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On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Lady Murasaki wrote in The Tale of Genji that thirty-seven is “a dangerous year” for women. Evoking the styles of Murasaki and other women writers of the Heian-period Japanese court, Lee Ann Roripaugh presents a collection of confessional poems charting the course of that perilous year. Roripaugh, in both an homage to and a dialogue with women writers of the past, explores ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 14th 2009 by Southern Illinois University Press (first published 2009)
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Heather Fowler
There are some books, consumed with a nearly dead heart, that reawaken the reader to the luminous possibilities of poetry as a romantic and decidedly powerful vehicle for human expression. Roripaugh's On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year is just such a book. Here, there are intimate portrayals of being a lover, a scorned lover, an ex-lover in exile, an ex-lover still longing--a series of portraitures of a vibrant narrator expelling her beautiful fragments of life just the way the tiny details in one' ...more
Alyson Hagy
Sensuous. Sensual. Lyrical. Musical.

A fragrant brew of language, rhythm, and the physical world.
(read as 4.5 stars)

First, the one tiny thing about this collection that bothered me, because it really bothered me and wouldn't let go - the spelling "Numchucks" in the title poem. As far as I know, this is still not a correct spelling of the word and for such a wordsmith, I was surprised to see it slip by. Yes, I realize it is a very small thing...

O.k. Now on to everything else. This book is brilliant. While I told my wife that it is a "book about food and bugs," it is so very much more. There
While I was reading this book in the park one day during my 37th year, I put it face down on a picnic table and noticed a ladybug crawling along the cover. What I'd never paid much attention to on a ladybug before was its head; its eyes appeared to meet mine for a moment before it lifted its back lacquered layer and revealed its wings before flying off. I've heard some people comment that poetry doesn't have a purpose, but here was one I gained from reading LAR's 3rd collection--a better appreci ...more
What I like most about these poems is the pleasant shock I get while reading them. The images and word choices Roripaugh puts together are so unusual, so new, that they are just a delight to come across. They sounds so odd, so bizarre, so original, and yet...after a second they make perfect sense. I just never thought to compare the things she compares. Never thought to use the word she used in that kind of way. These poems are extremely mentally flexible and playful. Serious at the same time. S ...more
Heard her read from this last night (6 April 2011) at her poetry reading at Briar Cliff University.

I truly enjoyed this book. I did not find her 2nd book as lyrical and sensual as the first [which may only be due to the shift in subject matter], but this one seemed to return to the lyricism and sensuality of the 1st while continuing on from the subject matter of the 2nd.

All in all, I really like Lee Ann's poetry. I am so glad that we went to her reading and that I was able to get these 3 books d
Gerry LaFemina
I always think the sign of a good book of poems is that it makes me want to write poems myself. Roripaugh's long poems--some in long, dense blocks, some in alternating syllabic couplets--do just that. They are expansive, sexy, emotionally available, linguistically and phonically playful, smart, and exceedingly well-crafted.
Beautiful! Sensual. I've never enjoyed bugs or reading poems with them until now. The book is so much more than that as other reviewers write. I'm thrilled I read this and will look for more by her.
Rich, vivid imagery and evocative language made me feel like I fell into and became part of the poems.
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I'm a hapa poet and fiction writer of Japanese-American descent. Having grown up in Laramie, Wyoming, with a first-generation Japanese mother, my cultural experience was definitely one of East meeting the American West. I'm the author of two volumes of poetry: Beyond Heart Mountain (National Poetry Series - Penguin, 1999) and Year of the Snake (Crab Orchard Poetry Series - Southern Illinois Univer ...more
More about Lee Ann Roripaugh...
Year of the Snake Beyond Heart Mountain Dandarians: Poems Year of the Snake (Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry): Poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh burntdistrict, volume 2

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