Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Charms Against Lightning” as Want to Read:
Charms Against Lightning
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Copper Canyon Press (first published October 16th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Charms Against Lightning, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Charms Against Lightning

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
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.
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
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.
Kevin O'Connell
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2018
Ryan Tellier
rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2016
rated it it was ok
May 27, 2015
Andrea Blancas
rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2012
rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2018
rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2012
rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2018
Jonathan Ball
rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2013
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2013
Kevin Dublin
rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2013
Rosanna Oh
rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2014
Kristin Ravel
rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2013
Carol Light
rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2012
Saleema Nawaz
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2014
Ernest Hilbert
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2017
Jerome Ellison Murphy
rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2016
Clare Wu
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »