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From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Adapted from a collection of household instructions originally published in 1901, From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes bastardizes everyday tasks such as dyeing silks, brewing beer, fabricating paint and, of course, curing small pox and twists them into odd, dark poems. The pains of adolescence, the simple failure of love, the thrill of newfound lust—this collection out ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published June 11th 2014 by Black Lawrence Press (first published December 17th 2013)
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Andrea Blythe
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Medicinal shows once toured Europe and America. So called doctors would drive wagons from town to town, offering miracle elixers and other entertainments. My knowledge of medicine shows come from pop culture, the image of a man more entertainer than doctor purporting to sell cures. The man stands on his box or makeshift stage and with a flourish presents a bottle with some strange liquid inside. Is it medicine, a placebo, or poison?

B.C. Edwards’ From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes has the sa
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of 19th century medical and scientific texts, including snake oil advertisement pamphlets and endorsements on and Project Gutenberg, so I definitely get the appeal of appropriating recipe how-tos from obsolete tasks and aesthetics. The language from that time is so evocative—"hog cholera" and "black inclining to purple" dye, even the repetitious "again".

Some of these adaptations excite me. In their specificity, they seem to match the recipe, encouraging us to follow a s
Lisa Eckstein
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
I'm not a frequent poetry reader, but these poems appealed to me, with their playful language and relatable emotions. While the situations described in the poems are strange and fantastical, the truths behind them concern love and childhood and difficult relationships, and I found them more understandable than poetry often is. Many of the poems take the form of an odd set of instructions, and that's because each one is inspired by an item in a 1901 book, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes. It's ...more
Dennis Sweeney
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Off the wall poems partially appropriated from a book of old time remedies and recipes. The mix of Edwards' Brooklyn with the mechanistic instructions from the original text makes this really interesting interplay between sincere confessional language and earnest but sort of arms-length imagery about process. It's hard to know what to do with these faux-instructions, but that's how poems should be. They left me feeling wrenched, if that makes any sense. Like sense is bigger than I thought it was ...more
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Feb 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
What, what poetry? Did I not get the joke?
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