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The Devil's Tour

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  183 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Paperback, 51 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
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My favorite poem in this collection was "Average Torture:"
But less and less
you unlatch paradise.
You learn to sleep through days, standing
like a beast, sleep while turning pages
or crying out from love. You sleep
and sleep. One day you wake up dead.
Strange hands raise you from your bed.
The zipper's jagged teeth interlock
before your shining eyes. Small world.

They are not all so grim as this, although I think each poem has a bleak kernel that makes them wearing to read, although I wouldn't say Karr
Lori Widmer Bean
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: haveread
Wow. Just. Wow. How a poetry book can, and should, grab you. Mary Karr yanks you in with the perfect words to create the perfect vision that sticks like glue. Her poems drip with emotional energy and sensuality. Each one of these poems left me feeling like I'd just discovered a new way to feel. Fantastic.
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I'm working my way backward through Karr's published collections. I began with Sinners Welcome (2006), then picked up Viper Rum (1998), and now I've read The Devil's Tour, which was published in 1993. That leaves just 1987's Abacus. I suppose this officially makes Karr my favorite living poet.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A slim volume of what the author herself refers to as "humanist poems" or as the blurb describes them "written for everyday readers rather than an exclusive audience -- poems that do not require an academic explication in order to be understood." Simple-seeming poems of life, death, a sick child, a lunch meeting, an affair. I thought these were really, really lovely. Beautifully written.
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
from Don Giovanni's Confessor

The Don withheld nothing, so at first
the old priest feared for his virtue,
which had never been tested

by the powdered flanks of a duchess,
but hearing the litanized names,
the priest soon learned what all whores

know: it was never a pleasure.
That ceased right away. Even the tenderest
stalk of flesh grows calloused with work.

Jen Shipon
I can't rate a book of poetry. I don't think it's fair. It's like giving hundreds of pieces of art in a museum one single rating. I did enjoy most of these, though. You ought to read it if you get a chance.
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Poems about old boyfriends and literary crushes, loves, estrangements, and deaths, her family: her parents in their declining old age, elegies for her father, the joy of her child, the emptiness of divorce, and how the residents of the aquarium see us fill this insightful little volume.
Robert Ross
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Wonderful collection of poems, my favorite being, Worm Farming, "...that thankless trade no one writes home about..."
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy it as much as Sinners Welcome, but there were a few poems that managed to stab me in the gut.
Levi Jiorle
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This collection of poems has reignited my love for the form. Mary Karr writes without pretentiousness; she is an unsentimental poet, always earnest and intense.
Sarah-louise Raillard
As much as I love Karr's prose writing, this collection of poetry (albeit her first) is at best uneven. And at worst...well, I got the impression over and over again that she was trying so hard to find the perfect metaphor that was a combination of concrete and oblique. While there were glimmers of truth, I couldn't help but feel, with the insight from Karr's recent The Art of Memoir in my brain, that many of these poems were her disowning her blue collar roots, trying to cover them up in gradua ...more
Abbi Dion
there is a poem where she listends to philip larkin talk on the radio about weaping, listening to wordsworth. then one night, she sneaks into the night bushes to watch philip larkin move past the glowing windows inside his home. and so it goes. one day i will join the great tradition of artist stalking by driving to upstate new york and stalking mary karr.
Hzar Worth
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How could we not fall for the line about the planets in our solar system : "sturdy bearings in their chutes".
Michael X
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Somewhat self-involved, but what isn't? Beautiful, dark poetry coming from the heart.
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Mary Karr is an American poet, essayist and memoirist. She rose to fame in 1995 with the publication of her bestselling memoir The Liars' Club. She is the Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.
The Liars' Club, published in 1995, was a New York Times bestseller for over a year, and was named one of the year's best books. It delves vividly and often humorously into her deeply t
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