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Names: Poems

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In Names, Marilyn Hacker juxtaposes glimpses of contemporary lives with dialogues undertaken in signal poetic voices. Using her signature wit, passion, and mastery of received and invented forms, she convinces us to believe in a world made possible by language—prescient, playful, polyglot, and often breathtaking.

from “Ghazal: The Beloved”:
Lines that grapple doubt, written
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published November 23rd 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Apr 26, 2017 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Some of the poems were a little arcane for my taste. I found the political poems the most accessible to me. These lines from "Ghazal: dar al harb" seemed prophetic:

Plan your resistance, friends, I'll join you in the street,
but watch your backs: don't underestimate my country.

Where will justice and peace get the forged passports
it seems they'll need to infiltrate my country?
Elevate Difference
Feb 26, 2010 Elevate Difference rated it really liked it
Marilyn Hacker is a poet after the heart of not just poetry readers but poetry writers. I was immediately enthralled by the rich language of this National Book Award winner—for Presentation Piece in 1974—a language pulsating with raw indignation at injustice and celebration of what are life’s quotidian and banal joys: the small pleasures of winter light, sips of Sunday coffee, and the company of friends. Her virtuoso use of wordplay strums the memories of one’s mind as only a writer of her calib ...more
Nov 24, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Beautiful as always. Best read with tea while listening to Bach.

"Eggplant and peppers, shallots, garlic and cumin:
Let them be, married on my plate, my country"
(Ghazal: dar al-harb)

"I walked up the rue du Temple in the fog,
not a mist of exile and erasure,
but one from which memory and nomenclature
engage (Thank you, Wystan) in a dialogue
with dark streets redolent of almost-home."
(3. Names)

"Start another bottle of rough-tongued wine,
that sanguine glitter in the midnight mirror."
(4. Names)

"Can you
...more from the Academy of American Poets
Prepare for the 2010 Poets Forum in New York City (October 28-30) by reading Hacker's newest book of poetry, and check out the Poets Forum 2010 bookshelf for the latest collections by each of the poets participating in the Poets Forum. Happy reading!
Corinne Blackmer
Jan 08, 2010 Corinne Blackmer marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2014 MJ added it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2014
I read this mostly while on a cross-state road trip for an arts event - so, in other words, in a van with a bunch of literary folk and least two or three other poets - and had to keep passing it around: look! read this! Read this! One fellow writer said: "she's so good with the gimmick it doesn't seem like a gimmick anymore."

But Marilyn Hacker is like that. Her command of form, or I should say form(s), is practically unmatched in contemporary poetry.

There are a lot of ghazals in this book (Ghaz
May 04, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Lovely book, elegant with form. The longer sequences, especially, are delightful to read.
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Marilyn Hacker is an American poet, translator, critic, and professor of English.

Her books of poetry include Presentation Piece (1974), which won the National Book Award, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986), and Going Back to the River (1990). In 2009, Hacker won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for King of a Hundred Horsemen by Marie Étienne, which also garnered the first R
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