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The Difficult Farm

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  294 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The Difficult Farm is where you’ll find surprising jolts of the sweetest kindness delivered via poetry that’s new, urgent, blessed, beautiful, careful, tenacious, a little scary, very scary, and awfully generous to us all. When I read a poem by Heather Christle I’m awed. – Dara Wier

This is serious. Heather Christle’s poems in The Difficult Farm are dancing with the mysteri
Paperback, 77 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Octopus Books (first published 2009)
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Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, small-press
These poems are sometimes funny and sometimes clever and pretty consistently interesting to read.

I want to read more great poetry like this. Recommend me more great poetry like this.
Zoe Tuck
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, spd
I read this book in the laundromat by Broadway and 41st in Oakland with my sister. Katy was reading The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1: A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails because she asked for a book to read before we left the apartment. I think she won. The radio at the laundromat was tuned to a soul/r&b station and they weren't messing around. I remember the poems giving off a whiff of the surreal. I remember the characters hanging around the laundromat and the 7/11. I rememb ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
"any time you buy anything, you should buy an extra, in case you really like it"

so i guess i should buy a second copy then
Andre Habet
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My bro-in-law and I rapped a few of these poems on our way back on the zoo on my birthday, which was not nearly as terrible as I thought it'd be. I then read the book aloud to my nephew in one setting as he verrryyy slowly went to sleep. This book is wonderful to read aloud. I felt clever, sweet, and kindly profane as I spoke Christle's words.

1st of the several books I'm reading to see if Kaveh Akbar and I are poetry soulmates. 1/1: on our way
I loved this collection, it's so playful with language and is just downright funny. It made me laugh in many places but I also found myself smiling at the inventiveness of the metaphors and phrasing - this is a very talented poet at work.

One of my favorite lines was "...let's say that reading is like grave-rubbing and the charcoal is your eyes" - yes, lets say that, both because it's just fabulous imagery but also because the more I think about that line the deeper it gets. Ditto for the rest of
Betsy Wheeler
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful and casually sexy book answers the very question that it asks "How can I help/but love the whole stupid planet?/In which I make mistakes." It will give you, as it's given me "a way of reaching up to touch again/the harmless, feral sky." For that I am very grateful...
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I will sleep with this book under my pillow. I will put this book in my soup pot. I will leave notes in this book's locker.
Artifice Magazine
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rebekah
I will sleep with this book under my pillow. I will put this book in my soup pot. I will leave notes in this book's locker.
Meg Gee
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of the poems veer too far in the realm of nonsensical while others derive a lot of their complexity from Cristle's unique style. It's not a perfect collection but it's interesting in the layering of themes throughout.
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: female-writer, poetry
I liked the poems by Christle that I've read online, and her book was as good as the online poems. They are charming, funny. I wish she had another book so I could read another by her. She wrote about some topics that I was also interested in.

She has two longer poems in the book, made up of 5 or more parts. I often feel like long poems could be reduced or condensed into smaller poems, but I didn't feel like that about these long poems. Christle writes strong first lines and endings to her poems
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Dara Wier describes the work as "urgent" and James Tate as "magical but...too busy to tell you that"; I'd lean toward busy, and maybe throw in the word "whimsical." Overall, not my type of poetry, but there were a number of great moments. I couldn't find a lot to orient myself by, but did find it refreshing when themes or ideas reappeared, like wounded soldiers, nursing, the farm, etc. It seemed to end suddenly, and a lot of the poems blended together, possibly because the speaker never congeale ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Richard by: Ella
Shelves: 2011
Some poets attempt to disassemble the hulking metaphysical machinery of the universe. And that sort of poetry has its place, I suppose. But I usually find grandiose poets exhausting. I'm not huge on poetry, but when I'm in the mood I usually prefer the type that Heather Christle writes. It is simple, funny and pretty.

Good job, Heather. A solid three and a half.

Also: have you seen my shelf of books I've read in 2011? Apparently I'm a sucker for a book cover with an animal on it.
Nov 18, 2009 added it
I've decided not to rate books by people I either know or who are friends of friends. (hence no more stars on many poetry books, doesn't mean I didn't like it.) I appreciated the energy and strength of conviction of these poems very much. I think ultimately I would have liked more gut feeling in there.
mis fit
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
i can't say i'm in love with this. however, there is something i really like here-- certain clunky phrases or odd combinations of words come together to say something perfectly... just not always sure what. :)
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Heather Christle is wonderfully whimsical and weird. The Difficult Farm was everything all at once and jumping at you from fifteen different places--playful yet wistful, and unabashedly sincere.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2012
I read this in one sitting on my friend Megan's couch during a particularly tough summer. It's really, really good.
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
How does it work? What feet is it standing on? Still I like it.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was consistently charmed and intrigued by these poems' tone of voice. The non sequiturs worked better in some poems than others. Many memorable and peculiar moments.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Like Everyone Else in This World" is my favorite.
Rachel burns
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Power house of words, imagery & depth. The build drives ones crazy, then it slows, builds, slows & leaves you thirsty for more.
david blumenshine
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
probably a 5 once i actually get to read it instead of having it read to me. lovely, though.
Aug 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
actually just finished a second read, which was highly rewarding. looking forward to The Trees, The Trees
Oct 22, 2016 added it
"I wanted to offer you my heart,/but I have to lead the nation through/this cold and open valley. Forgive me,/you have pudding all over your beard,/you look a downright ass. Darlings!"
Luis Correa
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Full of surprising, funny turns and images. A little too close to James Tate's style. Could tell that Christle would follow the book up with something great like The Trees The Trees.
Joseph Young
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Poetry that keeps waking up.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Very fun poems.
rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2010
Daniel Levin
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Feb 03, 2016
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Dec 12, 2015
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Sep 05, 2010
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Heather Christle is the author of WHAT IS AMAZING (Wesleyan, 2012), THE TREES THE TREES (Octopus, 2011), and THE DIFFICULT FARM (Octopus, 2009). She has taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and at Emory University, where she was the 2009-2011 Creative Writing Fellow. She is the Web Editor for jubilat and frequently a writer in residence at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. A nativ ...more
More about Heather Christle