 2012 Mork Schettler rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
*Kind of* a slog... It has it's pay-offs, but they just weren't quite often enough for my taste. I don't know, the mood really often felt slouchy, and when they woke up, so to speak, the fancifulness of them seemed forced and overly ironic. Anyway, no doubt a talented lady here, maybe just not my thing? I might like a few more gut punches than Collins appears to have in her....
Jeremy Allan
Jun 09, 2010 Jeremy Allan added it
Shelves: poetry
I've had this on my "currently reading" shelf for maybe nine months. I've been lying to you. In truth, I read about three quarters of this volume and just couldn't get excited about it. I may try again in the future. For now, though, it's going on a different shelf.
Nov 09, 2013 Hope rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best collections of contemporary poetry that I have recently read. It is such an expertly blended mesh of the dark and philosophical. I can read it cover to cover millions of times.
Sep 23, 2009 Katlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this collection, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. The language and syntax are quite plain, prosaic. Reading it again, I see the beauty in that simplicity, in its conveyance of the narrator's isolation.
i like this, even if the cover evokes twee graphic novels. i esp like the passage with the sustained laura ingalls wilder references. i think she is sorta a mall version of john ashbery.
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Jun 25, 2009
Jim LaMontagne
Jim LaMontagne rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2015
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“The soul is silent. If it speaks at all it speaks in dreams.” 41 likes
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