Then Suddenly--
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Then Suddenly--

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Poetry Book of the Year

A reader and a writer don their respective roles and embark on the journey of a book. This is their story--ultimately a love story--darkly funny, mournful, testy. It is about a reader who at times presides over the page like a god, and at others follows the leash of the author's voice through the dark streets of...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 28th 1999 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published January 1st 1999)
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“Reader, I have made our paths cross” is the quote that ends this complex book that continually blurs the line between audience and participant, writer and subject. This collection of poems, which constantly butt up against each other (i.e. “A Landscape in the Country” is followed by “Soliloquy of the Depressed Book,” a poem against landscape poems, 39-42), is highly enjoyable and playful. Each poem seems to be speaking as much to the other poems as it is to the reader, and there is a cumulative...more
Black Elephants
I was first introduced to this book back in college, and it was and remains one of my favorite collections of poetry ever. I think the reason is that Lynn Emmanuel just has such fun with her poems, and she communicates it in such an infectious way. It is serious and amusing, passionate and whimsical, fanciful and still very realistic. What also strikes me about the poems in this collection is how they are stories. Each one is its only little tale with a beginning, middle and end, but how Emmanue...more
This book is super solid all the way through, even while playing with form and self-consciousness.

There were a couple of parts that were a little sobby for me. Like boo-hoo moments. Other times, those kind of emotions came across with a punch. Give me the latter, please.

Oddly enough, I didn't mark a lot of favorite poems. I think they were all pretty solid, so it just read well as a collection. That is good.

A few favorites:
Out of Metropolis (good opening poem)
The Corpses
Persona (Great idea)
Maggie Glover
Dec 06, 2007 Maggie Glover rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: writers of all genres
I fell in love with Emmanuel's work in college after reading "The Politics of Narrative" in The Dig and Hotel Fiesta, and was excited to return to her poetry with Then, Suddenly. She has a way of poking the reader directly in the nose-- she energizes and evolves the "you" in a way that few poets can do so effectively--by the end of several poems, it is clear that Emmanuel is talking directly to me. In this book in particular, she plays with the concept of audience, speaker and the notion of poet...more
Jul 04, 2007 Danna added it Recommends it for: Everyone
If nothing else, check out Emanuel's poems, "inside gertrude stein" and "Homage to Sharon Stone": the first explores being taken over by that "typewriter in a dress" so that Stein's genius can channel through the lesser being of Lynn Emanuel (Alice is featured as a kite figure); the second watches Sharon Stone from a distance, describes her hair, her entourage, and curiously, her erection, (the hell?, well, you'll just have to read the poem), and then Gertrude Stein makes a brief appearance. A f...more
Some wonderful poems. I would have given it a higher rating except I'm not particularly into meta-poetry...
Alicia Mooney
I started rereading this book. I love what she's doing!
See poem about Gertrude Stein as a typewriter in a dress.
not with a bang but a postmodern pfffft
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