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Works & Days
Part springtime journal (“why are there thorns?”), Works and Days meditates on the first wasps and chipmunks of the season, times’ passage, grackle hearts, and dandelions, while also collecting dozens of poems considering the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas Browne, “Go Away” welcome mats, books, floods (“never of dollar money”), the invention of words, local politics, friendsh ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by New Directions
(first published May 3rd 2016)
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Oct 07, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Works & Days has been a gradual burn for me. I remember thumbing through it when it was first released and wasn't thrilled. Once you get past the first 15 pages, the poems expand infinitely. I was transported back to a small reading at Columbia College Chicago where I met Bernadette in 2011 and started remembering her laughter. Her humor. I remember having to go back into that little room and pick up my Romantic Poetry textbook after forgetting it-- and her cackles re: the size of it and mak ...more
An interesting combination of journaling and poetry, and a very pleasant way to start the day. Read them a page or two each morning. And you gotta love a poet who writes in her introduction (to a previous collection titled "Sonnets"), "capitalism is the culprit, never doubt it."
I loved it. Her writing is clever, fun, elegant in simplicity, appreciative, nonchalant, casual, bold, honest, environmental, socialist, and thought-provoking. Her writing gives me a sense of pleasure and ease and of not being alone in thinking -- what-the-fuck people!? To me, her work repeats that everything is so simple and we've made it so complicated.
Works & Days for contemporary post-society. The pass of time, the seasons, questions of how to spend time and seasons, how to live in an industrial and virtual society that values money more than the quality of life, questions of how nature, including animals spend time and seasons, are among the cosmical and metaphysical inquiries included in this poetry collection.
Bernadette Mayer (born May 12, 1945) is an American poet, writer, and visual artist associated with both the Language poets and the New York School. Mayer's record-keeping and use of stream-of-consciousness narrative are two trademarks of her writing, though she is also known for her work with form and mythology. In addition to the influence of her textual-visual art and journal-keeping, Mayer's p ...moreMore about Bernadette Mayer