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Our Andromeda

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Honored as a New York Times Book Review "100 Notable Books of 2013"

Honored by Cosmopolitan as the one poetry title on their list of “Best Books of the Year For Women, by Women”

"A heady, infectious celebration."—The New Yorker

"Shaughnessy's voice is smart, sexy, self-aware, hip . . . consistently wry, and ever savvy."—Harvard Review

Brenda Shaughnessy's heartrending third collection explores dark subjects—trauma, childbirth, loss of faith—and stark questions: What is the use of pain and grief? Is there another dimension in which our suffering might be transformed? Can we change ourselves? Yearning for new gods, new worlds, and new rules, she imagines a parallel existence in the galaxy of Andromeda.


Rave reviews for Our Andromeda
“Love is the fierce engine of this beautiful and necessary book of poems. Love is the high stakes, the whip of its power and grief and possibility for repair. Brenda Shaughnessy has brought her full self to bear in Our Andromeda, and the result is a book that should be read now because it is a collection whose song will endure.” —The New York Times Book Review
"It is a monumental work, and makes a hash of those tired superlatives that will no doubt crop up in subsequent reviews. But the truth is that I have no single opinion about this collection—how could I? The book is a series of narratives that resist interpretation but not feeling—except that I am certain it further establishes Shaughnessy’s particular genius, which is utterly poetic, but essayistic in scope, encompassing ideas about astronomy, illness, bodies, the family, 'normalcy,' home." —The New Yorker

"Another Brooklyn poet, Marianne Moore, defined poetry as 'imaginary gardens, with real toads in them.' In Our Andromeda, Shaughnessy has imagined a universe, and in it, real love moves, quick with life." —Publishers Weekly,starred review

“Brenda Shaughnessy…laments and sometimes makes narratives about the struggle to keep her small family together in the aftermath of a difficult birth. In the title poem, she posits a galaxy far, far away where familial love might overtake all woe and turmoil of the heart and body and mind. Once there, she says to her son, ‘you'll have the babyhood you deserved.’ She also delivers a number of lovely lyrics in a supple, plainly stated line; some merely expressive, some with a philosophically questioning air; on fate, dreams, the present time’s long gaze back at the past — you know, all the good things poets write about.”— Alan Cheuse, on NPR’s list “5 Books of Poems to Get You Through the Summer”



“Brenda Shaughnessy’s work is a good place to start for any passionate woman feeling daunted by poetry. This book explores love and motherhood and the turbulent terrain of grief.”—Cosmopolitan

"Shaughnessy articulates, with force and clarity, the transformation that motherhood has required of her. Her poems are full of regret and ferocity."—Boston Review

"Brenda Shaughnessy explores the possibilities of a second chance in life and what could come of it. Enticing and thoughtful, Our Andromeda is a fine addition to contemporary poetry shelves." —The Midwest Book Review

Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Interior with Sudden Joy (FSG, 1999). Shaughnessy’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harper's, The Nation, The Rumpus, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and daughter.

131 pages, Paperback

First published October 16, 2012

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About the author

Brenda Shaughnessy

14 books121 followers
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1970 and grew up in Southern California. She received her B.A. in literature and women's studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and she earned an M.F.A. at Columbia University.

She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Interior with Sudden Joy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), which was nominated for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Bomb, Boston Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.

About her work, the poet Richard Howard writes: "The resonance of Shaughnessy's poems is that of someone speaking out of an ecstasy and into an ecstasy, momentarily pausing to let us in on the fun, the pain."

Shaughnessy is the recipient of a Bunting Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission Artist Fellowship. She is the poetry editor at Tin House magazine and currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University and Eugene Lang College at the New School.

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5 stars
260 (40%)
4 stars
214 (33%)
3 stars
138 (21%)
2 stars
27 (4%)
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7 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Author 4 books569 followers
May 27, 2014
A poem’s job is to be beautiful.

A poem’s job is not just to teach, but to make a reader eager to show up for class every day.

A poem’s truth should be at once stunningly obvious and blindingly original.

A poem should make us happy to slow down and savor in a world of fast-food writing.

Reading a poem should only be work in the sense that some people are lucky enough to have jobs they love so much they’d do them for free.

Reading a poem should be the kind of workout that makes you feel shaky but strong afterward, as triumphant as if you’d discovered new muscles in your own body.

I looked for Our Andromeda at the library because I stumbled across one poem from it, fell in love, and needed to see if this was the real thing or just a one-night stand.

Definitely the real thing.

Liking poems or poets doesn’t imply a moral imperative to adore every poem in the world, or even every poem by a poet you love. Some of the poems in this collection don’t work for me. “Card 0: The Fool,” for instance – inspired by the Tarot card. It seemed too flippant, bawdy and grotesque for the sake of it.

Other poems in the Tarot series aren’t bad, but seem like missed opportunities, such as “Card 20: Judgment,” which I present here in its entirety:

What did the stand of pines say
to the herd of elephants
wearing swimsuits
and carrying large suitcases?

“Nice trunks!”


Cute, but – why? Why this response to this card? (If you’re not familiar with it, an angel blows a horn; below him, human figures rise from their graves, naked, arms raised in adoration.) Why this flippancy in the face of the end of excuse-making and the beginning of eternity?

So there are these few unsatisfying ventures. And then there’s the whole rest of the book, which hits it out of the park when it comes to the criterion listed above.

Here’s the end of “Vanity”:

Like murders in books, but with reverse
precision, how anyone becomes herself
is a mystery. A miracle. A myth.


And here’s a particularly wonderful passage from “My Water Children”:

Often, as a child, when I did

something wrong and got away
with it, I thought a ghost

or spirit or a kind of assistant
god (not the Real God, who was

too busy for the souls of children
and it turns out that is true)

would bleed through to me
from the skin of the other world,

cut by my misdeed or sin,
and catch me.


And, of course, there’s the poem I went in search of in the first place, “I Wish I Had More Sisters.” I’d like to include the whole thing, but I might break Goodreads. So here’s just a bunch of it, including the beginning and the very end:

I wish I had more sisters,
enough to fight with and still
have plenty more to confess to,
embellishing the fight so that I
look like I’m right and then turn
all my sisters, one by one, against
my sister. One sister will be so bad
the rest of us will have a purpose
in bringing her back to where
it’s good (with us) and we’ll feel
useful, and she will feel loved.

Then another sister
will have a tragedy, and again,
we will unite in our grief, judging
her much less than we did the bad
sister.

...

My sisters will seem like a bunch
of alternate me, all the ways
I could have gone. I could see
how things pan out without
having to do the things myself.

...

There would be both more and less
of me to have to bear. None of us
would be forced to be stronger
than we could be. Each of us could
be all of us. The pretty one.
The smart one. The bitter one.
The unaccountably-happy-
for-no-reason one. I could be,
for example, the hopeless
one, and the next day my sister
would take my place, and I would
hold her up until my arms gave way
and another sister would relieve me.


Which brings me to the last job poetry should perform:

Reading a poem should leave even a non-writer feeling that she could write a poem; that she should write a poem; that poetry is not the domain of the precious; that life and poetry are really just thirst and water.
8 reviews
May 13, 2013
I read this book of poetry collection again today, on Mother's Day. As a rendering of motherhood, it is so primal and inventive and pissy: "I know I am his mother, but I can't/ quite click on the word's essential aspects,/ can't denude the flora/ or disrobe the kind of housecoat/ "mother" always is. Something/ cunty, something used."

Shaughnessy loves words, their liquidity, playfulness, doubling, but she also mistrusts their naming of things. The book is best when she is pressing on that mistrust and doubleness, the fear that she herself has inhabited a word like "mother" without really understanding what it means, without being able to control its meaning. In that way, the book becomes a philosophical exploration of language as a way of knowing and not knowing and learning about the self. At times, she is "artless," as she says in the opening of the book; at other times, she is full of the power of art, she creates a new world, a new universe, where she and her injured son can live, and things can make sense.

There are poems where her strongest impulse seems to fade or go underground. At times, the poems become just ways to defend with language, not to create with it: "Outfoxed," I thought, was one of these. But overall, the book is gorgeous and sharp at the same time, compressed by the difficulty of loving, of taking on responsibility for others, of exploring boundaries that keep disappearing.

What is the point of other people,
being so separate, if we can't
help a person get that pain

will stick its shiv into anything,
just to get rid of the weapon
and because it can? For if we share

ourselves then they, too, must
also be in so much pain.
I can hear it. Oh, my loves.
Profile Image for James Murphy.
982 reviews156 followers
March 31, 2013
Brenda Shaughnessy writes love poetry, I think. Not romantic love poetry, exactly. The long poem "Our Andromeda" which closes this volume and which lovingly imagines an alternate world where her son, Cal, who is seemingly disabled in some way and fragile, is heartbreakingly about a mother's love for her son. But Shaughnessy is in love with the world around her, too. Her poetry, while it recognizes the warts of the world, generously welcomes whatever she comes into contact with. She acknowledges there may be shadows, even in herself, but bravely whistles her way into endurance and coping. In one poem she writes of "the shock and the godlessness / and the rictus of crushed flesh," closing on her as a dark hole but knows she'll get through it. She sees life as lit by street lamps, as in her poem by that title. Light peppers the darkness until the real light of life's sunny side comes again, when the rooster always crows.

The crowning achievement here, though, is the poem she wrote to Cal promising him there's an Andromeda where he'll live the life she wants for him, unfettered by the too delicate, the ordeal, where caregivers know what they need to know and insurance companies never use the word claim. We know Shaughnessy can give Cal such a world because her language has not only the muscle to protect but the ability to articulate mercy, broadcast inspiration like seeds, and fill the world with love. "We've only just arrived here," she writes, "rightly, whirling and weeping, / freely, breathing, brightly born." She means it.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,092 reviews7,954 followers
May 10, 2015
Shaughnessy plays wonderful with sound. Her poems beg to be read out loud. She conveys very specific ideas and images in a punchy way, making you wonder how you never thought of that before. She writes from a mother's perspective in this collection, and the title poem, over 20 pages long, is gripping, emotional, and beautiful.

Particular favorites include: "Streetlamps," "To My Twenty-Three-Year-Old Self," "To My Twenty-Four-Year-Old Self," "To My Twenty-Five-Year-Old Self," and "To My Twenty-Eight-Year-Old Self," and "Hearth."
Profile Image for Edita.
1,287 reviews372 followers
June 1, 2015
[...] I look at
things I don’t understand

and want them
though what I want
is understanding.

I take them anyway,
turning them over and over
in my hands

in the dark
as if holding such
things can give me

back some sense
of what it was like
to really want something

regardless of what
I had already
or how long I’d waited.
Profile Image for D.A..
Author 20 books290 followers
November 13, 2012
This third collection of Shaughnessy's is as sure and sharp as an archer's eye, and it finds its targets. The mystery of love; the bravery of living; the hard-won wisdom that comes from experience. These poems feel deeply inhabited, soul-making, celebratory.
Profile Image for Peycho Kanev.
Author 24 books278 followers
January 29, 2019
Why Should Only Cheaters and Liars Get Double Lives?

(a poem inside a poem)

That is, why should they get two stabs at it while the virtuous
trudge along at half-speed, half-mast, halfhearted?

If an ordinary human can pull the fattest cashwad
out of the slimmest slit,

and the fullest pudding out of the skimmest milk,
then it might be possible

to insert a meager life in Andromeda
into, at the very least, our wide pit of sleep.

Duplicity after all takes many, not merely two, forms,
and just the very idea

of doubleness, twinniness, or even simple, simpering
regret, or nostalgia, implies

a kind of Andromeda,
a secret world, the hidden draft, the tumor-sibling,

the “there-are-no-accidents” plane we could learn to fly.
There’s always that irreducible “something extra”

to life on Earth:

The way some men won’t “talk that way” in front of women,
not wanting to astonish us with their secret man-ness,
as if there is another world bisecting ours,
living among us like an unspeakable mold.

The recent invention of the double-decker pill,
equally effective on sunny and rainy days.

On the wall, a plural mural: a diptych of Paula ’n’ Wally’s.
What fallopian and what fellatio! Like a Nan Goldin oldie,
but an impostor. Okay. Why not try to offer more
squalor no matter who the photographer?

When someone’s called a “lifer” it means that person is trapped.
A “lifer” has no real life but what do we call the rest of us?

How terrifying it is to try trying!
Which frying pan will best
kill the loved one? Which will
make the best omelet?

The books on the bookshelves are touching themselves
like virgins. But I’ve had them.
Profile Image for sarah.
184 reviews17 followers
January 17, 2019
Not sure how I went thru all of college/most of my MFA without reading Shaughnessy. There is something so nebulous and expansive about her poetry. The title poem was one of my absolute favorites in this collection, her syntax is so juicy / thought provoking / planetary.
Profile Image for Emily.
156 reviews4 followers
November 9, 2019
This is essential reading for all parents and all educators and all people who are human. She's really done it. The Sylvia-Plathian-screed of motherhood -- but a specific kind that most of us can't relate to. Both angry and propulsive, Shaughnessy has us in her grip; she makes us listen. If you know me in real life, I'll probably make you read it. I just can't say enough about this work of incredibly beautiful, distinctive, artistic, confessional poetry.
Profile Image for Nw23.
10 reviews7 followers
October 5, 2012
I was introduced to Brenda Shaughnessy’s Interior with Sudden Joy by my MFA mentor and I was immediately caught by her cleverness and inclination to blend philosophy with poetry. While I enjoyed some poems in that collection, I tended to shy away by the big words she used. Then, her next collection Human Dark with Sugar is more accessible yet witty and spicy at the same time. Her Our Andromeda gives me mixed feelings and I think I should give an overall 3.5 stars to this book. My favorite section of the book is the first one called “Liquid Flesh”. It contains lyrical poems which demonstrate the excellent sense of craft of the poet. Most of them are surprising in terms of diction and syntax, which suits my taste. The book starts with “Artless” and one cannot not be impressed by the sound play and the poet’s intention to end each stanza with a word that has a suffix ‘-less’: “Artless// is my heart. A stranger/ berry there never was,/ tartless.// Gone sour in the sun, in the sunroom or moonroof,/ roofless.”

“Liquid Flesh” is also a memorable longer piece of work, in which the speaker (a mother) wonders why her newly-born son becomes her priority of her existence. The tone departs from the conventional representation of nurturing maternity and perceives the new baby with a fresh perspective: “… He howls and claws/ like a wrongly minor red wolf/ who doesn’t know his mother.” “… It’s so obnoxious/ of me: I was an egg// who had an egg/ and now I’m chicken,/ as usual scooping up// both possibilities,/ or what I used to call/ possibilities. I used// to be this way, so ontologically/ greedy, wanting to be it all. Serves me right.” “I was here way, way first/ I have the breasts, godawful, and he/ the lungs and we share the despair.”

The poems in the second section “Double Life” could not wow me as the first. The poems in this section concern doubleness in existence and the strongest piece, I believe, should be “Why Should Only Cheaters and Liars Get Double Lives”, which is a poem within a poem. The cleverness of the lines plays with the form of the work.

The section I have long waited for is actually the third one called “Arcana”, which contains poems written based on tarot cards. I know it sounds gimmicky and what I was hoping to read is how the poet can twist this new age belief with her wit and craft. However, I have to say I am disappointed. Most of the poems are light and I feel that they are there just to make the section long enough to be a section of a bigger project. My favorites here include “Card 5: Hierophant”, “Card 12: The Hanged Man”, “Card 17: The Star”

The book ends with a longer section that deals with the pain of the poet to her son that is no longer with her. The sections of this long poem are mainly confessional and some lines are rather flat. It’s the poet’s anger, despair and doubt that sustain the lines and push the poems forward. Some parts are overtly obvious and the emotions are spilling out.
Profile Image for Sophie.
312 reviews15 followers
November 26, 2012
Fierce collection. Lucid and gripping.

"That loud hub of us,/ meat stub of us, beating us/ senseless."

"There are always places, none of them mine."

"Feelings seem like made-up things,/ though I know they're not."

"year after ancient,/ ridiculous year."

"That's what you get for believing in aliens,/ for replacing our earhorn of plenty/ with a megaphone of corpsedust."

"this world/ butted up against the next."

"Whatever meaning the word itself/ is covering, like underwear,/ that meaning is so mere and meager/ this morning."

"I have the breasts, godawful, and he/ the lungs and we share the despair."

"the awful softness."

"How terrifying it is to try trying!"

"I'm told a kind of eerie light/ flicks on when mind becomes itself./ Like when a book is opened,/ and read, or just falls off the shelf."

in grownhood

"You'd think a square was an ungodly/ fluke, an aberration, not the life force/ behind writing tables and scaffolding."

"What other way, but to/ forget, is there to endure/ the day, the street?"

"I put/ everything in the fire/ because it was too confusing."

"My life wold be like one finger/ on a hand, a beautiful, usable, ringed,/ wrung, piano-and-dishpan hand."

"Blue fingertips. Could mean a beach-party/ manicure or a corpse. Or: and a corpse./ To be touched intimately by blue fingertips./ To put it more bluntly: to be fingered/ by the pool in which you drown."

"Though I am well,/ and deep, and fall asleep well,/ I am not the wisher that I am."

"These wishes: baby,/ body, poem. Or body, hobby,/ bone."

"But no. I'm selfsame:/ a wordsmith wearing too much paint,/ my inking irons heavy in the rain."

"Like murders in books, but with reverse/ precision, how anyone becomes herself/ is a mystery. A miracle. A myth."

"You'd pass me on the street/ as well, a "normal,"/ Someone who traded/ in her essentials for/ a look of haunted/ responsibility."

"Wearing a jacket of blood/ from an earlier crime,/ which was also mine."

"Rage that those/ who are so fearful of my pain are the ones/ who will be most spared it in their own lives."

"She could be right/ and the driver wrong and her kid dead./ Two out of three is what happened instead."





Profile Image for Melissa Barrett.
Author 1 book23 followers
December 21, 2013
A lovely book, rich in style. One of the major themes (parenting) I find to be less powerful than the word play, rhyme, and sonic edge found in so many poems.

Some favorite lines:

-A book that took too long to read but minutes to unread--that is--to forget.

-An idea like a stormcloud that does not spill / or arrive but moves silently in a direction. / Like a dark book in a long life with a vague / hope in a wood house with an open door.

-The books on the bookshelves are touching themselves / like virgins. But I've had them.

-O that roaring, not yet and yet / and not yet dead. // So many fires start in my head.

-It seems unlikely that so much literature / could be made from twenty-six letters.

-We're the deep, hot gleam in your wet, cold holes.

-The leaves, little green lamps for the sunblind.

-Super-polished on the very top / of the world's biggest root.

-But no. I'm self-same: / a wordsmith wearing too much paint, / my inking irons heavy in the rain.

-Like murders in books, but with reverse / precision, how anyone becomes herself / is a mystery. A miracle. A myth.

-This finitude is infinite and infinitely expanding.

-The floating red hand / that means don't walk looks / like a heart.

-You were hardly alive, hardly you, / horribly slim-chanced. I blacked out / hard but I heard you were blue.

-But then, "beginning" begins with "beg."
Profile Image for Lily.
45 reviews27 followers
December 13, 2012
I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars on this one. There were some poems, particularly closer to the beginning, that seemed damn near perfect in tone, language, sound and meaning. Those alone seem worth 5 stars. I struggled with the latter half of the book though. Some of these intensely personal poems failed to grab me in, say, the way Jack Gilbert's work does. The long poem, "Our Andromeda," I wanted to love. It's heartbreaking in its opening, but what seemed an attempt to sustain that level of intensity for pages and pages ultimately didn't work for me. I felt exhausted at the end, and it seemed the language also ran out of steam as well. Still a book that I would return to for those gorgeous poems at the beginning though.
Profile Image for Bill Tarlin.
Author 2 books5 followers
April 3, 2013
There are lots of great poems in this book. Shaughnessy's signature internal rhymes and personifications are engaging. Like most collections the poems that are just "OK" are disappointing because I want to be wowed every time. But enough deliver to make this highly recommended.
What makes the book essential is the long title poem that concludes the book. It is witty, painful, angry and exultant; sometimes all at once. Our Andromeda is a cry for escape to another galaxy where the stupid fact of human frailty and pain are not eliminated but ameliorated by compassion, sympathy and dignity. Its a teary indictment of the way we run from the misfortunes of others and it pulls few punches.
Profile Image for Candace Whitney Morris.
188 reviews53 followers
April 15, 2013
I stumbled into the poetry of Shaugnessy via Cheryl Strayed's FB page, who recommended it. I gave my daughter the middle name 'Andromeda' so I am always interested when I see it chosen as a name for something else. I wasn't prepared for the heart-break and beauty of her poetry, especially the title poem. Though I hate to draw comparisons (namely because I hate it when people do that with my own writing), but I kept vibing Plath in her poems, seeing the flatness of blunt thoughts which are simultaneously pregnant with meaning - a meaning the reader is invited to read, but never given the key to fully understand.

I was impressed.
Profile Image for SmarterLilac.
1,376 reviews58 followers
November 27, 2016
Good, but I sometimes felt that even these excellent poems could have gone a little deeper. What I like about this book, though, is that even the pieces that appear to have common, everyday subjects, like "Magi," have dark and sharp edges that leave one surprised without succumbing to gore or cheap thrills. Her thoughts about parenting in poems like "Hearth" remind me of Sharon Olds.

I hope this poet becomes more famous.
Profile Image for Grace.
344 reviews
January 3, 2015
Our Andromeda was surprising and WONDERFUL. It is a poetry collection that envisions a parallel existence of each of us in the Andromeda galaxy, somehow free of our Earthly prejudices and fears. The writing is beautiful. In particular, the last long piece about Shaughnessy's son is heart-rending and really clear and sharp about her experiences with him. It's a wonderful collection, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Amy  Eller Lewis.
140 reviews10 followers
September 20, 2014
I don't read a lot of poetry, and not contemporary poetry at all. Perhaps I had my fill at workshops in my MFA program. I find so much of contemporary poetry to be just poems about how hard it is to make a poem. But these poems are About Things -- not just Abstract Things like "Love" or "Justice" or "Loss" (though they are about them too), but about Things That Happened. There is a SF-nal quality to them that I liked as well. Has happily put me on a poetry kick.
Profile Image for Abby.
946 reviews5 followers
November 7, 2017
Most of these poems just didn't make it through my thick skull. The language is playful and energetic, but I'm not super in touch with my emotions—I don't trust them, really— so all of this emotional flailing made me take a few mental steps back. In language, I value clarity over style. On those poems where she achieves both (i.e. the title poem "Our Andromeda"), I was with her all the way. But there weren't quite enough of those to make me want to read more.
759 reviews8 followers
March 16, 2013
This 2012 book of poems is Shaughnessy's third book. The long, title poem
is extravagant with both sorrow and joy. It concerns the birth of her son
who suffered complications and may not be able to walk or talk. The courage
of this meditation is astounding. The other poems do not shine as much. I
recommend.
2,033 reviews25 followers
February 17, 2014
This book and "Metaphysical Dog" by Frank Bidart were the only two collections of poetry in the New York Times, 100 notable books of 2013. I didn't particularly like or get into Bidart's book, but his one is quite skillfully written with unusual and creative word use that I found quite interesting and illuminating. A great collection of poetry.
Profile Image for Nicole Testa LaLiberty.
12 reviews13 followers
March 21, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the third section, "Our Andromeda" the most, and her poems to her younger self were particularly startling and resonant. Shaughnessy pays such close attention to the sound of her poetry, rather than just the images they show, and is playful with her use of words in a way that made her poetry even more enjoyable to read.
Profile Image for Liam Malone.
319 reviews28 followers
August 22, 2014
This was a good, highly readable, collection. Interesting and fun play on language where nouns and verbs are used as different parts of grammar. The classic themes are here, life and death, birth and dying, marriage and friendship. All good. The final very long poem, 22 pages, is amazing and needs to be read, no spoiler here.
338 reviews44 followers
August 13, 2019
Some lovely parts near the start but it's otherwise all a little sing-songy, pun-laden, quick and whimsical for me, not to mention I'd probably get into a shouting match with its author over ethical disagreements were we to ever find ourselves in the same room.
Profile Image for Adam Wilson.
Author 7 books91 followers
October 6, 2014
Holy shit. This book destroyed me. So full of pain and anger and love. So raw and ugly and beautifully alive. Holy shit.
Profile Image for Jonathan Tennis.
624 reviews11 followers
March 4, 2018
Also read on recommendation of a poetry mentor and felt equally unimpressed by this collection as I was by So Much Synth. A few I enjoyed – Parallel; Tarot Cards; To My …; Our Andromeda.
Profile Image for h.
1,105 reviews59 followers
April 25, 2016
high points are suuuuper high. shaughnessy makes me most swoony when she turns the music up to 12.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews

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