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I Will Destroy You: Poems

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The newest collection from Nick Flynn, whose “songs of experience hum with immediacy” (The New York Times)

Beginning with a poem called “Confessional” and ending with a poem titled “Saint Augustine,” Nick Flynn's I Will Destroy You interrogates the potential of art to be redemptive, to remake and reform. But first the maker of art must claim responsibility for his past, his
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Graywolf Press
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Julie Ehlers
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the deal—if you die

then I will be able to
drink again & no

one alive will even
blame me—this,

child, is the dark wind in-

side, but not
the darkest ...

—From "Poem to Be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child"

Yes, this is dark, but, in I Will Destroy You, possibly not the darkest. But I Will Destroy You is the darkest Nick Flynn has been, and that's saying something. Undeniably effective and affecting, but I hope the next one is a little bit lighter, for the sake of both the reader and
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
full of ruefulness, remorse, ruin, regret, rawness, and reflection, the forty-four poems that make up nick flynn's latest collection, i will destroy you, find the poet/memoirist expounding ever further upon themes he's explored in previous works, perhaps most notably in another bullshit night in suck city (later adapted into the film, being flynn). the suicide of his mother, as it does elsewhere in his writing, looms large in his dark, but stirring new collection. flynn is a father now and ...more
Sarah Katz
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I Will Destroy You is the modernized retelling of Icarus—except that, after the speaker’s fall, its protagonist is resurrected. In the opening poem, “Confessional,” he lays himself bare to the reader—“admits” to his faults, preparing the reader for something dark and heavy. “Now, it [this poem] wears its shame like a halo,” read its final lines. “Please, take it, rip it up, put it in your glass. / We can watch it dissolve.” Throughout the book, through some sort of sleight of hand I can’t quite ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok

Tomorrow, or
the day after, I'll press my

mouth to your scar & run
my tongue along it

so I can taste how you were once
opened, so I can know where

you never closed.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes, Nick Flynn, you will. You did. You will always. America's greatest living poet.
Khashayar Mohammadi
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with Nick Flynn, but this collection held one of my favorite poems of his
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
4.5 Stars
After reading the fourth poem in this book, Poem to be whispered by the bedside of a sleeping child I closed the book for a moment and audibly said, "damn." I Will Destroy You will feel familiar to fans of Flynn's previous works. But, this one comes with a warning, with lessons to be learned. Compelling, clever, and accessible.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-favorites
Maybe closer to 4 stars but when I began reading it the one-two punch of "Balcony" followed by "Poem to be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child" took my breath away with such force that I said that it was an automatic 5 star rating for me. I had to stop and reread each of them several times, share them with friends... These two poems are Flynn at his most forceful - freaking brilliant.

That is not to discount the rest of the book. I personally feel that the first section is the strongest
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My version of coping with absurdly horrifying news includes reading poetry. This collection was pretty terrific.
Courtney LeBlanc
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this collection of poems by Nick Flynn -- I'm not sure anything will ever top Some Ether, his first book of poetry. This collection talks about love and fidelity, alcoholism, his mother's death, the burning down of his childhood home and his daughter.

from Balcony: "The one promise I / can make is that I'm staying / even though what knocks on our / door at night has at its heart only / my getting lost, even though / some part of it wants me dead,"

from Sleeping Beauty: "Even the fire
Nov 08, 2019 added it
Is it refreshing to read a poem with references, not to ancient gods, heroines, or myths, but, instead, to pop musicians and the horror and sci-fi films of 30 years ago?
Flynn’s work reminds me of the fragility of our existence. We are always a breath away from being undone, by our trauma or someone else’s. Flynn reminds us of that precarity, at turns, abruptly, rationally, with grace, and always with a little mystery.
There are probably as many gods and myths as there are rock stars and films...
Ben Niespodziany
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rebuilding, remolding, reflection. Flynn's collections (and memoirs) are always heavy and this one is no different. These poems will gut you, drag you down the street, and throw you on your knees, where you will form the most wondrous prayer, a mantra that was within you all along.

A favorite here is "Pied Piper":
Anatoly Molotkov
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"...Others live//inside those windows// that line the shore, held inside/ by lightbulbs. Out here// we are the light, out here the salt/ holds us." Beautiful and painful work from Nick Flynn, as always.
Chris Roberts
Sep 11, 2019 rated it did not like it

The artist creates second-hand reality,
i.e., creation is wholly dependent on observation,
art lacks every verity, it is a bastardized construct.


Chris Roberts, God Endlessly
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not great...
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably his sharpest collection yet. I love Nick Flynn’s work but his memoirs have always connected with me more than his poems. This one left me pretty much speechless.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these poems did destroy me! I love this book and his writing is visceral, insightful and penetrating.
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Nick Flynn is an American poet, memoirist, and playwright.

His most famous book is a memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He has published two collections of poetry: Blind Huber, and Some Ether, which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Further honors include a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2001 Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling