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National Anthem

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  147 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The poems in National Anthem, the fourth collection of poetry from critically-acclaimed poet and critic Kevin Prufer, are finely-studied short films about America in the 21st century. Set in an apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic world that is disturbing because it is uncannily familiar, National Anthem chronicles the aftermath of the failure of imperial vision. Allowing Rome ...more
Paperback, 82 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Four Way Books
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Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
Is he choosing words from a poetry hat? Those vague and predictable blends that flips from the National Endowment of the Arts will perceive as most meaningful and deep?

I'm not going to go picking out the worst poems. Instead, let's turn to a random page.

Here we have We Wanted to Find America (published in Boulevard.) It starts off like this:

We wanted to find America through the gasps of snow that fell like last century's angels---

.........................................poem continues.........
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Prufer revisits many of the themes in Fallen from a Chariot, his previous volume, but this time the voice calls overwhelmingly for deliverance from the horrors of the empire and from personal loss. The title poem addresses Americans' uber-consumerism, and piled on the numerous poems of war and death, our "noble" notions of adopting (read "saving") foreign children, ignoring the climate shift, etc., and the repeated images of snow and freeze and needles and pills, I would have to say the anthem i ...more
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: contemporary poetry readers
In the long tradition of "America singing" Prufer's sometimes ironic, always beautifully lyric work is a startling and unique voice. He's managed not to fall into the conversational syntax and superficial pop culture set of images that would suggest (merely) a hip self-awareness. The result instead is a book of beauty that evokes the largest themes on our political and cultural landscapes. Favorites include: "A History of the American West"; "The Excavation of the Children of the Czar"; "A Boy L ...more
Lady Poppy
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: forced-reads, creepy
I really like poetry, but I'm not going to lie, most of the time it goes right over my head. I had to read this for a creative writing class and there were a few poems I really liked, but I find this hard to rate because I have very little experience reading poetry and don't understand most of it (I wish I did).
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, shapely poems. Prufer has an incredible command of metaphor and image. These poems have a Charles Wright-level mastery of the drop line.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poetry is the best collection of poems I've read in a while. I am so jealous of the line, the subject matter, the beauty...the way the poet makes the reader go along for the ride no matter the harshness of the subject matter. A must read. Definitely adding this to my favorites list.
Joe Imwalle
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Not my favorite book of poems but contains some great ones that stand out: "The Moon Is Burning", "National Anthem", "History", "The Enormous Parachute", "Kneeling Man: Paused Footage", "Cicada Shell", and "Dying Bird"
Christina Borgoyn
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really like his prose style, but the disjointed form his poems tend to take are at times hard to follow. The best out of this little book was "History."
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Raw, real, award-worthy
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