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The Carrying: Poems

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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  66 reviews
From National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Ada Limón comes The Carrying—her most powerful collection yet.

Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility—“Wh
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Hardcover, 120 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Milkweed Editions
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Roxane
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite poems about love, fertility, desire, this natural world we move through, the political climate, so much more.
Michael
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, poetry
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.

Limón writes intimate short poems structured by narrative and images of nature: the poetry in this collection focuses on fertility, passion, loss, creativity, and, occasionally, politics, all through the lens of the poet's daily life. Pain laces many of the poems, but Limón's outlook is fundamentally optimistic, her work measured and tranquil. The collection's straightforward language and interest in everyday life l
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Ken
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection came on strong in the stretch drive, section 3, which is not to say the earlier parts were without their pleasant parts. There were joys to be found there, too, though it was a bit more uneven than the last section.

I've written up a full review and included four poems I especially liked from Part 3 down this rabbit hole.
Caroline
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ada Limón is my favorite living poet. I love her work because she is realistic without being too pessimistic, an attitude much needed in these trying times. There's always room for hope in her poems.

I was eagerly anticipating this new collection, and it did not disappoint. I read it in a single sitting, which hardly ever happens when it comes to my reading. This is a very cohesive collection, expertly laid out.

The Carrying doubles down on the t
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Lauren
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(book twenty-three) Stayed up too late reading again, but when else do I get uninterrupted time to read? It’s too hot to go outside at all so Sylvie never naps and I get no reprieve. This book spoke so directly to me and rang with a chord so true that I don’t know what to say except that it stirred in me this strong urge to make things. I almost feel brave enough to write poems after reading this. Not because she makes it looks easy; no, it’s because they’re so dense and hard, yet light and beau ...more
Rachel
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommends
Five stars. Ten stars. 100 stars. As a die-hard Ada Limón fan, I have been aching for more of her work since finishing "Bright Dead Things." Now, I think I can say I have a new favorite collection. Unflinching, emotive, selfless, compassionate, full of life and humanity and pain and joy and beauty, Limón has delivered, yet again, a stunning work that left me breathless with every page.
Zara
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
“What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?"

Beautiful poems about, among other things, pain, grief, fertility, and the idea of mother.
Shannon
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t connect much with the first half of this book but the second half is riddled with dog-eared pages. Reading again immediately.
Janet
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The reason Ada Limon is one of my favorite modern poets is that she captures a higher purpose in living through the most ordinary images -- a dog leash, a tomato plant, etc. I will read this book again and again.
Darby Hudson
Great writer. But kept feeling this is Mary Oliver, slightly updated, both in subject matter and rhythm. More a fan of Bright Dead Things. This won't put me off remaining a fan of Ada, though. Looking forward to her next!
Jordan
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
This one's not for me. I'd prefer the poems with the last 2 or 3 lines cut. Such tidy little wrapped up endings, often written in a way to seem more profound than they really are.
Laura  Yan
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
i loved this. ada limon writes about loss and grief and politics and small moments of joy, of life, and it feels like the perfect poetry book for right now. there are lines that are absolutely stunning, little pieces of perfection. mostly i'm happy to be in immersed in ada's world with its tragedies and little beauties.
Danny Caine
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Carrying is another gorgeous collection of poems from Ada Limón. Darkness is ever-present as Limón meditates on our political insanity, the inability to become a mother, and the ever-present specter of grief. But Limón's keen sense of beauty ultimately summons a well-earned sense of hope. A splash of dark humor doesn't hurt, as when Limón writes, "My memoir could be called, I Thought I Wanted a Baby but / All I Got Was Your Dead Ex-Girlfriend's Two Old Cats." The reader leaves the collection ...more
Jessika
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-author, poetry, 2018
As with Bright Dead Things, I'm blown away by Ada Limon. She writes that edge of hope and sadness and it cuts so well. There's always a sense of optimism, of rebirth, that life goes on, that the wheel keeps on turning. This is something to have on your shelf when you need a moment to just think of things bigger than yourself.
Nadine Jones
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, r2018-in-2018
It might sound trite, but (I'm no poet!) these poems are vulnerable, brave, and intimate, just like the blurb says. They acknowledge how crappy life can be, especially right now maybe, and they finish with a message of hope, even if that hope is difficult to grasp it's there.

The book opens with my favorite poem from Limón, the one I read and fell in love with on a NYC subway car two summers ago, that sent me off to find more:
A Name
When Eve walked among
the animals and named them—
nightingale, reds
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Megan
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd love to figure out what makes me love a list, because there are so many I reject as too contrived, too MFA-exercise-turned-into-a-novel-or-poem-or-whatever.

But some lists hit me just right, and I can't tell what makes the difference. Why do I love Sei Shonagon's but hate Emily St. John Mandel's? Why do I love Italo Calvino's lists but hate Tim O'Brien's?

Ada Limon writes lists I can love.

The much loved loose forest-green sweatpants, the long bra-less days, hair knotted and uncivilized, a shad
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Ja'net
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I actually like this collection even more than BRIGHT DEAD THINGS, which I didn't think was possible. For me, it doesn't really take off until halfway through the first section, but once Ada gets going, she doesn't stop. Though gorgeous, these poems are not for the faint of heart, tackling head-on themes like mortality, fertility, loss, grief, mental illness, and love--real, adult love, in all its beauty and complexity--themes especially relevant to women like myself who, like Ada, are in their ...more
Joshunda Sanders
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

“I am always in too many worlds, sand sifting through my hands,
another me speeding through the air, another me waving
from a train window watching you
waving from a train window watching me.”
~ Sometimes I think my body leaves a shape in the air

“...what’s the word for someone who stares long into the morning, unable to fix tea some days, the kettle steaming over loud like a train whistle, she who cries
in the mornings, she who tears a hole in the earth and cannot stop grieving,
the one who wants to
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Keely
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poet Ada Limon’s collection “The Carrying” features themes of environmentalism, identity, infertility, feminism, and mother-child relationships. Her writing is vivid and poignant, smart but accessible. She’s the kind of poet who could convert someone who claims not to like poetry. So glad my poetry circle leader chose this collection for us. A few of my favorite poems in the book: “Wonder Woman,” “The Raincoat,” and “A New National Anthem.”
Erica Wright
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Moving, clear-eyed poems about the strangeness of love, the letdowns of the body, and the small moments of joy that keep us going. Also a line about ghosts that made me cackle last night. Limón is a national treasure.
Aleesha
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The poems in this book are stunning! So beautiful and powerful, the kind I'll re-read over and over again.
Hailey Leithauser
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent! IMO Better even than Bright Dead things
Alison
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I haven't sat and read a poetry collection cover to cover in a long time (since college, since Marie Howe). I need to remedy that because I loved this book so deeply. There's a dark beauty to these poems. They comforted me in a dark time in my life, in a way nothing else has.
Catherine M
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2018
Another beautiful poetry collections by one of the most fascinating and talented poets.
chris tervit
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A woman is childless and likes plants. Poems about this. Favourite ones: Trying, The Raincoat, Mastering, Wife, After The Fire & Sparrow, What Did You Say.
Isaly.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ada Limon is not someone I was familiar with before getting her poetry from the library. I wanted to read something new and refreshing. After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued to read The Carrying. I was introduced to poetry about infertility, power, the body, and nature. Limon showed me a different side of poetry that left me wanting more. Here is my full review: http://bit.ly/2Aaz9L2
Autumn
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I read poetry regularly but I don't often review it. I' not sure how to review a book of poems because there are some poems that speak to you and some that don't and some that make you go "huh?"
And, I've never studied poetry so my feelings are purely aesthetic.
There were two I really enjoyed and read more than once: Dead Stars and The Vulture and the Body
Mike
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to read this book. The poems here are so vital, showing both vulnerability and strength, and deeply honest through and through. I read BRIGHT DEAD THINGS earlier this year and loved it, and here Limón goes even further. So many of these poems are heavy with the ways the world and life will ultimately weigh on us, whether it's the loss of a loved one, the experience of racism or misogyny, or the ways that our lives might not turn out the way we've dreame ...more
Lexi Nylander
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I deeply deeply enjoyed this. My favorites were Bust, The Raincoat, Overpass, Wonder Woman, Notes on the Below, Carrying, What I Didn't Know Before, and the Last Drop. Her writing style is so precise and I loved how much nature and love and loss and art feature in all of her poems.

"can still marvel at how the dog runs straight toward the pickup trucks breaknecking down the road, because she thinks she loves them, because she's sure, without a doubt, that the loud roaring things will love her bac
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Jonathan Tennis
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish there were more than 5 stars because wow this woman is a magician with words. I was fortunate enough to hear her read from a previous collection and was blown off my feet with Bright Dead Things. This picks up where that left off in terms of amazing. My favorite poems in the collection were How Most of the Dreams Go, Trying, How We are Made, The Dead Boy, Wonder Woman, A New National Anthem, The Contract Says: We’d Like the Conversation to be Bilingual, Maybe I’ll be Another Kind of Mothe ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add pub date & cover 2 11 Aug 17, 2018 11:50PM  
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Ada Limón is the author of three books of poetry, Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from New York University. Limón has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and was one of the judges for the 2013 National Book Award in Poetry. She works as a creative writing i ...more