The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans
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The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans

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This compelling book takes its title from Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu. In Beckett's play, a grieving beloved seeks relief from the haunting presence of a departed lover in a place where "From its single window he could see the downstream extremity of the Isle of Swans." With a bow to Beckett's style and linguistic playfulness, Mary Jo Bang's collection of poems deals c
Paperback, 80 pages
Published May 14th 2001 by University of Georgia Press (first published March 2001)
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from The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans by Mary Jo Bang:

The Beauties of Nature

She'd grown tired, she admitted,
of the picturesque—
pretty pipers piped

against a backdrape of pineapple yellow.
She closed here eyes
to it and it went away.

In this sight heaven she trilled her right hand
in the water-lilied water
and wondered at the weather.

Twenty starlings twittered.
The day had been
dieted down to twelve hours of light

and cushioned between two storms.
She thought
she could see through

the muggy dusk...more
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Mary Jo Bang is an American poet. In her most recent collection, The Bride of E, she uses a distinctive mix of humor, directness, and indirection, to sound the deepest sort of anguish: the existential condition. Bang fashions her examination of the lived life into an abecedarius—the title of the first poem, "ABC Plus E: Cosmic Aloneness Is the Bride of Existence," posits the collection's central p...more
More about Mary Jo Bang...
Elegy Louise in Love The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Apology for Want The Bride of E

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