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Stay, Illusion: Poems

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  236 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
National Book Award Finalist

Stay, Illusion, the much-anticipated volume of poems by Lucie Brock-Broido, illuminates the broken but beautiful world she inhabits. Her poems are lit with magic and stark with truth: whether they speak from the imagined dwelling of her “Abandonarium,” or from habitats where animals are farmed and harmed “humanely,” or even from the surreal con
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2013)
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David Schaafsma
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
National Book award nominee of 2013. Great title, and there's her own ghosts in it, principally her friend Liam. Language rich. Aphoristic, in places. Lyrical, sort of haunted and haunting. Still, I was not taken by many of the poems, as driven as they all seem to be by a similar aesthetic and tone and strategy.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
(Read during Day 2 of NaNoReadMo.)

This book of poetry has to win the National Book Award. It has to, because I almost couldn't stand to read it. It is poems like this that convince me I will never be a writer! Even the obsession with death and loss couldn't steer me away from these poems.

You have to see for yourself. One of my favorites is online at - A Meadow. Start there!

A little blurb from A Meadow:
"He might have been
Half-beautiful in a certain optic nerve
Of light, but legible only
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Baroque. Gorgeous. Inimitable.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, so-pretty
I picked this up because the cover is so, so pretty. This is also a great title for a book of poetry, really. But especially for this collection. You know that it is haunted by so many things.

I ended up liking this a lot. She is a very lyrical poet. I loved her attention to sound, and her language is lush. Sometimes her poems are impenetrable in this collection and I just felt around the edges. That irritates me, but when I let that go then I enjoyed myself, the indecipherable movements I got.
Japhy Grant
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A bit about how I came to pick-up Lucie Brock-Broido's latest: It's been a year of screaming dullness for me. It began with a friend - the talented, too talented and too romantic and too everything kind, dying for reasons very much connected to his twin afflictions of talent and romance. This was the second time I'd seen this happen in as many years and the repetition compounded the message: That vision isn't just seeing, it's finding a way to survive all you've seen.

In any event, my talented fr
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Extreme Wisteria

On abandon, uncalled for but called forth.
The hydrangea of her crushed each year a little more into the attar of herself.
Pallid. Injured. Wild in ecstasy. A throat to come home to, tupelo.
Lemurs in parlors, inconsolable.
Parlors of burgundy and sleigh. Unseverable fear.
Case history: wistful, woke most every afternoon
In the green rooms of the Abandonarium.
Beautiful cage, asylum in.
Reckless urges to climb celestial trellises that may or may not have been there.
So few wild raspbe
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title of Brock-Broido's book is perfect. Taken from Horatio's exhortation to King Hamlet's ghost to remain a few moments longer and explain himself, prove his existence, keep the watchers company a few, fleeting seconds longer, it embodies the thrust Brock-Broido's poems wonderfully.

There is so much magic and these lines, literal meaning always just out of reach. Brock-Broido is a master of the surprising turn of phrase, and these appear on almost every page of the book "Each child still has
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of my favorite authors like Paul Auster, Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon get so far out there that the narrative, plot, character development, message, storyline and what have you get lost. Either that or I am truly a dolt and miss the forest from the trees.

Unfortunately, when it came to this National Book Award nominee for poetry, one of those two things happened. My ego tells me to think it was the former and, thus, the poet's fault while my conscience tells me it is more likely the latte
Jamie Dougherty
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-this
Incidentally, my forthcoming album shares its title with this book. We both like Hamlet.

Words I learned from this book: trilobite, tamp, portière, retinue, tourniquet, venatic, syrinx, wold, castrato, sejant, besotted, seersucker, capuchin, grok, pram, vocable (n.), fetlock, hillock, neurasthenic, escutcheon, civet, natter, mummery, curlew, cortège, sacrarium, budgerigar, Hindemith, trammel, batiste, crinoline, Ashkenazi, abbatoir*, bitumen, bowered, physiognomy, dementia praecox, Trakl, barberr
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
'The smaller the light to write to becomes, the more / I have to say to you.' 'Lie here with me in snow.' This collection feels heavy, winsome, intelligent, like a mosaic, sometimes incomprehensible - all of which are ok by me. There are more than a handful of poems here I look forward to returning to (especially 'For a Snow Leopard in October'). Also I think you'll have to agree that the author photo is nothing short of epic. Some themes: dead father, animals, darkness/light, middle of the coun ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Standout lines, to me:

"The less the light the more the discontent in the dark." -- "On Having Contracted the Habit of Believing in the Interior World"

"Until you sever the thing, from self, it feels./Thereafter it belongs to none." -- "Bird, Singing"

"Your licensed massage therapist/Loves you more concretely than I do. I, abstract, adoring, distant/And unsalvageable. She said, Give up, be palpable--all Hand." -- "The Pianist"

Lovely, high-vocabulary poems with lots of "air." Recurring motifs: lung
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Vibrantly musical, the language casts a spell. You'll leave this book feeling awakened, as if you're seeing the world for the first time. The poem "Freedom of Speech" was probably my favorite in the book: "I adore you more. I know / the wingspan of your voice." This is the first book of Lucie Brock-Broido's I've read, and her ability with language is nothing short of magical. Read this book!
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2015
4.5 stars, really—many of the poems in this volume are absolutely breathtaking. The interior monologues and weird language is really effective in those poems, but in a few others, it feels cloying and distracting.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
If I dreamt of lyric with a penchant for geographical turns, it would aspire to this work. Every line sings. Every poem probes. But not too deep. Don't unsettle things except in the slightest of lines: "My little gun's a Lady one. I just want to feel secure."
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lucie Brock-Broido is practically my dream poet. Intricate, opulent, tactile, spooky, slippery, her hair's insane. Maybe this isn't her best but it's pretty magical. Gorgeous. Romantic. Look, I can't convey its beauty, what do I look like, an actual book reviewer?
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was a good collection because of the interplay between reality and the mythic lives. Some poems are difficult and require another reading later this winter.
Peycho Kanev
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Sorry, but this academic type of poetry is not my kind of poetry.
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
While in earlier books I couldn't relate enough to her mythical, illusory world, in "Stay, Illusion" I enjoyed my stay.
Evocative language, staggering lines, high-minded. Questions rise from statements, and questions are statements.
Juli Anna
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is a masterful work by one of today's greatest living poets. Lucid, playful, brutal, illuminated--contemporary lyric poetry at its very, very best.
Erica Wright
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lucie Brock-Broido embodies the myth of the Poet as someone separate, hiding in alcoves as a child and hiding in imagination as an adult. Yet the poems of *Stay, Illusion* connect with others, confess a need for touch if not for understanding. There’s an undercurrent of vulnerability that does not detract from their artfulness, but rather includes readers in the art. Although only one poem is dedicated to Brock-Broido’s late friend Liam Rector, he appears elsewhere, haunting the collection as in ...more
Jeanie Wallenstein
The poetry

These are what poetry is, an essential, slowly catenated and they will. Throat. Small bricks. Shaft. Broken whole.
I will never write poems. Come screaming.
Michelle Hoogterp
Mar 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
I know she's famous. I even met her at a reading. I know she's won awards and she's considered genius by some. But, I just don't appreciate this type of poetry. I don't like abstractions and I don't like just listening to language or words for the sake of them. I like concrete poetry; I like it when my senses see/taste/hear/smell what is going on. I felt too much adrift. She has a fantastic vocabulary and her poetry is musical, but this just isn't my cup of tea. I would likely appreciate this a ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I found the first section of this book to be a bit off-putting. It seemed too closed, and merely like an assembly of disconnected lines.
As the book went on, either the poems got better, or I got more accustomed to reading them, but I began to like it more. I ended up liking the collection very much.
I find her images odd, but interesting. The language is beautiful. I enjoyed how images and ideas recurred throughout the poems.
I look forward to rereading some of these poems in the coming days.
Laura Jordan
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Reviews for poetry are hard. When you consider the craft of it all, of putting together these combinations of words and images and thoughts, how can you not want to give everything five stars (excepting, of course, anything that begins with "There once was a man from Nantucket...")? But I also have to take into account how much I enjoyed it, how much each poem spoke to me, and, quite honestly, these poems were like tiny, little exquisite formations of nonsense. At least for me, there wasn't any ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
After reading each poem twice I joined her in her world, it expanded my experience. Discovered her playfulness and surprises. Came to love the textures, and textiles, as a theme. And then I re-read the book with pleasure.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Pretentious baloney.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book made me want to name and rename everything I know
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Duets well with Eros the Bittersweet.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
gaudy, sad, haunted by ghosts; I loved it.
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Lucie Brock-Broido is the author of three collections of poetry. She has received many honors, including the Witter-Bynner prize of Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the Harvard-Danforth Award for Distinction in Teaching, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a ...more
More about Lucie Brock-Broido...

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“I, abstract, adoring, distant
And unsalvageable.”
“One lung, smaller, congested with rose smoke. The other, filled with a swarm of massive sentimentia.” 1 likes
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