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Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book of 2010

Verses, essays, confessions, reports, translations, drafts, treatises, laments and utopias, 1995–2007. Collected by Elisa Sampedrin.

Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past — its ideas, its personages, its syntax — to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex
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Paperback, 104 pages
Published April 14th 2005 by Coach House Books
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Elizabeth Metzger
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome-town
(Another version of the same beginning is simpler and more direct: in the long science of submission it is the mind that, quietly spectacular, unhooks the bodies and opens the face.)

my fidelity is my own disaster.
Laura
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
it's hard to believe that there's enough room on any pages in the world for all this complicated sad fragmented sensual loveliness.
Elisabeth
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Equipped with such formidable mortality
whatever style I choose operates in me like a sky--
it passes and changes and persists and I possess nothing
but the sum of naming, curious and
frantic."
James Murphy
May 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Phooey. I blame myself when I fail to connect to a book or author, poet. In this case Lisa Robertson has done her work, but I fail to get it. These poems are so obscure and difficult I have trouble finding allusion and experience enough to relate to them. I'm overwhelmed. At the end are 4 prose poems she calls essays; it's only there that I begin to find myself on solid ground. But then on the last page was something I thought lovely, a little untitled poem in which she likens poetry to a ...more
Christine
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent! The way her writing incorporates feminism with the continual fragmentation of the gendered-self is rattling, revealing passages in the body that I never even knew existed. Robertson's strongest work yet.
Mary Kathryn
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Haters will call this book pretentious, but it's a deeply satisfying, sexy, workout for the mind book of feminist poetry. She nails it with her couplet "Utopia is so emotional./ Then we get used to it." How long does it take before paradise dulls? "Draft of a Voice-Over for Split-Screen Video Loop" is esp. seditious. Brainy girls will cheer her on as she challenges us to resist the temptation of the feminine as decoration, mystery and emotion: "It is not our purpose to obscure the song of ...more
Karen Lepri
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is an amazing exercise in intellectual rhetoric via poetry--perhaps a nod to the Romans or a life-ring thrown to a drowning (morphing?) language at sea in today's media-laden, digi-textual, post-document (?)world. References to Romanticism, Ancient Greeks, and more abound amidst a cadence and diction determined to redirect your attention, save you from the depths of pretty lyricism, and maybe make you learn something (Google is useful for decoding certain references!)
Carrie
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
underlining like mad.
Ata
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
now this was wild and also wow
Caitlin Golding
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"I am the first suckling among multa, your artifice, your animal, gaudy with cries, gaudy with hunger and lovely with hunger and hunger."
Alice
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like poetry that kicks ass
Recommended to Alice by: Cathy Wagner
Shelves: poetry
This book is magical. Robertson's use of language and repetition [akin to the artful (what a stupid word to use here) work she does in The Men] is enchanting and creates some kind of spell on me as I read. "Lucite," the first poem in the book lashes us to the book with the spirit of near-incantation and manifesto and the rest does not disappoint the initial stirring. Here's linkage to a review from How2, which says better than I can: http://www.asu.edu/pipercwcenter/how2...
Bill Brydon
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lisa writes with strength and confidence
“One animal says to another animal it is not safe you must not return I love you. Another says to her sister animal when you go you will never return then she dies in a camp. Another is a child and she stops living because of deceit. The animals in their velvety dressing gowns have thought bubbles. They break the incest taboo during a long cruel close-up and you can’t help but watch.”
Also the entire Essay on Lust is in my quotes
Ryan
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Within my own limited reading habits I can't think of anyone who writes like Lisa Robertson, and whose mind, in their writing, I love as much. Perpetually astonished.

And the object itself, (dear Coach House) is something everyone should want desperately.
Ben G
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I loved "The Weather" and liked "R's Boat" a lot, but I found "Magenta Soul Whip" to be too layered in solipsistic and classical reference to have any impact. Though it did remind me I need to better ground my own poetry in reality.
Opal McCarthy
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"A young girl slept under/ the opening fingers. But what can we/ keep. All night they sleep. We launch into rest/ and the flames burn through/ alone in its clearing. The brave thing would be/ to sleep in a hut again, dawn to nervy/ dark, studying/ the ground."

Dusie Press
Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I haven't even finished it yet, but this is a definite writerly-changing experience! I now need to find every bk she has ever written and reexperience them all!
Tiffany
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
holy sh*t.
Rodney
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Trinket pasticcio, flaunting skyey sheets,
With Crispin as the tiptoe cozener?
No, no: veracious page on page, exact.
Theodora Danylevich
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
oh. my. what a supremely sexy book. on so many levels.

(reading still in progress)
Abraham
Mar 25, 2010 is currently reading it
Shelves: poetry
so far: incomprehensible with notes of genius
Symone
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2019
Timothy Atherton
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Aug 25, 2012
Eric
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Nov 10, 2014
misa bretschneider
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Apr 18, 2011
Trevor
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Sep 08, 2009
Camille Martin
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Dec 22, 2010
Corina
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Mar 15, 2009
Andrew Maxwell
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Jul 12, 2009
Mary
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Jan 31, 2013
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“Essay on Lust Identity can’t be concise. It’s knit from sequins and lust and scatters. Mostly everyone was fucking the seven arts with a willed difficulty. Then for one day there was the collective sensation that we carried our lovely voices as if in baskets, piled up in clear tones like grapes. Each voice had achieved its particular mass. From an interior space we heard the word sequin repeating in relation to leaves and the image was yellow-gold leaves moving on dark water. We had undergone an influence of death which was itself imprinted on such a moving sequin: the breath sequins, the heartbeat sequins, the organs and their slowing articulation sequins which drifting from the foreground appear to dim since they gradually go out to illuminate some event so distant we will never own the moment of its perception. But all this gives the illusion of peacefulness which is inert or at least passive when breaths burst smashing into sobbed words some urgent errand trapped in these letters as labour of light diminishing rhythm and if we fiercely decide to clear the stupid human stuff stop waiting for something to come to the father-studded earth shouldn’t this impatience release itself as a tongue so new weeping stops. In young women enamoured of their own intensities the Latin element wells up and knits from lust the pelt on the wall that’s ocelot or shadepelt or the imagination of matter. Nothing’s frugal. As for us, we want to give the city what lust has never ceased to put together. Young women or other women carrying their lovely voices as if on platters, their ten voices or nine voices in urgent errand dictating the imagination of matter. It is not our purpose to obscure the song of no-knowledge.” 2 likes
“One animal says to another animal it is not safe you must not return I love you. Another says to her sister animal when you go you will never return then she dies in a camp. Another is a child and she stops living because of deceit. The animals in their velvety dressing gowns have thought bubbles. They break the incest taboo during a long cruel close-up and you can’t help but watch.” 0 likes
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