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The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
“Jones can be stunning, effortlessly finding the right tone.”—The Village Voice

Richard Jones examines the details of daily life as though through a child’s eyes, taking in every wondrous moment as if time were nonexistent, yet with the intensely painful understanding that the elemental world of the family is fleeting. Jones, who is strongly influenced by Rilke and Keats, i
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Copper Canyon Press
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Nov 18, 2011 Antonia rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
I'm just amazed at how much other people like this book. I must be in a terrible sourpuss mood.


When I went home to visit my sister
in the stone house by the river,
I couldn't sleep, and so I rose early,
before dawn, and entered the quiet
temple of the living room to sit
in simple meditation. Palms up,
legs crossed, shoulders squared,
I took a minute to relax my body,
then began to count slow breaths,
attentive to the task of emptying
the merest thought from the mind,
as if sweeping cob
Sep 15, 2010 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Great book of poems about:

--reading, even reading the dicionary
--words, their precise meanings & origins
--punctuation--no, really! Done with humor & grace.
--life, death, kids, love, loss (you know, the big/small/real stuff)

Jones is a wonderful poet, not flashy, always using straightforward language to say quietly amazing things.

Apr 13, 2016 Bet rated it it was amazing
Richard Jones has become my newest favorite poet (and yes, that happened before I learned that he got his BA and MA from my University!). This collection is accessible and emotionally and intellectually stunning.
May 10, 2011 Daryoung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Accessible and enjoyable poetry. I enjoyed Jones's subjects (family life, in particular, which is refreshing from a man) and poetic view. Not one of the more complex reads, but enjoyable.
David Bjelland
Sep 06, 2013 David Bjelland rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Richard Jones is pretty upfront about his Christian faith - explicitly, its mythos informs his perspective and poetic gaze, but it also implicitly informs the less poetic theme of contented domesticity which appears with alarming frequency in this collection. As a childless young adult, I guess it's unfair to criticize him for this, but I just don't see any blinding insight into the human condition in poems like "At Last", which describes a typical bedtime routine for him and his children in ...more
May 19, 2014 Craig rated it it was ok
I rarely find titles from Copper Canyon that I actively dislike. Disagree with? Sure, but I typically see the merit in their books even if I don't particularly *like* them.

This collection, though... I just found the poems to be dull. As pointed out by other reviews, there are more than a few clichés evident. The subject matter of much of the book revolves around faith, family, aging - subjects that can be full and challenging. They just aren't, here, though. There are a lot of surfaces and very
Jun 20, 2012 Brian rated it it was ok
My essential bias against Christian/faith references made it more difficult for me to enjoy this collection than would have otherwise been the case. There were moments, however, since Jones is a good storyteller poet. E.g., "I like this moment when there is nothing / more I need to do,/ when I have emptied everything on the conveyor--/ eggs, bread apples, and some chocolate/ I will give my children after homework--/ and I am free to study/ the checkout lady's red face/ ever so slightly gasping ...more
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Very lyrical in a prosaic sort of way.
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