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Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976-2004

4.52  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Irene McKinney's work of three decades is represented here.  Her language is direct, vernacular, forceful, and unmistakeable.  These poems are directed to a listener, not overheard, in a tone and with a stance of honest intimacy.  These poems occur in the rhythm of speech, not of written discourse. From the beginning, McKinney has been aware of the modulations of the spoke ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 15th 2009 by Red Hen Press
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Karen
May 15, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
Irene McKinney's Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976 - 2004 is a fine volume of collected works. See my review at Rattle:

http://www.rattle.com/blog/2010/02/un...


Jessie
Aug 10, 2011 Jessie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I read it slowly; it was like taking deep drinks. Maybe because of where I am in my life, I loved best the poems that speak to breaking, healing, beginning again, regaining a sense of self, writing to save one's life:
"At 24," "Stained," "Ready," "Her Fascicles" (fascicles = parts of a book published in separate sections):

"The light on this page is not bright,
but the light in my mind is.
I felt for a scrap...
I grasped the pen as hard as I could
and wrote four lines....
I put it in a packet
with the
...more
Red Hen Press
Jul 14, 2009 Red Hen Press rated it it was amazing
"Irene McKinney’s Unthinkable: Selected Poems, is a daring, vital and wholly original collection that brings poems from all her previous books back into print. The geography of these poems is rural, and she evokes that world brilliantly and totally unsentimentally in poem after poem and in a prose piece, “The Durrett Farm, West Virginia: A Map.” The emotional territory of McKinney’s poems is otherness and its many guises. Hermit-like, she invents both poems and someone to hear them, from the dar ...more
Karen
Jun 26, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read
* 3 Books For An Out Of Body Experience

Whenever rain interrupts a sunny day, I think of McKinney's nightmarish and beautiful poem, "Summer Storm In The Animal Graveyard." West Virginia's poet laureate from 1994 until her death in 2012, McKinney created elegiac verses set in pastoral Appalachia. A careful craftswoman, her poems contain subtle, unique touches. In "Truckstop," a waitress "blooms" from behind a counter as "coffee / spurts in its throttle." McKinney did not write fantastical poems, b
...more
Cee Spind
Apr 18, 2015 Cee Spind rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed (like library fines enjoyed) especially the farm, the mining, oneida, Emily; especially the line from "five asanas," crow pose--stay as mean as you have to.
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Oct 12, 2011 H.N. rated it really liked it
Gorgeous use of language.
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