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Charms Against Lightning
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Charms Against Lightning

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"That feeling of becoming a new person in a different place, even if it's an illusion, is intoxicating to me, and always has been. I love writing about places, but only places where I don't belong."—James Arthur

Awakening is the theme of this fiery debut about the "ghost world" of shadows and personae. A sense of history, politics, and place is an integrated and integral pa
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Copper Canyon Press (first published October 16th 2012)
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Lydia Ship
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
These poems have gusto, even at their most attentive moments:

I stood dying at the ocean's side
to dream up only this.
What could I do but make my shape?
I stake my shadow to this place.
Carol Stephen
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this new book from James Arthur as soon as I received it this week. There are amazing phrases and images in every poem. James startles you at every turn. Just as you think you know where the poem has landed you, you're off in another direction. I will be reading it again next week, trying to decide which poem is my favourite. For now, though, I'll just note the first one in the book, which is the title poem,Charms Against Lightning,the last one,Summer Song, and the one that appears on the ...more
Kasey Jueds
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The perfect title for this book: there is something charm-like about all of the poems--which are strange, surprising, magical, full of shadows and ghosts as well as people, bicycles, rain, and Dobermans. Love the startlement of all of these, the way I never knew where they were going, and the way they often break open to reveal a deep emotion that feels absolutely genuine and true.
Jessica
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing authenticity.
Jim Puskas
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: prose-poetry
This slim volume of short poems covers quite a lot of ground and brings to mind the Italian term "andante", associated with music at an ambulatory pace. A walk in a cemetery; visits to a variety of urban landscapes; the writer passing random comments on what he observes in passing; copper geese in a weathervane; at one point he is companion to his shadow on his walk. Arresting phrases punctuate the passing parade: "streetcars jostled like dusk nudging against darkness"; "my shadow ... walks side ...more
Carolyn
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book had a few really excellent poems, but most of them were frustratingly disappointing, given those ones that show what Arthur is capable of.
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