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Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This year’s winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is Maurice Manning’s Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions. These compelling poems take us on a wild ride through the life of a man child in the rural South. Presenting a cast of allegorical and symbolic, yet very real, characters, the poems have “authority, daring, [and] a language of color and sure movement,” ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 11th 2001 by Yale University Press (first published July 1st 2001)
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Jan 06, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is one of the most astounding books of poetry I have ever read. From its compelling first words ("Sheepish as a far off echo, Lawrence Booth wades/into the Great Field and the wide-yawning night") to its stunning final image ("Here come the crows!"), this book is sublime. There's not a single wrong note here. The characters, their voices, are so true, so exactly themselves. Though form and style vary from voice to voice and poem to poem, Manning maintains a powerful economy of language thro ...more
Oct 11, 2009 Leanna rated it really liked it
Like John Berryman's "The Dream Songs" if William Faulkner wrote them. Very southern in its vocabulary, images, and metaphors. I liked how all the poems operated within this one strictly defined world. Weird, colorful, somewhat surreal, somewhat narrative book. Most appealing to me was how Manning invented this "language" of the South and stuck to his own rules. Pretty awesome.
Mar 20, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys, girls, America
Shelves: amazingpoems
Simply the most startling and original poems I've read in a long time. Utterly fine and wild.
Jan 28, 2015 Aimee rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book. I read each poem a few times, and read the book in one sitting, then thought about the book for a few days, then went back and read the whole thing again. Although each poem or vision was good and could stand on its own, I think that reading the whole book a second time through gave me a better picture of the poems as a story because of the way it moves through time and its use of different voices.
The story of a boy and his dog and/or his best friend has been told again
Mar 30, 2008 Erica rated it it was amazing
I ordered this book after reading a poem from it in the New Yorker.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that Maurice Manning is a dear friend, but, as a trained journalist, can say objectively that he's a marvelous poet.

I thought this book was astounding, and it completely blew me away. Thoughtful, humorous and insightful with a clear delight for language, reading Manning makes me realize I'll never be as smart as he is. Which is perfectly ok by me.
May 23, 2008 Kent rated it really liked it
It's like Spoon River meets Berryman's Dream Songs. And in that light I like getting to know Booth, and seeing how multiple poems can color him with an inscrutable complexity. My favorite poems, though, are where the images get pushed so that Booth's life is more than just the expected difficulty. I'm thinking especially of "Allegory," where he becomes a tree, and eventually gets made into paper for "garish political tracts."
Kim Lohse
Mar 21, 2008 Kim Lohse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A fantastic book that experiments with form--and by form, I mean beyond the classical we associate with poetry. Yes, there are sonnets, but in drawl, and there is also a poem in the form of a mathematical proof as well as a poem in the form of a legal document. It is a poetry book, which reads like a novel, except that it reads like no such thing.
Dec 07, 2010 Karissa rated it really liked it
Imaginative, whimsical, heartbreaking, this collection of poems was, on every level, a joy to read. The language was precise and gorgeous; the narratives were compelling; the forms were varied and experimental. I really enjoyed this.
Katie Schmid
Aug 15, 2014 Katie Schmid rated it liked it
I liked it! To my mind, though, Atsuro Riley's "Romey's Order" is perhaps a more stylistically interesting book in the same genre.
Clara Fang
Jul 06, 2014 Clara Fang rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A difficult but rewarding read. The voice of the speaker is Appalachian, childlike, and surreal. A very unusual book: narrative, lyrical, experimental; what good poetry should be.
Apr 23, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Very good book of contemporary poetry. I really enjoyed the narrative that unified the collection. Beautifully and uniquely written.
Dec 01, 2016 Greta rated it really liked it
oh those dreams of water, rivers, swimming, sinking
Aug 13, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Eric by: Carol
This is poetry, not that stuffy Brit. lit., snooty poetry but salt of the earth poetry. I finally fished this pretty short book but only because I had to keep myself from reading it all in one sitting. It has voice and word choice and all of those things. The vocabulary is a little peculiar as it is written in a kind of Southern black sharecropper voice but it feels just right. I know I am not doing the book justice in this short review, but even if you are not a big poetry fan like myself, go r ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Kellie rated it liked it
Overall an interesting read. The book of poems is loosely cohesive, telling the story of Lawrence Booth, "the bull's-eye boy" featuring an interesting set of characters with names like "Mad Daddy", "Black Damon" and "Red Dog". At times the strangeness of the book was bordering on being too obtuse but choice lines really stand out and shine such as:

"For now, the whispery world is full of honeybees and clover; it is a very sleepy time and he has so many sleepy days ahead, plus some terrible ones.
Jan 21, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Unique forms. Engrossing. Mythic. Would like to use as a text in my creative writing class.
Sherry Chandler
Sep 09, 2008 Sherry Chandler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thepoets
Strange and wonderful. An antic book by a romantic poet.
Oct 08, 2013 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
it's so fucking gorgeous
Ashley Dodd
Mar 30, 2016 Ashley Dodd rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. I want to drink this poetry to know it better.
Aug 02, 2016 Kirk rated it it was amazing
Never disappointed in Manning.
Brian Beatty
May 25, 2016 Brian Beatty rated it really liked it
This sequence of storytelling poems gives voice to the rugged, the rural and the righteous.
Feb 27, 2011 Farren rated it it was amazing
My O my.
Nystrom rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2012
Kristen rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2007
Adam rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2009
anya rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2010
Patrick rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2007
Ahmed rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2016
Mariochampion rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2007
jenn rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2007
Rusty rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2007
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  • The Orchard
  • The Selected Levis
  • The To Sound
  • I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems
  • M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A
  • Spar
  • The Captain Lands in Paradise
  • The Earth in the Attic
  • The Babies
  • Elegy On Toy Piano
  • Indeed I Was Pleased with the World
  • It Is Daylight
  • Hip Logic
  • Invisible Bride
  • Trouble in Mind: Poems
  • Modern Life
  • Steal Away: Selected and New Poems
  • Radial Symmetry
MAURICE MANNING, the author of four collections of poetry, was awarded the 2009 Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His first book, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, was selected by W. S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Manning, a former writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, teaches at Indiana University and Warren Wilson C ...more
More about Maurice Manning...

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